Today's music video is not romance but more about the love-hate relationship most of us have for Nigeria, and for those outsiders who try to portray the country in any sort of realistic manner. From BBC documentaries, to comments by Oprah, a lot of us get riled up by this so-called "single story" of Nigeria. MI is one of the few rappers I listen to, and it was through him I found out about this video. I won't say I'm thrilled or overjoyed by it, but I never forget that indeed, up to 80% of Nigerians live that reality.
Anyway, how I found out was that MI had decided to reply the disgruntled elements on social media who were outraged that the video was shot only in the slums of Nigeria and felt it would give a negative perception of the country to those who saw it. Seriously, why are we so bothered? Aren't there more productive ways to channel our angst at the bruised and battered image of Nigeria? Anyway, I am late to the party and I probably won't say it better than MI.
Does it make you angry? Does it rile you to see your country portrayed as poor and suffering and full of struggle?
It burns you, does it not? To have some foreigner- who knows nothing of your history and pain, of the stories that flow within your blood- to have this foreigner come in and tell your story?
Is it not the height of disrespect and insensitivity? Does it not chafe against the thick skin you have grown to cover your other wounds?
Does it not make you angry?
We should wax sanctimonious about national pride being slighted.
We should vent our displeasure online.
We should occupy something.
Because God forbid the truth ever be told about what things really are.
God forbid a stranger remind us about those things we choose to ignore everyday.
God forbid we ever face the truth about ourselves.
God forbid we do not go on the internet and rail about how our country is being cast in bad light. God forbid we do not talk about how there is a small minority which lives better than portrayed. God forbid we do not ignore truth one more time.
God forbid we don’t.
Well, if it does make you angry, don't let anyone hold you back. And more than just words, do something. I'm beyond cheap talk, now more than ever, I believe that saying about the hunt, the hunter and his story. How many Nigerian stories have you told today? And I don't mean #shopritetins on twitter.
Let's stop burying our heads in the sand or try whitewashing a broken wall. Let us start telling our stories, the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly. Write it down, print it, publish it, blog it, say it or put it on video. If you are in a position to directly help out, then do so, and stop whining.