It’s Monday morning, and the clouds are grey with streaks of blue highlights. The rain, doing its usual South West Wales routine, pouring down in intermittent bursts of heavy and drizzling. Feet in socks, legs under blanket, and a cup of cinnamon and lemon infused green tea within my reach, I have nothing to write about today. It is in moments like this that I miss Lagos.
Lagos: the home of my ever-present muse. Lagos of bustling traffic in 37 degrees heat, yet we trudge on against all odds. You come home, at the end of a 40-hour work week, to the loud symphonies of generators. Someone has parked in such ridiculous manner that you can barely squeeze past to get to your door. Still, there’s a story in there somewhere. A testimony to share about how you MADE it where others broke down.
Over here, there’s nothing. No sweet gist. Nothing – but talk about the weather. So I headed on to Twitter to scour for gist. Scrolling down through my timeline, with iTunes making everything better, I saw a tweet where someone was complaining about the ‘Pangolo’ music flooding our air waves. Ah! This thing about our apparent quest for more substantive music.
Over the years, I have found that there’s a wide divergence between what we say we want, and what we ACTUALLY want. It is in every facet of our lives as Nigerians – from our leaders, to what we read online and even our music.
We say that we want have leaders who have purpose and clear goals for running; yet we put aside all of that when we’re going to the polls, focusing on ethnicity, and religion.
We say that we want motivating, educating and inspiring content online – something to inspire the next generation, but we migrate towards the fluffy. Goodbye Financial Times. Hello Daily Mail.
We say that we want the deep, soul stirring and uplifting lyrics from our music artistes; but we don’t buy their albums, we don’t pay to go to their concerts and we don’t ask our favourite OAPs to play them on radio.
As the adage says, the sky is wide enough for all birds to fly. There is an audience for Miley Cyrus’ music, and there’s an audience for Aretha Franklin. Also, it is important to understand that different moods determine the desire for different products. It is not every time you feel like wearing proper court shoes and a stuffy shirt. Sometimes, you just want to let loose in your linen pants and cotton t-shirt. The fact that one likes Timaya’s ‘Ukwu’ doesn’t necessarily mean one cannot enjoy Bez’ ‘Super Sun’.
While there’s a place for divergent opinions and desires, there should also be a clear understanding of the effect of demand and supply. If there’s no market for Pangolo music, the suppliers would have run out of business by now. If there are no gullible people, charlatans would have been completely phased out of our society. Suppliers are in the business of giving what the consumers want.
The question then remains, if we’re all saying we don’t want corrupt people in power, who is voting them in? We also have to consider the large percentage of unheard voices. The online crowd is a very small percentage of the Nigerian populace. In fact, we’re but a microcosm of the entire populace. The online crowd helps bring the voice of the people to a global audience but does it go beyond the talk?
At the end of the day, it’s about putting your money where your mouth is.
How strongly do you believe in a cause and how much effort are you putting in to making it become mainstream? Or are we just talking and not walking the talk?
Have a beautiful week ahead. Brighten the corner where you are. Remember to be true to who you are, and make a conscious to beat the blues!
Peace, love & cupcakes.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Sam74100