Damini Ogulu, a Nigerian artiste whose stage name is Burna Boy, has been accused of art theft.
Celestine Ezeokoye, an entrepreneur and software engineer, made the accusation on his Twitter page on Tuesday, November 22, before replicating it on his blog, Friday.
Ezeokoye, who expressed his displeasure over what he calls “disregard for intellectual property”, explained how Burna Boy came by his studio and how the piece of art was stolen.
“On the 31st of October (which happened to be Anthony’s birthday), he got home and announced to me that he got a phone call from Burna. Burna requested that his (nascent) graphics/animation company Insecta Studio, create materials (branding and stage animation) for his next performance.
“The performance turned out to be at Essence Festival in South Africa (Anthony didn’t even know this then). I was excited for him and his team.
“One discussion after another, he informed me that they had done a sketch for the proposal and Burna’s people liked it. Then that they had sent out the proposal and bill, and waiting for response.
“Then that Burna’s people say that they want to “pay” with publicity and free show. Then they replied that they (Insecta Studios) don’t do pro-bono, because they pay bills. Then that Burna’s people aren’t responding anymore”, Ezeokoye explained.
According to Ezeokoye, Burna Boy and his management stopped contacting Insecta Studios after they received the proposal.
It was, however, bewildering for Ezeokoye when the design was used by Burna Boy and his management.
“We took it that they had decided that they aren’t going to use Insecta Studios anymore, so Insecta looked elsewhere for business.
“Then suddenly, we discovered that the artwork that was sent to them as a sample sketch was actually used at Essence Festival and it is being fully used for ALL of Burna Boy’s branding/social media without concluding and paying a dime to the artist”, he wrote.
Ezeokoye further said the studio would take legal actions against Burna Boy for plagiarising Insecta Studios artwork.
Nothing has been heard from the singer since the accusation was made.
This wouldn’t be the first time Burna Boy would be caught up in a controversy. In fact, his name has been synonymous with several controversies since he hit the limelight.
Much recently, during a concert in Enugu, Burna Boy almost stomped on a fan who tried to untie his shoe lace.
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