This Last Valentine, and The Popcorn Crowd-Time For The Pearls To Start Living Again By Jimi Bickersteth
It is a valentine never to be forgotten,donning a white Wrangler pant,a black top , an All Star snicker over a salt and pepper sock with a peak cap to cover the mass of thinning grey hair, the falling dusk beginning to mask the grey of the beard on a face wizened with age; an appearance that apparently hide, if not the ideal and philosophy, but, at least, the age difference, as I joined the popcorn crowd, bent on seeing first hand and determined to feel, if possible, whatever it is that makes this young generation tick;and how they derive and hatch and catch their fun, in spite of the nation’s harsh economic climate.Fair to say that it was a bizarre experience on a warm evening in February and was it worth it.
The Pearl in the title heading symbolize virginity and purity of the body, soul and spirit which nothing could taint. But this adventurous excursion unveils and elevates silhouette on the Pearl’s by way of ruffles. The itinerary was quite simple, the crowd, in a convoy of cars were to see a movie and thereafter go-clubbing.
Nothing like the beauties of nature to get things into perspective, the sun, the moon, the dawn of a new day.This warm evening, the half moon in the sparsely starred dark sky like a tongue’th’ in the mouth, sweet and pleasant a thing for the eyes to behold, against a backdrop of endless black dusted with glittering stars that tinkles like tiny cymbals purrs like a basketful of cats.
On the dark streets even in this medium density enclave, the haphazard layout of the streets forms a labyrinth, as we made our way to the cinema; itself set on a lavishly landscaped, well-flowered space.
At the end of the eighty-eight minutes movie, one could hear the cries of a dying future fading into the dark night behind the screen.We proceeded in procession to the heart of the city. By four a. m I know my watch is full as I almost knocked off balance a simpering waiter cum bouncer, as I made my way to have a nap in the car parked at the end of the cul-de-sac I find myself. Looking across the balcony to the distant lights of the capital in the falling dusk, very pleasant, with all this handsome faces, but it was in the eyes that the lack of hope showed-no expression there at all, but just the same cold gray as the Atlantic. For me the adventure ended before it started.
There is a simmering excitement in me on a burning issue that should attract the interests and full attention of all patriotic Nigerians beyond the juicy scoops on the thieving national advisers that have converted themselves to the officers in charge of the national Treasury, the CBN, Minister of finance, Accountant-General all rolled into one Super executhieve extraordinanaire, in a nation whose wealth know no bounds, but only lacking in character and desire, and this has put the nation’s leg in splints, the domino effect is the present misery and ruins. But even at that , the nation have to do some good for those who can still be helped.
Today’s lifestyle makes what we are what’s worth changing. Take a trip at night, and see several Bars, Joints and night Clubs sandwiched all over the nation, strewn with naked dancers and striptease in strip clubs, revealing young pearls with flesh striated with veins and sinews, popping pills -appalling, but doing what they know how to do best, with arrogant smile on their mouths, as if telling the whole world to go to hell.In their pretty clothes and smartphones, men and money were the important things in their lives, and the alias Moni(ey)Ca(r)sticks. It doesn’t matter how they’ve put once a good man to the grass; it is the only thriving business this days.
The nation is distracted by so many things that it looks on unabashed at the typical nonsense that are targeted as a distraction for our youths, teens and young adults , even as they are drawn to a screenplay that reaches out to youths- the bedrock of any society; plays with edgy content is the key to the attraction, touch of crude language, profanity, scenes of intense violence, gore and a generous general dose of s3x. The movie makers screened out almost everything useful and forbid depiction of experience of normal human adults. To them commercial success at the box-office ó is the ultimate, leaving the youths languishing out on the sidewalks side-desensitise to violence, and immoral acts, that they let down their guards in other aspects of life.
With so many good actors around, the older ones are having to look to their laurels. Each new release seem to make the previous ones look tame, full of pimps, drug use,daemons,blood and spiritism, rape, gang wars. To the movie makers, no harm intended, its a make believe world, it’s not real, it’s just a film:but are our youths catching the drift, are they not been fooled. What is the role of the parents and guardians in this mess, are they capable to discern the implications for the future.
Today the profusion of on-screen s3x, violence and profanity met with varied prejudices:some say that a certain s3x is lewd, while others argue that it is artistic, some insist that the violence in a movie is gratuitous, while others reason that it is justified, some assert that dialogue peppered and salted with profanity is offensive others claim it is realistic. What one person calls obscene another calls freedom of expression. Listening to all sides may make all these seem a matter of semantics, but no picture crime should be presented as justified.
