Many times, the disagreements and fights that find their way to the streets of social media are a result of this clash in values. A party reasons a certain way and tries to foist their conviction on others. There’s never going to peace when this happens.
My individualistic leaning also meant I was hardly swayed by friends. Peer pressure was a myth to me even though I saw others struggle with it, and often, I would joke that if there was anyone who would do the pressuring, it would be me.
The reaction to Tope Alabi’s gaffe confirmed my belief yet again that to presume one has loyal friends in the virtual community is by far one of the most naive notions one can possess. People wear a different cloak where they are not physically present, so the genial Janet you converse with at the social club morphs into a savage ogre once she logs into her Instagram account.
But then again, it has become a pattern for our leaders to not weigh the implications before embarking on a course of action. The flirting with bandits and terrorists; offering them the sort of a care package a top executive would envy. The skewed appointments and nepotism, ditching federal character in the mud and leaving qualified persons from other tribes wondering if they are a part of “One Nigeria.” And the neglect of urgent matters such as insecurity and poor health care to dwell on less important ones such as a deleted tweet.
In a society that is obsessed with celebrities, fandom and sharing information no matter how confidential it is, fame and privacy are parallel lines; they do not meet.
I have since learnt not to expect anything impressive from the current government, and it’s not because I am an incurable pessimist. Save for the initial body language that had many of us fooled, the prognosis has never looked good. One only needs to monitor the trend of events to come to terms with reality, but even I was shocked that the death of the very top dog of the Nigerian army, and in such heart-rending circumstances, wasn’t enough to extract a personal showing from his employer.
There are not many things as scary as being one of the vulnerable groups in this part of the world. And by vulnerable, I refer to categories of humans such as children, women, the poor, the old, the orphaned, and even single folks. As a member of any of these groups, you are reminded that you are only a hair’s breadth away from abuse at any given time. Unfortunately, when we think of violence, we are inclined to narrow it down to a man brutalising a woman, we rarely think of it along the lines of the many other people who are prone to this threat to life.
One of the interesting things in life is how two people can be so close, share interests and have great conversations, yet view issues from divergent prisms. A person’s thought pattern influences their outlook on life. It’s what makes them kowtow to popular opinion or hold a different view from the majority. I find that irrespective of the situation a person finds themselves in, their perception dictates their disposition to it.
The viral song “Egungun be careful na express you dey go” evokes laughter many years after its release by maverick Fuji music artiste, Abass Akande Obesere. Its follow up lyrics, “…motor go jam you” is a warning cloaked in humour amid the energetic dancing that accompanies the song. To the more discerning audience, the advice embedded in the musical expression is not lost. In fact, it could pass for a proverb: one that can be employed by a parent to admonish a recalcitrant child or a teacher to a student towing the wrong path.
She’s received heavy criticism for her less-than-encouraging words to auditioners who showed up for the Nigerian Idol music reality TV show. For someone who’s far more experienced and must have had her fair share of struggles on her journey to stardom, folks figured she should have been more empathetic towards the idol-hopefuls trying to achieve the same dream.