Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?
Yeah, I am quoting Maximus in the Gladiator movie… Matter of fact, I don’t even really know who I am actually quoting anymore because I hear the exact lines form the Nigerian situation and considering our population, and the fact that we are sooo confused presently about who runs the system, I just don’t know who to apply to for copyright permission on the opening liner.
The immediate past President of Nigeria pioneered the entertainment trend, and it has been on since then. Whereas we groaned under the Abacha dictatorship and maintained an uneasy calm during Abdulsalaami’s, Obasanjo ensured we never lacked entertainment. As a matter of fact, comedy became big business during his tenure.
You don’t get the picture do you? Sadly, if you had High Definition Mega-pixel cameras on, you are not likely to, and that is no fault of yours.
I am not talking per se of the Bill Cosby, Martin Lawrence or The Wayans’ kind of comedy, I am talking of the some-mothers-do-have-’em-Frank Spencer-make-you-wanna-bust-a-blood-vessel type!
We had the Justice Chukwudifu Oputa Human Rights Violation Panel, patterned after the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Truth and Reconciliation model in South Africa (never mind, we have always been good at importing even what we have) and I recall staying up all night to witness the comedy of errors throwing light on what went down during the Abacha regime.
As with all shows, we had both the Trailers and the Spoilers, we heard how the late journalist Bagauda Kaltho (did I say how? It’s so fuzzy nowadays) was killed. Sorry, that’s not what we heard or saw, we only got to know that Nigerian Technology has finally produced a bomb that strips a man nude and kill him without smoking out any other part of his body! Can you beat that?
Fast forward to 2007, this time, the then President himself decided to star in the movie, as the Proantagonist (I did not misspell this, it is my invented word. If you can have Motel from Motor-Hotel, then you should get this) and the Vice President was the Victivillain (Victim + Villain, do the math). From slanders and counter-slanders to ‘I’m neither denying nor admitting corruption, I am only saying you surpass me on every side’
They ensured we never lacked for entertainment; the bloodcurdling-I-am-yelling-and-yanking-my-head-off-my-heart-palpitates-as-I-taste-bile type. Then they hired a director called Maurice Iwu, Chairman of the electoral commission and they birthed another comic era.
Seeing Obasanjo’s frail successor, with his piercing eyes and sober look, I was ready to pack the puppets and say ‘Hey, our play is played out, no more entertainment’. But I was wrong, more wrong than my prophecy that I would wake up today with my right hand appearing on my left.
We now have R-rated 18 VNL (Violence, Nudity and Language) version of entertainment, complete with advanced CGI.
Violence, Yeah, from the election re-run in Ekiti State to the Niger Delta vs JTF (refer to previous blog) prototype. Nudity, is that too hard to figure? From the 628 Million Naira-turn-my-apartment-to-Spa/Salon scandal of Patricia Etteh, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives to the Ndudi Elumelu Head-of-investigations-turned-prime-suspect probe into the power sector. What could be worse than that?
I know the global financial meltdown has so far revealed how universal corruption is, from the Parliamentary expenses scandal (both the MP’s LP and Tory’s story) in the UK to the I-can-sell-Obama’s-former-seat-Rod-Blagojevich in the United states to the different versions you get to hear from Asia, but I find it hard to figure why our own entertainment fails to provoke any reaction from the populace, other than few and far between rantings of the Talakawa that have nothing else to do with their time than complain.
With 2/24 hour power supply, and a Generator that plays music my neighbours don’t want to hear once it’s past midnight, and the entertaining story that the person that claimed my former President and some other Cabal squandered what was meant to increase generated Power, has been arrested and indicted. That was shortly after the findings of the panel he headed on the same subject matter was thrown out! I, typical of a Prole, am compelled to love the job I sooo hate, simply for the fact that there is constant Power Supply at work, and I could be less bothered by how much it costs the Company to service the standby Generator..afterall, the Talakawa never get more than Pixels…how are they expected to get the picture?
To compound it all, the Senate seeks to pass a Bill to a Law making it compulsory for every State to produce at least an Agricultural Product…that almost made me puke some bile! Is it Lagos State that is left of no arable land courtesy of emigration from other States to the extent that the Lagoon is being morphed by some stock-piling into Land that will produce? Or the Niger Delta, whose land has been raped and desecrated in the name of Oil Exploration? Perhaps the Core North that is being encroached by deserts as a result of overgrazing by Cattle will be just okay. Please, The Gramophone is worn, can someone switch the song?
Remember rantings are not expected to be coordinated, so you just have to put up with this cacophony.