Awakening A Generation: A Call To Youths and Elders By Ogunjimim James Taiwo
When we look round this society that we live in and try to get an evaluation of this current generation, we are faced with a shocking discovery of how far down we’ve fallen, how weak our moral chain has become, how low our sense of societal awakening has gone and how comfortably we sit on a keg of gunpowder.
I’ve always been an untiring believer in the call for change and a total return to the values on which our nation was moulded, but a look at the state of our nation and the scary lack of ideas on the part of today’s youths make the call for change perhaps more urgent than ever before.
Looking around the house, I stumbled upon an old CD, I slotted it into the DVD player and saw it was an old Yoruba movie, what struck me with the film however was the way it was set; you learned lessons all the way. It wasn’t just full of jokes and irrelevant details; it was loaded. It portrayed society the way it really was, the challenges being faced by individuals on a daily basis, the way they succeeded in overcoming the challenges without compromising their stand, you could relate with it, you could see yourself as one of those characters, and man, it was loaded. I tried to relate it with the kind of movies we watch today, full of jokes, sex scenes and issues that are not relevant to the Nigerian way of life and which the viewers cannot relate with, and I saw why today’s youths have no backbone.
Truth is, the reason why so many of these octogenarians maintain their stranglehold on Nigeria’s politics, business empires, etc, is because they had the best of education; not just education within the four walls of a school, but education, both in the society, films, songs and credible role models; they were trained to be the best and they really are. Today, entertainment industry is dominated by people who just want to make money and they will make the money even if it means pulling down the foundations of morality in the society. Society has become so low on morals that what now sells is a set of young people singing songs that even they don’t know the meaning, running around naked. If you sing and you haven’t featured a half-dressed or nude female or even mention sex terms, you haven’t got a hit. That’s how low we are running on morals.
Also, I was at a meeting where an elderly activist was raging on about how students no longer had it in them. He said during his days as a student activist, they spent their money travelling to meet up with elderly comrades like the late Gani Fawehinmi, and that way they learnt continually and were able to field a strong, indivisible student movement whose ranks couldn’t be penetrated by government forces. But what do we have today? The moment student leaders get elected into positions, their first point of call is government houses. They go there to pay obeisance and declare their loyalty so that crumbs can be given to them. How can today’s youths progress in this manner?
The faults however cannot all belong to the youths, elders who received the best training, mentoring and learnt at the feet of Nigeria’s best are conspicuously missing when it comes to mentoring the next generation. The ones who are supposed to instill in the next generation the ideals that were deposited in them are the same ones who litter the pages of newspapers with petty bickering on disjointed issues. They are the same ones that come on radio and TV shows to say words that go against what they once taught. They are the same leaders who try to monetise what they got free.
Today, our society stands still in the murky waters of misrule and lack of ideas and we continue to rock back and forth like a creaky old car trapped in the mud. Its only a matter of time, if nothing is done to right the societal wrongs in this generation, we are on the steepy path to self-destruction.
There has to be a deliberate restructuring of the entertainment industry, all the cash being pumped into it shouldn’t just be to further damage societal values, but songs and films that portray good values and promote enlightenment must take precedence over all these comedy films that teach no lesson. All nudity and reference to sex terms to promote songs must be sanctioned heavily.
Elders must realise that they have a responsibility to give back to society much more than what they got, the moulding and re-orientation of today’s youths lie in their hands. As youths, we must awake to the realisation that we are society, what we make out of this society is what our generation will be remembered for.
What will we be remembered for? A generation that came, saw, and was conquered? A generation that came, listened to music and drank our lives away? A generation that sat still while our future was being ripped apart? You see, it all lies in our hands.
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