Flashback Fridays: Those 'Maintain' Boys... [Pictures + Video]

I remember when I first heard this song, 'Bo La awa' (BLAH) by Maintain on radio; I was caught in high octane amusement. This was the song and video that brought the group Maintain to limelight as far back as the year 2000. The music  and its video was not just a dance-able and entertaining track but a funny showcase of the reality of struggling artistes and the travails of owning a jalopy ride that will eventually screw up your date with a chick.

The unfortunate dude battling with his Beetle Jalopy
Flashing back in this video brings back memories of the past. This was the era when cassettes were still being played. I remembered when I heard Maintain's song I was impressed - it was different and made you laugh just listening to its lyrics. I so wanted to own a copy of their album I went searching all over Lagos music shops and couldn't find a single cassette to buy!

A shot in the video shows someone displaying
the inside sleeve of Maintain's cassette
Luckily for me, I was schooling in OAU, Ife and would occasionally branch Ibadan to see friends or check on a girl I was still toasting. Since Maintain's base was Ibadan (as I discovered from the lyrics and a friend), I decided to scout for the tape and I got it. I was so elated and treasured it and never borrowed it out.

If the song was funny, the video was hilarious. But it wasn't just the funny aspect that the video reveals when I re-watched it. 

Tolu, Big Bamo & Olu all looking skinny in oversized suits

First I was able to see what Olu and Tolu (Maintain) and Big Bamo (their producer) looked like in those days; you could see their lean faces and how their skinny frames in the over-sized suits. I think it was still an era when big shoulder pads where prominent in suits. Its also evident that the habit of Naija artistes wearing sunshades not to be too obvious had started too.

Scenes like this made one realise that some of the video
was shot in someone's living room.
Secondly, the video showed what it was like to shoot a music video back then; the camera used was probably a crude camcorder; the lighting was very poor as we can hardly see the faces of the duo and Big Bamo. They probably shot with no lighting and did it in someone's house order than a studio.

The absence of GSM was very obvious
Thirdly, it was obvious that this video was shot at a period when GSM had not kicked off in Nigeria. This is evident in the scenes where the guy in the video had to make a call to his girlfriend via a payphone. The girl in return answered through an analogue phone.

The video vixen hidden in plain sight behind sunshades and a hat
....even though she didn't have to dance.
Fourthly, the video vixen of that time (the main guy's girlfriend) wore decent clothes, sunshades and a hat....it seemed it was in bid to hide her true identity unlike the vixens of today. The video's greyscaled effect which gave it the black and white (or is it grey and white?) feel, further helped to hide her face the more. Its a contrast to today's video vixens who bare it all.

Sorry about the video quality...that's the best available online.

Probably Maintain was not sure if the music and video would be successful and in order not to be shamed tried not to be facially obvious in the video. They never knew it would blow them into fame in schools. I guess that's why subsequent videos featured them without sunshades and video vixens that were more open.

The song was a creative work of genius...sadly we don't have much of this type of music or videos anymore. Those who were closest to creating funny videos like this today would be Sound Sultan with 'Natural Something'(I need to review that video!) , Wizkid  with 'Pakurumo' and Kcee with 'Pull Over'. 

I wish Maintain could come back together and do another set of funny songs and videos. Today's videos are way too serious and dirty. After they split, it just became only Olu Maintain doing serious stuff...all the funny aspect has dried up like harmattan.

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