Nigeria: Why Celebrities Should Follow Fela's Footsteps

Fela Kuti.
21 May 2019
opinion

Entertainment is now the new crude in town as the trend among Nigerian youths wanting to be the next Wizkid, Davido, 2baba or Tiwa Savage and the rest of them. They can't get enough of the fantasies of being young, famous and successful, like living luxurious as flaunted by these artistes.

The youths listen to them and follow them religiously on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms. It is amazing that in this era, an individual can have a community of followers numbering millions, who adore them and long to live their type of lifestyle. So, it now depends on what type of impact these celebrities are willing to make, especially in the area of curbing crimes and ensuring sanity in the society.

It is a fast pace world, and in this jet age, for even secondary school students, "patience" is boring. At 17 years old, boys are desperate of making money! Thus, the now common phrase: "If I no make money wetin I gain?" The other goes thus: "If you no get money hide your face".

Nigerians, indeed, miss the days when legendary Afrobeat musician, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, explored the power of music, to champion the cause of societal justice, campaigning against corruption, crime and violation of human rights. He used the medium to achieve remarkable impacts that have remained relevant till date.

The trend of late, in which Nigerian musicians, through their music promote the urge for the quest to make quick money, is very worrisome. Such artistes should realize the power in music as a tool to achieve societal change.

Entertainment is a medium where people exhibit talent, and express the beauty of arts in various forms, for the progress of the society. Nigerians are always either listening to music, watching TV programmes, discussing superstars and artistes, or directly involved in entertainment.

Celebrities like Falz, MI, Simi, Ruggedman, Soundsultan, and Banky W have in recent times risen to the challenge and they need to be commended and emulated. They are among a few celebrities who have used music to campaign against the increasing tide of online fraud among youths.

The most recent is the video by Simi that went viral on the internet, in which she spoke about the ills cybercrime has caused us as a nation. She charged perpetrators to desist. The video generated mixed feelings among listeners, with some taking sides with the perpetrators of internet fraud, some bitterly discrediting it. There were, however, those who valued the import of what she did. The whole sphere of social media took a new buzz to another level with the arrest of street sensation Naira Marley by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC. This has passed a significant message to Nigerian youths that cybercrime should not be glorified.

We need more celebrities to rise up and use music to fight against the menace of internet fraud among youths. They need to inculcate the message in their music, as this will undoubtedly ensure that the message sinks in to their subconscious minds.

Nigerian celebrities need to acknowledge that their music is powerful and it can achieve the change that we need in Nigeria. They need to continuously put out conscious materials and messages to encourage the youths to embrace hard work as the necessary path to wealth. This will go a long way in shaping their minds towards the right paths.

Special shout-out, though, to those Nigerian youths grinding hard to put their hustle on the map.

Sani Emmanuel,emmyrhymes10@gmail.com

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