Monday, February 18, 2008
By Ohimai Godwin Amaize
We have a great continent besieged with great problems. It is disturbing that
I intend to attempt a brief, albeit seemingly digressive nosedive into the collateral manifestations of this growing media disproportion in African societies. The entertainment industry is no doubt a very profitable venture. So much progress has come to
It is shameful that the media in
Let me now focus on the situation at the home front. Here again in
The media launch announcing the awards in
My problem with this N1 million per dinner seat should not be misconstrued as an attempt to undermine the idea of the Kora Awards or efforts by the organizers to showcase a world-class event. I am particular about the extraneous trappings of their fund-raising strategy. It is true a lot of money is required to stage an event as the Kora Awards. But there is room for corporate sponsorships and philanthropy. Even the Grammy Awards which is approaching its 50th anniversary depends on corporate sponsorships, and has established the Grammy Foundation since 1989 in its attempt to develop a give-back mechanism to the American society. For whatever it is worth, the Kora Award launch has succeeded in portraying Africans again as bad imitators of foreign concepts. This is happening in
Indeed, not a few Nigerians can afford the luxury of a dinner seat for N1 million. We had seen even more ostentatious display of ill-gotten wealth before the EFCC anti-graft guillotine started taking its toll. But what do we expect from a country with a sickly tax-paying system? Let’s not even talk about Aso Rock where eye glasses and daily refreshments enjoy an obese budget of N1.5 million and N2.3 million respectively!
Indeed, these are trying times. Apparently, yet paradoxically, these are times when the past presents more hope than the future. For some, it is perceived there is no future at all. The pathway to a new dawn has become a rocky terrain of recurring mirage. The gates have been closed with a hopeless bang, leaving echoes of failure and disappointment. These are times when hopes are continually raised and dashed on the rocks of deceitfulness. And whereas, the unfolding spectacle is a quintessential theatre of the absurd, it is amazing to see how much we continue to nurture an affinity for rot and a fancy for dust. But how did we degenerate so fast? When did we relapse into an awfully dysfunctional state whose landmarks are replete with colonial micro-nationalism, social insecurity, comatose institutions, intellectual peonage, value collapse, a national assembly unable to defrock itself from the garb of crookedness and the spiteful penchant of public officers for public stealing?
One of the biggest challenges confronting the Nigerian state today is the issue of corruption. World over, corruption has become an issue of great concern. While some consider it the bane of constructive efforts towards the building of a virile society, it is for others a necessary tool for accessing and securing personal fortunes. Sadly enough, the Nigerian experience is a careless harbinger of deferred dreams. Efforts geared towards the advance of project
According to the FNI, the aim of the summit was to bring together youths to deliberate on issues of corruption, integrity, accountability and the crisis of the Niger-Delta. I was one of the youths who attended the summit. At the end of the summit, it became clearer that the task of ridding our nation of the scourge of corruption was more Herculean than often imagined. A novel and imaginative way of problematising this in relation to the idea of building the
Indeed, the media, it is that safeguards the truths and moral values of society. As the Fourth Estate, as well as guard dog and conscience of society, it is a formidable force and potent tool in nation building. In consequence, its responsibility to society must not be compromised in a way that produces misrepresentations to young persons who are for the most part, observers of its social portraits. Hence the need for the media to embrace a paradigm shift and strive to continually portray cultural processes, whether African or Western, from a standpoint that provides sufficient subtext of the informing essence and context. The reality of our socio-cultural experience must not be allowed to disappear under the red light of reality TVs. Our soap operas must be strategic enough to cleanse the dirt which has permeated the fabric of society. Concerted efforts by the media to empower our youths must be prioritized over musical concerts and parties which only encourage materialism and bad role-modeling. Why do we preach patriotism to the fatherland when the media has forgotten that Taiwo Akinkunmi, the man who designed the Nigerian flag is still alive and has become a sickly beggar in the streets of
Permit me this; I am not advocating an anti-showbiz Nigerian media. I still enjoy good music, movies and soaps, whether Nigerian or foreign. But the prevailing truth is that the media must get its priorities right. What
While media responsibility to society cannot be overemphasized, it is instructive to those who care enough that the task of building the
For some, the foregoing represents a trite picture of an idea too lofty. Such critics only bring to mind a foretaste of the ill-naturedness of the human mind and its inherent pessimism. Without doubt, we can attain the
With Fela Durotoye during the HR guru's visit to the EFCC on 3rd April 2008. GOTNI President, Linus Okorie is first from right.