In my previous piece, published under my Weekly Column, Vital Obiter; The Diary of a Roving Public Lawyer and titled, ‘TO NAIRA MARLEY, A WORD OF GRATITUDE,’ I postulated that Naira Marley was a reavealer. He is neither an originator nor an inventor. I revealed some of the characteristics of a revealer and promised to bring closure to this conversation today.
Today sober on my knees on the Lord’s Day, I continue in reavealing the characteristics of a reavealer.
A revealer may look like a leader of a movement or may even be attributed to have started a movement. But it is not so. A revealer does not have the genius of exceptional or devious human beings, who have led good or evil movements since the world began.
To lead a movement you must exemplify and articulate an ideology.
An ideology simply put is ‘a science of ideas’ or ‘system of ideas and ideals…’ What is an ideal? An ideal is ‘a person or thing regarded as perfect.’ The dictionary goes further to help by defining ideal to also mean ‘a standard or principle to be aimed at…’ The science and system of a thing, good or evil are not cheap to invent…’
It is the ideology of a movement that determines the lifestyle of its adherents. Again, the more you are entrenched in an ideology, the more it defines your existence and dictates your lifestyle…’
From Adolf Hitler to Joseph Stelin; L. Ron Hubbard to Jim Jones; from Adams Smith to Karl Marx; John Vincent Atanasoff to Steve Job or Elon Musk; Osama bin Laden to Qasem Soleimani; David Ben-Gurion to Benjamin Nethayahu; Alfred Nobel to Elie Wiesel; Haile Selassie to Robert Nesta Marley; Franz Fanon to Chancellor Williams; Saul Msane to Nelson Mandela; Rosa Parks to Martin Luther king Jr, Sheik Ahmed Yassin to Khaled Mashal, Haydée Mercedes Sosa to Mariam Makeba, you will see defined and strong ideology in the quest of these historic and unforgettable figures to lead political, economic and social movements, which have had and continued to have positive and negative impact in our world today. Their ideology preceded their lifestyle and that of their followers.
The deeper the ideology the stricter the lifestyle, good or bad and the more lethal the impact…
Another thing about a movement is that if it has an ideology, it must have a base. The base is the hardcore and diehard faithfuls of a movement. They form the strength of the movement. They often are ready to sacrifice even their lives, not to talk of their resources for the movement. Following International new, particularly the American politics and the advent of Trumpism, there is this common saying that President Donald Trump speaks to his base.
I think is an insult on the characteristics of a movement(good or bad) to define and dread what is known as the ‘Marlian’ as one. In view of the foregoing analysis, please let me say very clearly, there is no such thing as the ‘Marlian’ or whatever the popular media choose to sensationalise as one.
The people, who you call Marlian, particularly young people are not bound by any known and defined ideology. They are bound by the confusion and crisis of identity powered by our porous and nebulous values system.
The people, you erroneously refer to as Marlian today are mostly young people in search of identity and they are in two categories: the rich and the poor.
Both suffer from what I call ‘Reality Deficiency Syndrome'(RDS). The lead symptom of RDS is to lack the capacity to process the information one receives through the eye of a defined value system, weight one’s options and the consequences thereof.
It is important to note that the capacity to receive and process information through the eye of a defined value system, weigh one’s options and the consequences thereof must be deliberately inculcated in our precious children by their primary and secondary caregivers.
A people, whose lives are not predicated on any universal principle of human existence cannot teach their children to live according to same. Those who live for nothing cannot lead their children to leave for something.
For the poor, the situation is worse. The children of the poor, suffer from double poverty, the poverty of identity and the poverty of means. Their esteem is diminished by their dehumanizing experiences, characteristic of the absence of Social Protection. They are not only disgruntled but they are difiant because there is nothing to live for and they have not feeling for the nation and its inhabitants.
If they do not take to crime like the notious 1 Million Boys in Lagos State, who are reputed to rob in large groups, they are already on the streets, addicted to substances and sold to other vices, well before Naira Marley came on the scene.
It is people like the foregoing and some misguided adults that have found a delightful opium in Naira Marley’s temporary reign defined by his shallow and morally bankrupt music.
Why did I say, temporary reign? Because shallowness does not what it takes to sustain itself. We have seen the likes of Naira Marley come and gone and I can begin to list them for you.
Let me begin to conclude that as society DESERVES the YOUTH it gets. It is a full proof of its INVESTMENT or DISINVESTMENT in SOCIAL PROTECTION and FAMILY STRENGTHENING.
There are four institutions saddled with the responsibilities of raising children. They are all disabled and comatose in Africa.
The people who serve this opium, I refer to above to our precious children are uninformed primary and secondary caregivers, misguided and so-called celebrities, corporate organisations, for their selfish business interests, the state, who have neglected to provide social protection and will not do their work of censorship of the entertainment contents young people are exposed to and lastly those who maintain silence and neutrality.
The challenge today are men, women and institutions who cannot take definite positions and declare where they stand in the time of moral crisis and take the heat and the fall for what they stand for.
Peterside Otong sang, ‘where are the prophet?’ Today, I ask where are the prophets POSITIVE MORAL VALUE/SYSTEM and SOCIAL PROTECTION, predicted on the absolutism of the TRUTH.
Dante Alighieri in his poem, “The Divine Comedy,” submitted, ‘the hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.’
The other day I was listening to my favourite Radio Station and it was a song request show. I caller had requested for Naira Marley’s song and politely the presented responded, ‘as a matter of policy, we don’t play Naira Marley’s songs.’
I believe the position of the radio station is breaking the moral cycle of neutrality in the time of moral crisis. But how many media outfit will take that kind of unpopular position and risk the commercial and economic consequences?
How many religious places of worship will take time to dissect this issue of the morally bankrupt entertainment contents, dispassionately and ideologically, providing direction for the people, who follow them to know the truth of the matter.
As the proponents and protagonists of morally bankrupt entertainment contents are on the forefront of their dirty game and are never ashmed, will the proponents and protagonists of clean entertainment predicted on POSITIVE MORAL VALUE/SYSTEM stop making their opinion a matter of private consumption?
At times like these when postmodernism, riding on the crestwave of populism is upon us and the world, 20 years into the 21st Century is walking on its head, when shall the noble remnants, who represent the truth initiate a conversation instead of responding/reacting after the deed has been done?
According to Jim Rohn, ‘evil is not a march for good but good must be active.’
As I remain sober on my knees on this LORD’S DAY, I ask, when shall GOOD be ACTIVE?
What you call Marlian is a shadow, the substance is our porous value system. I think we should stop chasing shadows, roll up our sleeves and begin to design meaningful interventions that will inculcate POSITIVE VALUE SYSTEM in our precious children and lead a POSITIVE CONTENTS REVOLUTION.
I am Taiwo AKINLAMI and I remain Sober on My Knees in this LORD’s day, doing SOCIAL PROTECTION ADVOCACY.