My grandfather once told me, “a man’s life is measured by the obstacles he overcomes daily”. In other words, people who live fully are those who see turbulence in any setting and proffer solutions.
Tuface Idibia, the Nigerian musician, sniffed the wind of turbulence in Nigeria’s environs, smelled the putrid stench rising from a decaying system, heard the increasing cry of children and mothers in Nigeria, and noticed the numerous problems tearing the Nigerian fabric then decided to act. As such, he decided to address these issues with a peaceful rally.
In the glare of public scrutiny, corporate heads and sponsors, he chose to stand for stranded Nigerians. A lot of Nigerians, tired at best and frustrated at worse about the happenings in the country, have raised their hands in support. However, some citizens have turned a blind eye to his positive message and chose to focus on Idibia’s weaknesses.
One of such Nigerian is Professor Akindele Adetoye who wrote one of the most outlandish of criticisms against Idibia by calling him a “bloody illiterate” and describing him with other derogatory words. However, Adetoye’s attack only revealed his own lack of balls, his own inability to use his academic experience to expose the insouciance of the present administration. If you can’t use your talent to speak for the voiceless and the powerless, then of what good are you to the suffering hoi polloi?
Fela Anikulapokuti, in an interview, advised artists to use their art to fight against any form of injustice. This is what Idibia has decided to do. Following Adeotoye’s claim, Anikulapokuti should have kept quiet about the negative happenings in the eighties and nineties because he married twenty-seven wives and used marijuana daily.
Idibia’s act only reflects, at its core, Anikulapokuti’s admonition. His set of balls, therefore, is more golden than the fleet of the materialistically driven musicians who parade themselves as afrobeat icons. Of what use is a star if it can’t shine its light on the dark fissures on the journey to freedom?
Idibia’s stance should serve as an example to upcoming artists that art can also be used as a medium to speak up against a weak system of government.
History would remember him for his legacy, his bravery, and for his chutzpah to reshape the Nigerian political discourse. Indeed, what makes a man is his ability to act courageously. I think every Nigerian needs to encourage his courage by supporting him and embarking on the proposed march.