Opinion: What do you do when a gun is pointed at you? Scream “fire away”?!

by Vera Onana


There were 17 contestants in the academy and if you had asked me, I would have wagered my last penny that Olawale could never be the man standing at the end of the fierce battle but then, Olawale fought and made his own destiny!

For the larger part of this year, my musical gaze has slightly shifted from my usual intrigues, a blend of divas, countrymen and rock stars to a certain Disc jockey who wears a number of other feathers on his hat that includes, music producing, song writing and remixing and has worked with several big names in the music world and big music labels.

I got fascinated by a 2011 trace video “titanium” the beat was amazing but more than that, the narrative of the video was enthralling. It depicted a heightened level of inner strength that which you can only conjure up from within you. That video moistened my eyes at the very end and I have since being drawn to the work of this famous French D.J. “Titanium” has been for me not just a hit trace track with fancy beat and laudable lyrics, it represents a muse, and each time I think I am falling I listen to that beat, and I get all revved up like a race car’s engine.

“Shot me down, but I won’t fall…….……. I am TITANIUM” I hear those Sia’s words and I soar like something invincible has taken me over and I am set to face whatever life throws at me. I listen to it on my phone and on the car stereo and I truly feel like Titanium each time.

Today’s story however, is not about David or Sia, it is about a great mind that acted out the very words Sia sang while David put the beat to it. It is the story of a formidable young man who took various shots and didn’t fall but just kept screaming “fire away” at the top of his lungs in the just concluded West African MTN Project Fame. A platform I have being in awe of from the very beginning and a few weeks ago, a brand new season began with hilarious auditions at different zones but ended on a stunning note and once again, the phrase came to mind as I watched Adaora and Joseph call the winner, “the unfathomable twists and turns of life” which I have often chanted on this blog like a mantra.

I was screaming in my living room alongside my sisters and my mom, we were all beyond shocked! Bemused and euphoric but I was most of all humbled and then I remembered that a contestant had performed my favorite D.J’s song earlier and unequivocally, that song had being adequately demonstrated by the result of the competition after all. I lapsed into a trance for a short while as my mind skidded back to the very beginning. There were 17 contestants in the academy and if you had asked me, I would have wagered my last penny that Olawale could never be the man standing at the end of the fierce battle but then, Olawale fought and made his own destiny! He wrote his name on the walls of fame and now walks in the hallway of fame.

I had a different prediction in the beginning and I arrived there having judged all the 17 contestants by their prowess, talent, voice, showmanship, panache and style but like it is written in the holy writ, surely the race is not to the swift and the remarkable turn of events was based on the following criteria I had earlier almost trivialized- spirit and attitude. Everything changed the night the
contestants did their traditional renditions, that night epitomized the death of a man’s strength and the birth of another man’s resilience.

I rooted for Simon from the very beginning, he had it all working for him and it happened so effortlessly. His performance was superb, his delivery was impeccable and most of all, he had SWAGGGGGGGGGG. So much charisma! In my heart, I had crowned my own winner for project fame season 6.0 and I was simply waiting for the whole world to confirm my prediction alas, I saw superficially because what makes a man succeed after all isn’t just SWAAAAAGGGGGGGG! It took something extra, something profound, interred in the very core of man’s being, the inner strength to keep fighting, the spirit to blossom in constructive criticism and that was exactly what Olawale showcased.  That night Simon was evicted, I saw it coming. I am no harbinger of doom or emissary of bad tidings but it broke my heart to see the look of
resignation on his face when he again performed Bright Chimezie with utter languidity on a stage that was at the moment a battle field!  I shook my head in disappointment at his lack of guts and will and announced in my living room that his walk on the MTN Fame hall was over and so it turned out.

However, I discovered Titanium that night as opposed to the wood that broke my heart. Olawale and Omolayo! I rooted for them to the very end because their spirit and attitude called out to my soul. Their display of inner strength and will was the very rare type that could surmount any life’s challenges.

Though it seems Omolayo went home with nothing, I believe that his time in the house will be an inspiration to thousands and thousands of youths and with such admirable attitude, there is no telling how far he will go in life and for Olawale, I am certain that the sky is just your starting point if you keep the spirit alive and Simon, you can be anything you want to be if you find your inner strength.

This competition has proven didactic in the way I view every event of life and I think you should ask yourself this question.

How do you react when a gun is pointed at you?

Do you fall before the trigger is pulled and remain lying on the ground?
or do you look back at the nozzle and scream “FIRE AWAY!”

The truth is it could just be a ruse that gun might be empty or the trigger faulty or perhaps, it might possess just one bullet and do you think a shot can hold you down? I think that bullet could very well ricochet!

The choice is yours, TITANIUM OR WOOD… YOU PICK.

“I am bullet proof nothing to lose, fire away, fire away ricochet you take your aim, fire away, fire away you shoot me down but I won’t fall I AM TITANIUM”



Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

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