Plenty of people have posted videos online that have generated millions of views. The rarity is quality. Aside from comedic sketches, dangerous stunts, and other antics, it’s hard to find a viral video with an entertaining yet educational message.
Last year, three girls from Baltimore managed to break the mold.
The three sisters who comprise Watoto From The Nile — 11-year-old Nia, 10-year-old Nya, and 6-year-old Kamaria Natur — captured the hearts and minds of millions of people nationwide. In March 2011, they released “Letter to Lil Wayne,” a song that serves as a plea for “Mr. Wayne” — as the girls respectfully call him — to end the gratuitous misogyny and blatant disrespect for Black women in his lyrics. The young “watoto” (Swahili for “children”) have been writing, recording, and performing music for over two years now with the help of their “baba” (Yoruba name for “father”) and manager Jabari Natur; and Watoto From The Nile plan to continue shaking up the world with new material aimed at “breathing life back into the Black community,” according to Natur.
“When we released ‘Letter to Lil Wayne’ most people loved it.,” Natur said. “We gained millions of fans from all over the world. It was a beautiful thing.”
In a little over three weeks after its release, the “Letter to Lil Wayne” video had been viewed over one million times throughout the Internet, with over 850,000 views coming from You Tube alone. The controversial music video was also featured on Yahoo’s online music blog, NewsOne, AOL’s Black Voices website, CNN, the Tom Joyner Morning Show, the Detroit Native Sun, Worldstarhiphop.com and a host of other online forums, magazines, and blogs.
Even after the monumental success of their first big hit, Watoto From The Nile and their father are still not satisfied. “Our song [‘Letter to Lil Wayne’] got a lot of views but we hope our new song does even better,” said oldest member of the trio, Nia.
To keep their movement going, they have released a new Kwanzaa song and music video featuring Ayanna Gregory, daughter of activist and icon Dick Gregory, in late December and continuing into the New Year with a tribute to Stevie Wonder song.
Jabari Natur is in many ways the antithesis of showbiz dads like Joe Jackson — driving his daughters to success through cultivating their moral and ethical senses.
“It’s not easy or cheap organizing my daughters, scheduling dance lessons, paying for studio recording sessions, and being a father at the same time,” said Natur. “But it surely is well worth it. As long as they stay focused, they can achieve anything they want in life.”