Suffering and smiling.
The last couple of months, has seen an international focus on the music, works and Literary genius of Fela Anikulapo kuti. From Broadway plays, to articles in the New york times and USA today, the Nigerian afrobeat legend, and social crusader’s music and message, seems to be resonating years after his death.
Many may have different views on Fela as an individual, but i want to separate the man Fela from his music, as i try to show how significant the message behind his music was and still is. Fela’s music was a revolution against social injustice and government corruption. He knew he had an obligation as a Nigerian to speak up against societal ills, and he did it with defiance. He spoke with genuine disgust at the government. Years on, our government is worse off. And the voices who dare speak up, have dwindled significantly.
Suffering and smiling,( one of my favorite Fela songs) is an amazing track, and that’s exactly what is going on in Nigeria today. People are suffering, yet they smile and hope that things will get better. Well, here is the honest truth, things wont get better, in fact they will get worse if we do not change the direction of our dear country.
We as a people do not know the power we have to reject and change what we do not want. It’s either that ,or there are too many uneducated people who have no appreciation of the way society functions. We have been brainwashed to think that power rests with a few strong and influential people, instead of believing it rests with the people. We even sympathize with government looters, with the familiar line of ” atleast e do something when e dey there, make e chop now”. Really? our thought process has to be totally rewired. I don’t know if Nigeria can be saved at this point, but i will do my part in trying to change our thought process.
Mid term elections are coming up in the US, and every politician is trying to be on their best behavior. WHY? because they know the people have the power to vote them out of office. The VOTE is a powerful tool in a society that functions.
But we Nigerians just seem content. Content with mediocrity. In the age of massive technological advancement, we still struggle with the most basic essentials. We don’t have constant power or water. And yet we are an extremely wealthy nation by any standard. Times are hard, and prayers and hope just wont cut it anymore. Things must change drastically.
I recommend a great book, that might help us understand, and appreciate the depth of our decay as a nation. Its called capitalist Nigger by Chika Onyeani. Maybe, just maybe we might still have a chance of salvaging Nigeria.