Sister act who broke new ground in Seventies Nigeria by being one of the only women-headed acts to make it through the backing singer/dancer ceiling

Drawing of the Lijadu Sisters in action near electricity pilons and a sign stating Danger Keep Off 20,000 volts. They are wearing red berets, crop tops, shorts and boots (Cover of Afro-Beat Soul Sisters: The Lijadu Sisters at Afrodisia, Nigeria 1976-79)Taiwo and Kehinde Lijadu began their music career in 1969 and made a total of six albums across three decades (mainly in the 1970s) before retiring from the public eye in the late 1980s. (‘Orere Eljigbo’ was released as a single in 1997 after receiving attention on various compilations and playlists.)

Mixing styles as diverse as rock and reggae and likened to The Pointer Sisters, The Lijadu Sisters broke new ground in Seventies Nigeria by being one of the only women-headed acts to “break through the backing singer/dancer ceiling”:

The music business was hard for women in Nigeria,” says Taiwo Lijadu. “Back then, they didn’t think women had brains.

‘Danger’ is the title track from their second album and is a swirling mix of Waka rhythms and keyboard funk. It’s very much of its time but would also make a cool soundtrack for a record shop scene in any decade. It also has a swarming anxious energy buzzing through it that is evocative of a restless crisis created by a “dangerous lover” (the kind of “dangerous” is perhaps open to interpretation):

You came into my life and dispersed danger…

You left a long time and you left danger…

How long can I live my life in danger?…

Danger, please come on back…

Danger, I’ve missed your lovin’…

Thanks to Steph of Don’t Dance Her Down Boys for writing about The Lijadu Sisters back in the spring and also to zohra for alerting me to the article at blackfeminists.

[Static YouTube shot shows the cover of the album ‘Danger’ is taken from. The picture is the same as the one for Afro-Beat Soul Sisters: The Lijadu Sisters at Afrodisia, Nigeria 1976-79 (see the picture label at the top of this post for details).]