Wednesday, May 22, 2024

“Ne-Yo Who? The Generation Gap in Music Knowledge for the Over 50s”


To my fellow over 50s – so you don’t know Ne-Yo? Don’t stress – many of us do not know him. I first heard about Ne-Yo from a young Zambian friend working abroad who told me, two months ago, that she was coming home for the Stanbic Music Festival.

Her attractions were Ne-Yo, Sampa the Great, Pompi and James Sakala. Don’t beat yourself if you don’t know Ne-Yo – even some under 40s that I know, do not know him. These things are about interest, religious inclination, your generation, chance and time.

In our prime years there was only one hit at a time. Which was why on a periodic basis there would be the latest album or the latest hit single and we would all know it and know the singer. We would even refer to some tracks eg John Secada’s ‘Just Another Day’ as the ‘national anthem’. Of course there would be several hits but the highest selling album (or 12” Single) would feature for weeks before another artiste would take the reigns. With no internet, the latest hit would come to Zambia through Lusaka (mainly through Zambia Airways – QZ or British Airways) and then would be shared with the Copperbelt and other provinces (via cassette tape and Radio).

Ne-yo performing at the Stanbic Music Festival

Most people in Zambia do not even know our local musicians. When a singer dies most of us ask what song he or she has to their credit. I didn’t know Yo Maps until two years ago, even though I had been listening to some of his music for about two years. One of my sisters (who is even younger than me) can’t tell the difference between Yo Maps and Macky 2., even though she loves ‘ Finally’ and ‘Season Yanga’ by Yo Maps Another younger sister, didn’t know until this week that my all-time favourite singer, Whitney Houston had died.

Last month, I asked a male friend if he had seen any of J Lo’s movies and he asked me who J Lo is. So what am I saying? Don’t stress if there are some singers or actors that you do not know. There is a lot going on and too fast. We are really in the Information Age and are overwhelmed. Google does help. Use it when you are curious. You do not need to know all the musicians. Enjoy what appeals to you. And the Beat Goes On!

By Namucana Musiwa
Facebook Post


  1. This is not music. This is just immoral nonsense. Ask neyo about his marriage. Under pf our ministry of religion and guidance wouldn’t have allowed this small boy to come and start touching zambian women carelessly. Meanwhile hh ishappy to host such at state house

    • How can you know Ne-Yo when you used to listen to “Koswe mu Mpoto” and “Dununa Reverse”?
      Just read the name of writer, you can tell they just came out during HH.

    • Why would I listen to the music of someone i am richer than from another country. I would rather promote my own

  2. Not entirely true…
    Most people in their 50″s where between the ages of 30-40 when Ne-Yo released is hit songs. Thats the time people club alot as they usually have a stable income through employment or business.
    Besides Ne-Yo is 43 years old now.

    • Kikikikikikiki! “Most people in their 50’s were between the ages of 30-40”???
      And I presume the others were between the ages of 10 and 20??

    • Imagine how can they not know Ne Yo ,and how can you like Finally and not know Yo Maps when there is a music video showing, Yo Maps, people can be crazy

  3. The post is full of sweeping statements. “Most people” when he means one person. I can alsosay most over 50s know Neyo and cite Kaizar Zulu’s post up here

  4. Most people who know Ne-Yo are in their 40-55. So not sure what is going on here.

    As for the UK based Kaizar Zulu imposter, like it or not, Ne-Yo is a global superstar. His reach to his followers would do great for Zambia’s tourism and music industries, more than our Tourism ministry could ever do or any of the 24/7 LT resident trolls and numskulls on here. All he has to do is tag Zambia on photos in his social media platforms and the country will reap the results from exposure and subsequent influx of tourists.

    • Believe it not, Zambia is not recognised widely in the civilised world, especially among the youth. Some few enlighted old fellas remember Kenneth Kaunda but the majority you have to tell them we are next to Zimbabwe. Fact is Ne-Yo is more popular globally than HH or any of our politicians… so let’s not pretend HH is Obama. But even Obama welcomed sports people and musicians in the White House, so what’s your point. Get a life people!

  5. I am over 50 and know Neyo very well. Its all about awareness of your surroundings and happenings. Take interest in what the young ones interest in. That way, you will advise from an informed position. Problem with some over 40s/50s is that they have a tendency to condemn what not so long ago they used to enjoy. How can a generation that watched 2 Live Crew condemn Nicki Minaj as immoral?

    • You know Neyo very well? Yaba!
      What time does he wake up? Why doesnt he wear long socks? What perfume does he wear? How many of his teeth have been filled? What is his mother’s favourite color? How many meals does he have in a day? Why did he stop playing guitar? Who was his previous sidekick girlfriend?

  6. Rhythm and blues is a culture please don’t don’t play the impact this artist had made & is still making if you feel left out. If you had taken an interest Ne-Yo had inspired greatly by Micheal Jackson. In short you needed to have a history with the kind of music. Kaizer was a zukist at Chelston market at the time Ne-Yo’s career was taking off. Without referring to Google he actually has no clue what Quincy Jones did to RnB. Take two sits Kaizer.


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