Feature- Making Sense out of JAGBAJANTIS: Echoes of Lanre Fasasi (aka Sound Sultan)


By Ademolu Oluwaseun Adenuga

Jagbajantis is a slang for waste, rubbish and condemnable contents which have almost no meaningful usefulness for people.


Sound Sultan rose as a meta-philosopher to import mathematical models in explaining the concept of Jagbajantis and the cancerous social structures of Nigeria in year 2000.

In the song titled MATHEMATICS, he gave himself the cognomen “Jagbajantis” to personify the ineptitude of the government and the carefree citizens of the country whose corrupt and lugubrious lifestyles have plunged Nigerians into a state of comatose.

Sound Sultan linked the panacea of the common and unpronounced social problems of the new millennium to a mathematical model in use across decades through the colonial masters.

BODMAS which stood for Bracket, Off, Division, Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction was reviewed by Sound Sultan to suit into the rhythmical content of Jagbajantis.

B stood for Brotherhood but was stretched by Lanre Fasasi to connote loving your neighbour as yourself. He went further to use O tan ooo (when translated means “that’s all”).

O represented objectivity which implies that gentlemen and ladies be objective in their dealings in their daily endeavours.

D implied Democracy. He stressed that no matter how bad a democracy is, it is far better than military government. This showed his acceptance and support for democratic system of government.

Modification was Sound Sultan’s M. He posited that every Nigerian turn to God to change our behaviour (towards humanity, environment and God) with the mindset that this will help to make the world a safe habitat for everyone.

A stood for Accountability. He used this to caution everyone against greed and self aggradisement. Bearing in mind that if everyone wears the toga of greed, poverty will be chiefly enthroned from generation to generation.

For Lanre Fasasi’s BODMAS, S stands for solidarity. This was important because of the looming crises enveloped in the suspicious gaze every group (ethnic, religious, occupational, political parties, etc) stare at one another. The division line to break bonds remain so ripe and rife that the seed of destruction is germinating among Nigerians.

He bemoaned the high impact of brain drain, poverty, oppression, police brutality, systemic inequality and proved that if his BODMAS was adopted, the melange of crises in the country today wouldn’t be birthed.

Sound Sultan saw the current problems 21 years ago while he was 24 years old. What are the youth seeing today?

What are Nigerian youths singing about?

Sound Sultan utilised his little leadership platform to correct notions and breed positivists and optimists. He saw way forward when he was living in a dark world of retrogression.

What are you seeing?

Ademolu Oluwaseun Adenuga is a Sociologist of Music. He lectures at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State. He can be reached via- adenugaademolu@gmail.com




  1. I am surprised on how the author conceived writing from the meanings of the song, however, I am relaxed that their biography reads sociologist of music 🎶. This is a beautiful, meaningful and impactful read


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