The Mind-boggling Purposelessness of Being Nigerian

One is lost as of where specifically to begin. There is a lot of discomfort within and without one. Yet, one gets the sense that one’s purpose for writing this piece is precisely purposelessness. For one has neither an outline nor an explicit objective for this piece. The discomfort nudges one on even though one is acutely aware that the words of one’s ink are completely inconsequential with regards to the matter at hand. Let’s just say that in the present circumstance of being Nigerian, wherein one neither matters to one’s compatriots and to one’s governments let alone to those of other nations and other races, the existing zeal to still write this inconsequential piece is an alternative to suicide!

Talking about suicides, Nigerians kind of self-branded themselves as life-loving, even among the happiest human beings over the decades. However, a recent phenomenon in the country meant that suicide rates began to rise and suicide gained traction and became fashionable particularly with the self-appointed ‘suicide agent’ known simply as sniper. But suicides would not constitute the subtext of this piece. Instead, one turns, on a lighter note, to pop culture. Nigerian pop music was recently greeted by a collaborative work between D’banj and Tuface (2baba). This was by no means novel as both collaborated in ‘Baba Nla Nonsense’ along with Burna Boy and Larry Gaga only in 2018. Before that, both were together in ‘I’m feeling good’ wherein they labored to justify their choices of campaigning for Goodluck Jonathan in 2011.

As such, ‘Baecation’ presented no novelty in its casting particularly with Shizzi producing and Sesan shooting. Yet, when one saw the song title and the key protagonists therein, one was bound to think: ‘oh wow, look at my peeps putting Niger area on the map’ even in what is arguably the twilight of their rather illustrious music careers. Without much noise and promo, these two Nigerian heavyweights appeared to have done a collaboration that would remind the world just why Nigeria is home to wordsmiths as Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka and musical maestros as Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. Alas, the word ‘baecation’ was no novel idea of theirs either. But then, this fact isn’t necessarily a sore point if only they pulled off a memorable collaboration as against a forgettable piece of music. Indeed, having listened to the underwhelming piece, one cannot but rue the missed opportunity the episode entails.

Sadly, the song ‘Baecation’ confronts the listener with the reality that JayJay Okocha is perhaps Nigeria’s best soccer player of the past twenty years: all bark no bite, all potential and promise with little/incommensurate output. It is a uniquely Nigerian wonder that such a talent only met some goal-scoring stint of consistency in little fancied Bolton Wanderers while already well into his thirties, official age wise. Like Diego Maradona’s more politically famous namesake IBB, JayJay dazzled and dazzled but barely found his bearings between the white poles of soccer’s panties. This, in a nutshell, is what Tuface and D’banj have done with ‘Baecation’: remind the world of Nigeria’s potential, yet, quickly proceed to demonstrate that in the serious scheme of things, Nigeria fizzles out like a toddler’s balloon.

Nothing perhaps illustrates this better than the needless plot of the video that was etched on a seeming ‘invention’ which unraveled as no more than a scam when the generator sparked to a halt at the end. How the customers to the protagonists were meant to enjoy the visual/sensual experience seated right next to a working generator is a question for director Sesan. Supposed fellow legends D’banj and Tuface are equally culpable in accepting a video without due diligence. But then again, the textual constituent by both could hardly have aroused a critical mindset. Sometimes, as in this instance, 1 + 1 = – 1. Nigeria was only being illustrated. ‘Baecation’ fails colossally in making a stake in popular culture through this work. In the end, it is a waste of audiences’ time and a blatant reinforcement that the devil is black.

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