Sunday, June 1, 2008

Please, let our culture be!

Let the music play!

There was a time in Nigeria when I thought “life can’t be better than this”…..I call it the “Clarus and Giringory years”, the years when N.T. A was the only station on T.V. I remember watching so many interviews with Nigerian artists. Not only did we get to see our favorite artists talk about themselves and their music, but sometimes, they gave live concerts too!

There is so much in the music of those years that ties me to people, places…those were great times for me and a huge part of my childhood. I have never been worried about losing any of that because I have always believed that the music will always be there, it will live forever in the archives of N.T.A. How wrong I was!

Recently, I asked a couple of my friends where one could get film footages of our great musicians, possibly interviews and appearances on television. To my surprise and disgust, I was told that N.T.A had “wiped” most of the tapes….whatever that means. In lay man’s terms, we simply do not have recordings of our own artists that have been part of so much in this country. If you want to find film footages of our best musicians, please turn to BBC, even the French would have more to offer you than N.T. A. This is perhaps not surprising in this country, who cares right? Why should we care about our own heritage and culture? Why should we preserve history for our children? After all, we’ll all be long gone to accept any accountability. It is a shame and to say the truth, pure laziness. If we continue at the pace we are going, so much beauty will be lost to our children.

What kind of nation do we want to be? Nigeria is failing new generations of its children by continuing to destroy all traces of cultural productions in the country. However, let me not scare you all, I am sure we will always have “Nollywood”, those low budget movies that continue to subject Nigerians with archaic views on religion and marriage. Nollywood story for Marriage: Man and woman fall in love, get married and enjoy peace until the beautiful and young seductress (probably a friend of the wife) lures the good husband from his home. Husband sends wife packing, while younger woman enters house. Now, the only choice wife has, is to turn to the church for serious fasting and prayers. Somehow, husband comes to his senses (probably because the juju has now been cast into the deepest hole or whatever) and comes back crying to wife. Wife accepts husband back, and returns to her rightful place as madam of the comfortable home she was living in. We thank God.

Now that is what our children are watching. That is the kind of “culture” we are giving them and have no fear of it ever being “wiped” out because we have enough pirated copies to last us a life time.

I hope there are enough people in this country that understand the need for documenting our cultural heritage. It is a challenge to us, and one that we must rise up to.

We will never forget those that have left so much beauty behind them.

Rest in peace,

Sonny Okosuns
Steve Rhodes

Your music lives on.

1 comment:

Doja said...

WIPPED! My God these people are insane.