What We can Learn from Sister Deborah’s “Uncle Obama” Video

Over the last week or so, the music video of “Uncle Obama” with Sister Deborah has been moving round the social media sites like wildfire here in Ghana. Already from the title of the song, we can hear that it’s beckons attention and after just a few seconds of watching, we realize what kind of attention that is…( if you haven’t seen it,  and hence do not know what I am getting at, the next line goes “I like the size of your banana”…).

Everybody has an opinion about this song, some say it is cheeky or catchy, others say  it is controversial or that Sister Deborah should act instead of sing! I have also heard comments along the line of that artists with resources should have a message instead of just joking around.

Regardless of what you think of the song, I believe there are several things we can learn from this video.

  1.  It does not matter if the content is silly, if the video is of high quality, people will watch. Today the video has more than 235 000 views on YouTube!
  2.  We all love cameos. In this video, Wanlov, M3nsa and Mutombo (and some employees of a well known multinational, I have heard thru the grapevine) add to the flair.
  3.  If you are a skilled social media user, you can create a hype in days.

All of this could come together to create and promote many more Ghanaian music videos that actually gets watched world wide with very little effort. Another example of the same “silly song” phenomenon is the Korean Gagnam Style music video that I also cannot get out of my head… Again a premium production of a very silly song… The other day, a friend was saying how the local Ghanaian Azonto craze never really caught on in other parts of the world,but what if someone would do a high quality video, throw in some cameos and start hitting the social media sites. I have seen on Twitter that all messages mentioning the “Uncle Obama” song are retweeted or responded to, for instance. That goes a long way for creating a hype.

Finally, we can learn that people like silly dances they can copy, but maybe Sister Deborah went just too far there. I am yet to see someone copying her “size of your banana”-move. Or have I just been spending  too much time in the office?


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  1. Ha! Can you believe it took me until this post to actually watch the video even though I had heard sooooooo much about the song and video. I even got contacted a while ago about a friend who was going to interview Deborah and wanted to know my thoughts on the video – of course I had none since I hadn’t watched it…

    In any case I love the focus you took on the blog highlighting the key lessons learnt. Really useful for anyone who wants to make a video go viral