Where are all the Heroes?

    (or to my chagrin the legendaries: At the end of his ‘Originality’ video, Nigerian musician Faze actually dedicates the song to all the legendaries)

      Gani aka Chief Ganiyu Oyesola died this year (Saturday Sept. 5th 2009 to be exact. He was 71 and one hell of a guy, if all the stories are to be believed. He fought long and hard for justice in Nigeria. Even those who opposed him respected this about him. IBB is quoted for claiming that had Gani been the president of Nigeria, he would have even prosecuted himself in the pursuit of truth. He was just that kind of person. A true Nigerian patriot, if not the last one.
      At his death I struggled with my indifference and lack of genuine sadness to match what seemed to sweep the nation. In my defense I knew him as little more than Dele Giwa’s lawyer, our very own Johnnie Cochran. Seasoned newspaper readers and news broadcast watchers may claim that he was a prominent fixture of the media but I and I’m sorry to say a good number of Nigerians particularly those my age don’t put much stock in a media that is riddled with typographical errors, a lot of questionable and often one sided data which is passed of as news.
      I know blah, blah, blah …there’s nothing new about this news. Newspapers are in the business of politics, owned by people who print their views to foster their ends. While any vehicle of truth remains underfunded and often under treat. In the event that the truth comes to light nothing is done about it. i.e. the custom officer with alleged faked qualification who remains in office.
      As the happiest people in the world, Nigerians are living proof that ignorance is indeed bliss. We have little patience for anything beyond moneymaking schemes and extravagant parties to show of wealth.
      I have been told that we are not a culture of reading or apparently of seeking an honest if minimalist living which we should at this point be capable of. No one seems to write anything worthwhile, outside the realm of fiction [which has recently seen a revitalization with the likes of ½ of a yellow sun, in the footsteps Wole Soyinka works] we are drowning in a sea of self help/get rich books written explicitly by people who want to help themselves to their readers money. Nigerians doesn’t read because no one writes with the intentions of putting down words that can outliving them.
      I realize that the Nigerian move from colonialism to independence was bore on the back of heroes, whose names can be recited by every primary educated kid and every Faze loving fan of his smash hit originality. We all know their names and stories from our classic history books. Stories that mainly scratch the surface while ignoring the skirt chasing, drinking and ethnic intolerant tendencies of Nigeria’s fondest idols. Show of hands anyone who knew that Awolowo was Anti-Igbo (I mean Anti in a Hitler refusing to shake the hands of black athletes at the Olympics kind of way). Once again I fear our Nigerian tendency to ignore history.
      But seriously we need these and other people to aspire towards, but in a realistic way. Don’t get me started on how underfunded our museums and teachers are. My point is that while Gani was waiting to be buried prostitutes were giving it up for free in his honor. This was a man who tried to stop prostitution, what does that say about some Nigerian thinking and who is to blame?

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