The social media makes the world go round. All one needed was a modem and all the world could be brought to your doorstep. And “suddenly” a musical video done by Folarin Falana went global. Folarin Falana, whose musical trade name is Falz, is the son of the Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana. It was reputed that Diddy, an American superstar, had the video on his social media wall, and the rest is news. Diddy, whose real name is Sean Combs, is as big as musical moguls go. So, all the world came watching Falz. And we did.
Our comments are that Falz’s video is essentially a new youth thing. The Nigerian youths are coming. And they are coming very angry. They are not coming to agree with their fathers and uncles. And like in an irony of sorts, it is a privileged youth that is here leading the charge. Falz is bitter, perhaps on behalf of the large youth bulge. Their grudge is that all their fathers and uncles are bequeathing them is a country in a dysfunctional and rotting state. A shithole country.
And we think the youth’s anger is justified. Apparently there are no reasons Nigeria should be this down and out. But are there not? Well, this brings us to the ancient beef we are having with the kids of the Nigerian rich. And it is the incidence and consequences of Nigerian entertainment scene being dominated by rich kids and “expatriated” or tokunbo youths. These are kids who were trained by their fathers oftentimes abroad at considerable costs. And often these rich kids are trained in “more serious” professions. However, some ‘miraculously’ return home or rebel out, and begin with entertainment, their so-called passion. Issue is, why are we not having the new youths soaked in passion for mathematics, for history, for philology and the other primary or better primacy sciences?
Falz, for instance, is the son of the prominent millionaire lawyer, SAN, and champagne socialist, Femi Falana. And he is complemented by names like Davido and Ms Cuppy Otedola, son and daughter of billionaires. We have explored the implications of this in our book: ECONOMISTS AS ASSASSINS THE
Well, the essential gist is that while there may be nothing wrong with rich kids doing entertainment, in the Nigerian context, there is. Some of the details are as follows. For reasons that are not clear, Nigerians have not been doing well in the sciences, of mathematics, physics, etc. Simply put, we don’t have the mathematical or physics or philology equivalents of Soyinka or Achebe or Adichie. And if we are to do, it appears it must be the children of the rich who may have to lead the charge. First, they are or need not be under any financial pressures. And they could for the sake of the black man get about doing what other kids do in Europe. That is, being young rich and geniuses in the sciences as well as the arts and the entertainment. More so, it is the sciences that helped above all to build us the world as we know it today. So, if we don’t play in the sciences, who will play it for us? The oyinbo man, our colonisers?
After having said the above, I think the video is “cool,” as the youths say. But I was out listening to one of my favourite TV programmes, “It is your view let it count.” And the co-hosts were all commenting. The lead host was quoting a northerner over the northerner’s comments on the Falz video. And a co-host was of the opinion that the act of the video having depicting female dancers in hijab is a dig on Islam and the North.
We beg to disagree. First Islam is not a northern thing. Yoruba and some history professors among them assert that the Yoruba had Islam independently, before many northern regions. So, in context, Falz is Yoruba and Islam is a part of his reality. He is not denigrating northerners and their religion. And he is not denigrating his own reality or heritage. Yoruba, glory be to God, is a religiously plural and tolerant nation. And the fact of this, lest we forget, is more useful to the nation than oil, crude oil.
The claim that wearing hijab is of itself evidence of an Islamic woman in her modesty is not exactly it.
First donning hijab is ritual behaviour. The fact of donning hijab does not make one a moralist. And records show that Muslim women themselves have “abused” the hijab. It has been widely reported for instance that, in Abuja, there are red light district hijab-compliant [hijab-wearing] prostitutes. They are dressed in compliance with their religion and religious rituals, but act like moral rogues. And that it happens in Abuja, a relatively modern city, is to suggest that it was “exported” from older Islamic centres like Kano and Maiduguri. And if you went downtown Mushin, you would spot hijab-donning girls who carry pregnancies, or are bearing babies, unmarried. That much is fact.
And the abuse of ritual behaviour is not Islamic. It is human, all too human. For instance, Nigerian policemen and women don their uniform, demand and collect egunje. That is a desecration of the hood. And [Christian] nuns are in their numbers living things up in ways saints would be embarrassed. In fact, one of history’s justly famous great books is the Italian Boccaccio. The book is a satire on abuse of rites and rituals of Catholicism, nuns and all, etc.
So, one interpretation of the video on the lines of the hijab is that Falz was showcasing the hypocrisy of the human nature. And the fact of our being hypocritical as human beings is as ancient as Rome and as modern as Nigerian police collecting bribes.
Finally, the NBC or the broadcast police bodies should not get into unnecessary things. First, being Islamic is not being northern Nigerian. Two, taking a dig on a religion as practiced is not “hate speech.” Ahiazuwa.
Saraki goes to new haven
Dr. Bola Saraki is Nigeria’s Senate President. Saraki should by now be regretting the day he left President Goodluck Jonathan to support Buhari. Buhari’s government or its agencies are now Saraki’s nemesis.
As we write, things have turned full circle. Saraki is hunted like a common criminal by those he helped bring to power. Saraki is being humiliated by those he chose to ally with.
So, what went so wrong that the Nigeria Police would be inviting Saraki on a bank robbery investigation drama? Has the world gone so low for a sitting Senate President that he could turn up an accessory to petty thieving? Only in Nigeria.
There is something about wars, politics is war by other means, that many Nigerian players seem to be ignorant of. Of wars, you don’t just join a coalition to defeat the given enemy, to win the war. In war, you fight to first ensure that you will be in the coalition that wins the peace. So, like Ronald Reagan said, “trust but verify.” If you cannot verify your capacity to be in one of the drivers’ seats of the winning coalition, don’t join them. Scuttle their destiny and save your skin. Politics is the survival of the wiliest.
Awolowo sometimes recorded as a sage his own people suffered this strategic “wardrobe malfunction.”
Awolowo, dragging in his Yoruba people, joined Gowon to win the Biafra-Nigeria civil war. And after the war he was sacked and dismissed from greatness by the very Gowon and faction he served as a minion. For example, Gowon instituted a special spy squad against Awolowo. Gowon, Opadokun once confessed, was instituting a secret squad to monitor, “catch and trap” Awolowo. Yet, Awolowo was allegedly Gowon’s “trusted” second-in-command. The details of how it happened has been documented in our book: HOW THE YORUBA FOUGHT AND LOST THE BIAFRA-NIGERIA CIVIL WAR.
And Saraki alas is about the same Awolowo like errors. Bon voyage, Saraki. May your journey take you to higher new havens. (https://www.premiumtimesng.com/…/270880-exclusive-igp-idris…)
One final word. Those who are bent on humiliating Saraki should bear in mind that Saraki is both a man and a symbol. Saraki, as head of the legislature, is a symbol of that arm of governance and thus one of the key symbols of our democracy.
What to do? If you asked us, we did suggest as follows. The police should get about doing its investigations without the drama of inviting Saraki. They should outside the radars investigate and probe his involvement, if any. If the evidence and his responses so warrant, the police may then hit the road. At that point, if they dragged Saraki through the mud and mire of humiliation, we did hail them.
Civilisation demands that the image and respectability of certain offices be respected. The Senate Presidency is one of those. So also are the Presidency and even being the Inspector-General of Police.
QUOTE: Politics is the survival of the wiliest.