I love music. I love conscious and inspirational pieces of melodic works. They minister to my soul with their value-based contents and yet cause me to decently move my body.
Melody alone does not do it for me. It is my opinion that melody without value is a vice. I am interested in the ‘content of the character’ of the entertainer, then contents of his/her works and lastly, melody.
It is no longer news that the musical products of the Nigerian entertainment industry have continued to take the world by the storm, particularly in recent times, clinching Grammy nominations and awards, finding their ways to global competitions like the World Cup, topping international charts, gracing major international movies with top-notch sound tracts, featured in blockbusting documentaries on world leading entertainment steaming platforms.
Of course, these humongous feats have both moral(social), economic, and political impact on the continent and its peoples.
The impact in this regard could be the subject matter of legions of dissertations in leading institutions of learning across the globe. To attempt to articulate that in short piece will not only amount a disservice to the subject matter but also an intellectual arrogance. It will also mean a major distraction to my mission here today.
It is my well-considered opinion that for musical works to make sense and command commercial value in the world today, it must not make sense. In Africa, like religion, music has become an opium of the people. Value-based entertainment has been flung out of the windows of our social and moral edifices.
Yet, adults, as free moral agents may be free to determine the direction in which to pitch the tents of their pleasure and morality, but should they drag their precious children (anyone below 18) and their absorbent minds along?
Why are entertainment contents mandated by law and culture to be curated according to the age appropriateness code across the globe brought to our precious children by their caregivers without an iota of regard to their age and what is appropriate for them? How many of these globally hit songs were created for children? If they are not created for children, why do we expose our precious children to listening, miming and dancing to them in the homes, schools, programs and parties organized for them? Why do we film and share with the world their erotic wriggling of their little bodies to direct and suggestive lewd contents of hit songs? Why do parents establish YouTube and other platforms for their children to sing the covers of music that are not age appropriate for them?
Morality is one thing, appropriateness is another. While many may take me up on the subjectivity of the morality of the matter, I bet if anyone can challenge me on the objectivity of age appropriateness in the consumption of entertainment contents.
What we are yet to come to terms with is that exposure of children to musical contents with direct and suggestive sexual contents amounts to Child Sexual Abuse. Child Sexual Abuse? In want Sense? Exposure of children to age-inappropriate contents, riddled with sexual contents (direct or suggestive) is an attack on their sexuality with damaging impact on their perception of their sexuality. In our work, Every Part of My Body is Private to Me®, available here, https://amzn.to/3AKHx2I as the 10th edition of our comic sheds a lot of light on this postulation. Our comic is also our bold statement in providing alternative positive entertainment for our precious children, particularly of African descent
The cost of watching or making our precious children actively consume, internalized, mime and dance to age-inappropriate musical contents is colossally negative. They and us may never recover from it in a lifetime.
I hope wise counsel will prevail to hurt this avoidable craze of not being able to draw the line between what is pleasurable and appropriate for our precious children. It has become so normalized that it seems no private and public social and political institutions are left in converting our precious children into the poster symbols of age inappropriate entertainment contents.
I think I should rest my case for now.
Do have an INSPIRED week ahead.
I am ONIWASU Taiwo AKINLAMI