by Alexander O. Onukwue
The opinion of Folarin Falana, alias Falz the Bahd Guy, on the issue of glorifying fraudulent behaviour through music has sparked views on social media.
Falz criticised entertainers who, as role models to young persons, misused their platforms of influence to send wrong messages that encourage illegal activities. It was a thinly-veiled dig at 9ice whose new song “Living Things” contained wordings that seem to celebrate the wealth and proceeds that accrue from fraud.
Falz has garnered a huge following in Nigeria through his distinct abilities that have made him comfortable as a singer, comedian and an AMVCA-winning actor. Add to these the fact that he left a career in legal practice to pursue the uncertainty of entertainment, the son of the respected Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has been one of the more influential figures in Nigeria’s entertainment industry for the best part of the last three years.
For many Nigerians, especially the younger members of the population, nightly news is almost eternally negative. The current wave of political and ethno-religious tensions is wearing many persons out, and frankly we could do with some distraction.
The entertainment industry is always in boom because it is the ready-made succour to divert attention from the frustrations of the State. Even in recession, people are still trooping to cinemas to see new movies and comedians are still selling six-figure tickets for nights of a few hundred laughs. The artists and entertainers are granted the license to express the beauty that are contained in the good parts of the society, showing that we are not always supposed to be dragging over lands, and rights, and properties.
But entertainers are not entirely immune to the ills of society themselves, and so it is expected that they should tell the stories of those negative sides in ways that can be at least swallowed. With the gifts of rhythm and order, musicians should be able to reorder the chaos of the society’s problems. Music should not be the instrument with which to amplify these problems or justify why the evils should continue to exist as the only alternatives available.
Falz’s fury was vented because the younger generation deserves to know that fraudulent behaviours are not to be emulated and glorified. That though Nigeria is a nation of corrupt people led by the corrupt, all Nigerians should not therefore give up to the corrupt life.
Mr Chache, clear that cache, now.