Nigerian singers Davido and Small Doctor are accused of stealing King Sunny Ade’s lyrics

Davido and Small Doctor have been accused of copyright infringements by King Sunny Ade’s manager, Clement Ige.

According to the talent manager, the duo were accused of using lyrics from veteran Juju musician’s songs without seeking for the permission to do so.

Ige expressed his displeasure towards the singers, saying that they use lyrics from KSA’s discography in their hit songs and do not give appropriate credit to the original owner of the lyrics.

“They use English language to speak Yoruba. Like the young man who sang ‘makole marale.’ How do you build house before buying a land?” he asked. “Many of them don’t give credit to the original composer of the song they adopt. They just sing it without seeking permission. That’s a copyright infringement. It’s not done in developed societies.”

Small Doctor performing street anthem 'Penalty' at Industry Nite Special with 9ice and the Shuga bandplaySmall Doctor performing street anthem ‘Penalty’ at Industry Nite Special with 9ice and the Shuga band

Speaking at Goldberg’s Ariya Repete Roundtable discourse in Abeokuta, the manager revealed that young generation singers are making the wrong moves in their composition of music.

According to him, their songs contain lyrics which are filled with jargon that make no literal sense.

“Till today, Small Doctor didn’t get our permission before and after singing ‘ijó tí m’ojó l’àná, tí wọn n’pariwo, oni nkọ, ola nkọ.’ And many of them are guilty of this,” Ige said, referencing a popular line in Small Doctor’s 2017 hit record ‘Penalty’.


He continued: “The Davido that used Sunny’s lyrics in his song didn’t even get it right and that’s because he didn’t ask for permission. If he did, we would have corrected him. What is ‘Kuluso ewe, agbagba ewe…?’ The line is actually ‘Seleru agbo, agbara agbo’. I know because I co-wrote the song!,” he said, referencing Davido’s breakthrough single ‘Dami duro’.

Neither Davido nor Small Doctor have responded to the claim.


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