Temitope Shittu-Alamu: We could be making a mess for the next generation

Each time it occurs to me that the next generation is looking to us, I fear what they see. I wonder if they see any integrity.

When I was little, I had many dreams. I was young, so it was easy to want to be many things. One time I wanted to be a pilot, another time a model. I was trying to find the link between both, then I discovered the media.

I really liked Frank Oliseh and Ruth Benemesia Opia on NTA, and I wanted to be like them. I would sit by my little mirror and arrange my toothpaste and toothbrush as my microphone and talk a load of rubbish till I fell asleep. Of course as I slept, I usually dreamt that Ruth and Frank magically became my parents. I would later wake up to the reality of school, homework and the much dreaded Open Day.

The years have rolled by and the dreams I once had are gradually becoming reality. My generation is now in the spotlight, and many of us watched from the results of the generation before us. Their hardwork and their attitude to work has remained in my head.

I remember the likes of Bimbo Akintola—the astonishing delivery of her lines on set, her energy and drive. Her work ethic was unparalleled and her producers and directors constantly testified about it. She was getting a lot of money, but she was working hard for it, and so people wanted to be like her.

From careers in the media to acting, singing, professional football and even politics, my generation has taken over. As much as we are doing our thing there is worry in my heart. Each time it occurs to me that the next generation is looking to us, I fear what they see. I wonder if they see any integrity.

I imagine they see lots of eye-popping money in all the sectors. They most definitely see our drive. But for them I fear it may not be the drive to become something meaningful in life. It’s majorly the drive to find the easiest route to make quick money. They all seem to be in a hurry. All of them are saying “e ma dami duro.” Where in God’s name are they running to?

Our music videos don’t even help. They keep seeing “Benjamins” and “Mama Charlie” flying from side to side. And champagne is no longer sipped in celebration. It’s wasted on the heads of boys who can’t even afford to buy it. They have no idea on how to make legitimate money. They just wanna wear that cap like Naeto C.

Those who have no destiny in the music industry want to sing at all cost.

I see lots of 17-year-old Wizkid-wannabe’s with their pants and earphones dangling to their knees, with Tee shirts that boldly say ‘YMCMB’, and I wonder how they intend to pass JAMB.

I fear that if their generation gets ruined, we would deserve half the blame. I wonder if they see HARD WORK in us. I doubt they would even learn from us what PERSEVERANCE is. Does LEGITIMATE exist in their vocabulary? I think not.

I wonder if we can call ourselves worthy role models, or if we have led the next generation wrongly.

Many times I honestly doubt they really should grow up and be like us. I mean, not with what TuFace and Whizdaddy stand for  but I hope that consciously or unconsciously, we portray what we once saw  and they as well BECOME what we once saw.


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Comments (13)

  1. dolly nice one. this is the gentle reminder our generation needs…

  2. We get money pass blood money joor!

    You know I couldn't get myself to watch the Dami duro video for a long time until someone pointed out that the jam was actually very nice. Then I swallowed my disgust at the first scene and watched to the end. That kind of flagrant display of cash(no wealth) and ill-manneredness puts me off greatly. Even more so when it's by someone from my generation.

    It's good to pile up the cheddars, but the path is very important, that's the story you'll have to tell, that will inspire the people coming behind you.

    Thank you for writing about this ma, because I think I've forgotten that I actually have people looking up to me. Poignant reminder.

  3. STAR. Nice one. Just keep the ball rolling.

  4. Temitope! Thanks for this piece, it is a worth brake from the traditional thinking of today's youth. You refresh my heart, at least am not the only one thinking there's some problem with our generation.

  5. I just pray we will do d right things in order to keep fit d legacy of power and strength.God bless you for this nice piece.more Grace to y Tope

  6. Tope,this is a good one. I hope our generation will learn soon,how to celebrate write-ups such as this.

  7. *sigh* true talk.really,these days,hard work is gradually fading.everybody wants to make it big and fast and *poof*,just like that. However,there's still hope,that the nxt generation will see some integrity in us. Bless you

  8. This is brilliant Tope. I know there's much more we can do. In as much as it seems there's Ŋσ† much stuff to write about our positive impact, I trust †ђα† we have the greater advantage because we have the Holy Spirit. It can only be a miracle though and I hope we are ready for the harvest. Thanks for this inspiring piece.

  9. Totally love this. Inasmuch as its deep, its also humourous and far reaching. Deep food for thought. Even young children are getting blind to the right way things should be. Its not tradition, or archaism. Its just right to do what's right and what has always been right. Nice one Tope

  10. The question of what the present generation is passing on to the next genaration is timeless. The truth is, we would always question ourselves…of cos the few bad eggs aren't helping to build our confidence. We must however not give up on hope! We should trust that the few virtues we were able to pass on to them would lay a strong enough foundation. Without hope, we are doomed!

  11. Bless your heart for this penned thoughts. I wonder same, ooh i wonder same!

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail