Burna Boy’s Failed Promises (Another Story)
During the last xenophobic attacks in South Africa, targeting Nigerians and other Africans, Burna Boy was among the few artists who took a stand against the menace, calling out a colleague in the industry, AKA and showing his unflinching love for his country, Nigeria.
Burna, who is one of the few Nigerian musicians who make ‘conscious and life hack’ music, put his money on the line and swore never to visit South Africa until xenophobia is quashed. Well, let’s say his patriotism was just getting started.
Another Story by Burna Boy is currently top trending on Youtube due to its apt depiction of the Nigerian society and situation. “Since 1960, them don dae tell us story,” comes in handy, as the country’s politicians have likely taken her people on a fool’s ride.
“I will build roads and you will have 24 hours of power,” the politicians would say over a cheering crowd of their supporters. Presently, Nigeria’s road network is at its purportedly lowest quality and insecurity is forcing people to form long queues in train stations, rather than following the Abuja-Kaduna expressway which connects 5 Northern Nigerian States.
Burna Boy released the song on the 59th anniversary of Nigeria as a way to raise awareness about the behaviours of the country’s leaders and politicians. He hence did not spare any political party, including the ruling and opposition parties.
Badman Tej’s Struggles of the Nigerian Youth
Badman Tej, a Nigerian visual storyteller came in clutch, with dark pictures depicting the struggles of the Nigerian youth with police brutality, violence and unemployment.
Over the past few weeks, Nigeria and International media have extensively covered a Nigeria Software Developer who was harassed and extorted by Nigeria’s Special Anti Robbery Squad.
In his story, they beat him, threatened to kill him and made him withdraw all his money, bring it back before regaining his freedom. This sparked outrage and have since then formed one of the benchmarks for Burna Boy’s Another Story and Badman Tej’s photoseries.
Unemployment? It was duly represented as the subject of the picture is seen in his formal and professional clothing, suggesting that his source of anger and concession to the cold hands of suicide may not be far away from the frustrating throbs of unemployment.
Badman Tej takes into consideration, a whole lot of details, with a raggedy house, fitted with an air conditioner. This points to Nigeria’s sorry state. Indeed, if Nigeria were to be a single house, it would picture a dilapidated bungalow standing on just two of its pillars, oil revenue and diaspora remittance, with a room having an air conditioner, signifying the elites, and other rooms leaking and gorry.
Badman Tej did not spare any details in showing the angst of the subject as he hangs himself with a piece of clothing likely to be the Nigerian flag. With his well-ironed trouser, you could see that the problem of unemployment may not have come from his deficiencies, but from the failure of the system to protect him financially. It is like that across genders.
Perliks’ Suffering and Smiling
Perliks Pictures, a Nigerian visual storyteller tells a story of hope and resilience in this shoot, as Nigerians of all gender are depicted laying on plastic trash and most importantly, smiling.
This has likely been the problem with Nigerians because it seems no harsh condition is able to take them to the streets.
With his dark green trousers and the little kid’s light green underwear, this picture underpins patriotism in the face of difficulties. Nigeria as a nation has not done much for the young ones of this country but then that ‘spirit of naija’ has never faltered.
Nigerians may not be the happiest in the world, but they are very elastic and resilient. Half of what has happened in Nigeria has sparked revolutions in other climes. However, Nigerians of every age bracket lay on trash, suffering and smiling. More than anything, Perliks paints a picture of hope that one day, e go beta.
Talkabout’s E Go Beta
Talkabout also did a video where the many pain points of the country featured, while saliently calling out all of the country’s past and present leaders. This video which has since gone viral seeks to sew a seed of hope in the face of calumny and suffering.
Insecurity and poverty get arguably the highest mentions on a day Nigeria celebrates its 59th anniversary. But one thing may be clearer than the rest, and that is, that no matter the frustrations Nigerians face, they may never take to the streets, just like Sudan or Algeria or Tunisia.
Nigerians have perfected the life of the clown, who cries continually behind the garbs. While such scenarios do not give for warning signs, implosions often happen once and for all, just like most of the cheerful people in the past, who may have taken their own lives.
If anything, the man in Badman Tej’s photo-series may also mean Nigeria, when the cup is full and implosion, suicide and death is all that is left to be had.