Editor's note: Popular public affairs analyst, Segun Awosanya, writes on the 2019 general elections with focus on the Nigerian youth population, urging them to leave their comfort zones and actively participate in the political process to determine their future.
We speak and write the way we understand, love to learn and listen. It sometimes reflect our belief system. Some are explorative and some are simple. Some love statistics and some love stories and comparative analysis. When people disagree on matters, understanding is the first suspect.
Majority of Nigerians are suckers for reality TV shows. This shouldn’t require statistics because we know this is true. DSTV rakes in millions if not more annually with their Big Brother reality TV shows. A lot of our youth erroneously believe reality shows are about reality but forget that they are principally shows designed for entertainment and profit. This has become a culture because we make heroes of flawed people in our society and create narratives around them as though it were some game we can vote on.
Our lives have since become reality shows while lurking behind avatars and social-media handles (surrogates). The more uncertain the real world gets the more people long for escape. We often take refuge behind our surrogate lives on social-media, where we can do the impossible virtually to compensate for our failures and uncertainties in reality. It is no surprise that a nasty, flawed, bad behaved Facebook/Twitter/Instagram personality living through daily drama and tragedy will gain more followers on Twitter and Facebook simply because people love flawed (hilarious) fictional characters they can jeer and root for.
Brands are not left behind. They will move their products, services and promotions to the pages/handles that get the attention of the crowd for visibility, endorsement, exposure and impressions. The same theory holds true for train-wrecks and badly behaved characters on reality TV shows who get more votes to stay on while morally good characters are evicted.
Our world has changed indeed as superhero movies no longer attract huge views based on the goody two shoes act of protagonists but for their flaws, drama (in their lives) and the threat posed by the villain in the movie. It will interest you also that this explains why men wants good girls, who will become bad girls for them alone in the confines of their bedroom. Likewise, why ladies want bad boys who will be good to them and them alone. Something in us just want the intrigue, drama and adrenaline pump from escapades and wild adventures that take our breathe away.
The reality however remains that we all love to watch this play out in other people’s lives than be a part of the drama ourselves. The dichotomy however presents itself when we are confronted with the need to vote political leaders. We somehow can’t seem to make that transition to understand clearly that our culture of choosing characters on reality TV shows is confined only to the screens and not in real life.
I need not remind us of the way we celebrate thieving politicians, make excuses for chaotic leadership and give false hopes while spreading inanities, like we are playing a game without the consideration of the consequences of our action. The ‘feel good effect’ of the success recorded by the horse we backed, would seem to be enough until reality bites and our illusion becomes our blunder.
It is time for us to wake those we love up from this fantasy. We will never be free until we free ourselves from the prison of our own false thoughts, the natural tendency of being thriftless, easily excitable, lacking self control and foresight without the apprehension for the future or grief of the past. It is time to organize and galvanize ourselves to secure the future of our country for our children’s sake. This is not a drill.
Politicians may assure us that our youth population is a strength (as we approach an election year) but with the weaponization of poverty, the gradual decline of education into ruins, poor economy, dearth of employment and poor healthcare…our growing youth population spells doom for the future of our children. We are looking at the re-enactment of “The City of God” (Portuguese: Cidade de Deus- a true life Brazilian movie on organized crime city) in a grandiloquent form.
A lot may have been brainwashed into believing the oversimplified statement of “the Devil you know is better than an Angel you are hoping for.” But that is a mere emotional eclipsing binary designed to make simpletons remain in their comfort zones, while dying of the fear of the unknown as combined with the treatment of real issues as a figment of our fantasy.
Our greatest need is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutter our minds. We need to learn how to select our thoughts just the same way we pick our clothes daily. This is a power we can all cultivate. If we want to control things in our lives, we must work on controlling our minds. In most cases, this is the only thing we should strive to have control over.
We are going to be confronted with a choice between characters that will either beat humanity out of us and make beast of burden of us or one that will epitomize nothing but decency and compassion, placing service over ambition and integrity over expedience. There are no sentiments here, especially considering the legacy we hope to leave to our children. They sure deserve a better Nigeria where peace and justice shall reign.
There is a message in the way leaders treat us…
End of Celestial Observation
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