Naira Marley: An Inspiration Or Source Of Deterioration To Nigerian Youths?
John Wooden once said, “Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating.” My problem with the recent artists in the entertainment industry is that they don’t possess the necessary depth needed to model the Nigerian youths. Most of them are so shallow, wordly, materialistic and devoid of necessary values needed to build the next generation.
It is appalling to know that the artists that many of our youths are looking up to do not possess the virtues and values that are sacrosanct to youth development. Who will then teach the youngsters values? Is it the Nigerian artists, with the evolution of morally bankrupt and deficit songs? I doubt it.
The rave of the moment among the Nigerian youths is Naira Marley. Singer Azeez Adeshina Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley has always been in the news for the wrong reasons. The Nigerian tabloids are always awash with degrading news about this artist that has held the Nigerian youths spell bound. We keep waking up to news like: “Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, slams 11 fraud charges against Naira Marley”, “Nigerian pastor says Naira Marley is a demon”, “EFCC to arraign Naira Marley for Yahoo Yahoo”, “Naira Marley Introduces New Dance Moves, Calls It ‘Tesumole’”, “Naira Marley Was Once Wanted For Robbery & Sexual Assault In The UK”….the list is endless.
He is creating an army of youths called marlians! His songs and dance steps are inspiring a new generation of morally deficit youths, and it seems the youths will be in his grip for a long time except something serious is done. From the dance step ‘soapy’ that has popularized the habit of masturbation to his off and on life inside prison and to his recent dance step called ‘Tesumole’, Naira Marley has continuously been a source of controversy and confusion in the entertainment industry.
Some few days ago, a Nigerian mother cried out on social media after her teenage daughter was suspended from school. The woman revealed that her daughter was suspended for being part of a Marlian cult. According to the woman, the school caught over 25 girls who were members of the cult and her daughter was among. A teacher had found underwear in one of the girls’ bags and when she was questioned, she revealed that she is part of a cult. The girl had revealed that the cult members had days that they do not wear underwear to school. From thorough investigation, it was ascertained that the girls don’t wear pants while the Marlian boys don’t wear belts. Imagine young girls and boys joining cults in Junior Secondary School level! This is actually the level that the ‘Marlian’ fever has driven many youths to.
A Nigerian pastor by the name Chris Omashola claimed that he received a revelation from God that Naira Marley is a demon designed by hell to wreck the future of Nigerian youths. The clergyman took to his Twitter page on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, where he shared a series of prophecies concerning Nigeria. He specifically warned that Naira Marley’s music is demonically inspired to destroy the youths in Nigeria. “In 2020, God told me, Naira Marley is A Demon, He is Satanic and should repent before it’s too late. His songs are demonically inspired to destroy the Destiny of The Youths of this generation, Nigerian youths should desist from calling themselves Marlians.” he tweeted.
There are questions that every ‘marlian’ should ask themselves before they lose themselves in the journey: Who is Naira Marley’s mentor? What values does he represents? What is the spirit and motivation behind his songs? What message is he preaching?
If you want to destroy a generation of youths, lower their role models and references. When the standards that youths and children look up to are lowered, the children would undoubtedly grow up to live inferior lives. The Nigerian artists must begin to communicate to the youth with clarity and intellectual depth. Most artistes have thrown caution to the wind as the content of their songs now revolve around nudities, quick wealth, violence, drugs, and a false sense of utopia.
There are various questions to ask before artistes release their songs. What is the moral lesson in the song? What positive message is being preached? What kind of value is being projected? What message of hope and legacy are we leaving behind? What kind of virtue can the youth pick from the song? It is appalling to know that most of the Nigerian artiste are promoting a generation of valueless youths!
I want to specially reach out to parents to get seriously involved in the kind of message that their wards are getting from the entertainment industry. Today, we have many youths with ‘entertainment value,’ but no intellectual value. We cannot shy away from the fact that the fastest way of getting any message to the youth is through the entertainment industry. The youth of nowadays would rather be entertained than to be educated. This is the more reason why parents must keep a diagnostic eye on the kind of messages their wards are gleaning from the entertainment industry.
We must face the fact that the youth of nowadays learn mostly from the entertainment industry, which is why I have decided to be a non-apologetic alarmist on the content and messages that the Nigerians artistes are ‘feeding’ the youth with. My sympathy goes out to parents of youths that see Naira Marley as their role model! Naira Marley’s grip on the youths will become stronger until parents take their place and position to speak to their wards on the danger of the ‘marlian’ spirit that is presently everywhere in the country.
Every organization and stakeholders to whom the future of the youths is paramount must come out boldly to speak against any form of entertainment that encourages crime, nudity, materialism and demented dancing steps. It was so appalling in December 2019 to see one of the banks with great investment in the Nigerian youths doling out 60 million Naira to Naira Marley for a week performance at a concert sponsored by the bank.
My conclusion is this: The ‘Soapy’ singer has nothing tangible to offer to the Nigerian youths. His style of music has done more damages than intervention to youth empowerment in Nigeria. He should be called to order to use his grip to nurture his army of youths and revive the lost values that have eluded the entertainment industry for long.
I believe strongly that there is no man that is beyond redemption. What Naira Marley needs is not condemnation or vituperation but a prompt realization of the platform that God has given him to impact the youths. If famed rapper Kanye West can make a total ‘U-turn’ to now impart his fans in a godly way, then there is great hope for the Marlian king!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own”- Benjamin Disraeli