It hurts like hell! Bewildered and somewhat confused elders show the disapproval in the weariness etched in their deeply circled dark eyes. One is pop-eyed with amazement. In my popcorn years to view pornography you look for it, but today, pornography and fornication look for the teeming mass of our youths on the net, on the cellphones, and this also expose them to illicit acts and damaged moral sense and also destroying their core essence, bringing young hearts to ruin. The attempts to control and or curb the malaise is like throwing a kiss at a revolving door, it is in a person’s mind and heart that the real battle is fought and won.
For a nation in desperate need of change,reformation and transformation, we’ll need a crow’s-nest to be able to see a long way and avert imminent disaster. How do I mean. For a nation whose financial state at the moment is poor and equally facing a fierce dastardly act, shocking and explicitly immoral mannerisms, compromised youths robbed of innocence, certainly has an uphill task but not insurmountable. It is painful and unfortunate that in seeking pleasure we hurt ourselves and others-life is not about you and what you want but about others, hurting others is damaging oneself.
Childhood and growing up is often a casualty of our new and modern world, children loose it abruptly and simply rush through a childhood they should enjoy. They live lives blighted by privations and abuse that had dreams shattered and destinies truncated;alone and in the search for love, protection and security, the youths have learnt to be street wise to fend off predators eager to exploit them. But the Yorubas will say”omodé kií m’oòsún lò kó dún gbongbo yèkètè. “Figuratively, it means, inexperience is a barrier to perfection. Inexperience, inperfection and greed has cut short so many of those promising lives, coupled with the nation’s leaders lack of passion and care for the cause of the youth.
Childhood itself a casualty of our troubled times; as they are robbed of childhood, a deformed and ill-equipped future, deprived of motherly neglect and parental abuse, children are getting involved in dastard crimes under the influence of highly potent drugs at a startlingly early ages, at least that group of eight, reeking of alcohol and smell of s3x, booze and smoke emitting an army latrine odour, that waylaid and took away my car and other valuables at that stretch of road between Ore and J5 attests to this. Or is it the numerous numbers captured on TV in several Boko Haram and NDs militants attacks. Or girl mothers while still in their teens; breastfeeding while still been breastfed. What a tragedy!
Wary and cold to nature, the youths need the nation to care, tend and love them; discipline and direct them, not just parents buying their way out of being parents in an unwholesome culture of busyness in the rat race. Delicate, smaller,frailer, and needier and unable to shoulder adult responsibilities, these pearls and jewels of great value must start living again and must not be found before swines.Good childhood, good parenting it is said breeds good leadership. The youths suffer a lot because the government could not properly stand the gap for God to the people for provision and empowerment: bridging the gap between what is-and what can be.
It shows government business, like war, a little like the magician who fools people into watching his right hand while his left is attending into the real business of the day, deception.
We must change our attitudes and approach, as change is the law of life and those who look only to the present are certain to miss the future.
In life, we all have different reactions, some of us surrender to feelings of being powerless, others get frustrated and in the process put the kibosh on the nation’s future and the moral hoopla about child rape, child mothers and paedophile. Maybe it is time to shift the focus from career to motherhood without being afraid. Being your best self will help you be a good mother as you prevent those young girls wearing skimpy and revealing clothes, have skin showing or wear logos on butts on chests, let them just stay innocent. Although you don’t want to say that wearing certain types of clothes means you’re asking to be harassed, mothers and daughters have to talk about what clothing communicates, moms can balance safety concerns and enforcing standards without stifling their children’s self- expression. You have a right to say’I’m not comfortable,’ and explain why, because if you start out with “You can’t go out looking like that,”you won’t win. These children are at an age where they don’t want to be controlled. Say No creatively, rather than go ballistic,suggest that an inappropriate garment is unflattering.Teach them to define their own style, not just follow others.
This might prove less alluring if the youths have more opportunities to pursue sports or other esteem- boosting activities.
It’s up to parents, to dictate what’s appropriate.
In the spirit of ‘Change’, the nation needs leaders with vision that can bring optimism,goodness,and hope. Meanwhile, do have a truly fun filled valentine.#
Jimi Bickersteth is a blogger and a writer.
He can be reached on Twitter