Creative production is happening in Nigeria. It is not highly organized and it is not well funded, both of which constraints are practically positive drivers of raw creativity. But this movement is capturing the hearts of the youth who would otherwise be unemployed and frustrated. I am proud of what I'm calling La Renaissance, you have to say that with a French accent folks :)
Here's a thought: if we can do the arts so well, we can do science
and invention and thought and all that too. Think about it: Information is almost
free, access to markets is practically equal worldwide, while on the
other hand, the high levels of capital and investment and organization
available in today's hubs (like top 100 universities or Silicon Valley
companies) are NOT a requirement for thinking.
You can do mathematics without a fabulous supportive structure. Grigori Perelman did. Sure, no one will understand what you're doing with yourself or how you're ever going to make enough money to make a complex crowd-pleasing life.
I never said it was for everybody.
You can study online and work remotely on high-tech projects.
At any rate, you can do literature without a fabulous structure - and there is some precedent for that. If there is so much angst, then it means there is so much to write about, doesn't it?
In fashion design, Nigeria rocks. In pop music, I think nobody is producing better. Not Korea, not America...
We have a nominally large film industry but maybe not the message/mission and not the revenue to make it world-class.
We haven't scratched the surface in product design. Environmental
design. Beautification and street art. Performance art. Architecture -
and I don't mean just throwing cement and marble at the problem.
History. Storytelling. Cuisine.
We still have half the population
stuck in the market and kitchen doing the same repetitive tasks half the
We are stuck in traffic when we should be working or playing, making or praying. Why?
We don't make a lot of the products we claim to like - not cell phones,
not luxury homes, not cars, not our expensive fake hair.
We haven't cut out
the hours and dollars spent on generators and fueling in this town. At least for a start get an inverter? Change the laws so that investment can proceed? We are not inventing low-power devices. We don't even really care to make things really, we think it is for the lowly among us. We actually look down on our geniuses until they have the shiny car to show for it. Wow.
We think Islam and Christianity are so different. We don't know the
North, if we live in the South of the country. We don't know the Mainland, if we live
on the Island in Lagos. We still don't have a Metro public transportation link or a city plaza. We don't want to be seen on public transportation.
all our money to the politicians of the current day then throw them out
and give all our (potential capital) to the next batch. We have a Freedom of Information law but few who know how to use it. We claim it's the president and cronies oppressing the people, but what I see choking us is self-repression, the need to please, class-mania, local-thinking, slavery of the mind. I got my own issues too, it's not just you :)
We want to care for our own children but screw over the next person's children? We teach our children to not waste time dreaming, "success" is more important. We still wear winter clothes as uniforms to work, lawyers still wear blonde wigs, and philosophy still starts with Aristotle. We haven't created material based on our heritage. We study entrepreneurship in a classroom, by cramming facts for a test. We have schools that are only exciting to a few students while others dream everyday of escaping. We have schools that can not afford to employ the best, since the best can get higher salaries and more social status elsewhere. We have schools that make people want to go abroad.
We've got our fingers permanently stuck in pointing at God or the president who is to blame and who should fix this or fix that. We're so stuck on survival, and after survival is guaranteed we move on to excessive consumption because in our minds we're just poor. While we're running this rat race, we don't care to leave an astounding legacy, we'll settle for a plate of rice thank you very much. Uncle Barack once termed this a poverty of ambition.
We have starved our minds for so long, that we actually fear the public servants of today's democracy as much as we feared the gun-toting generals of the eighties and nineties, and oops, even before that. We don't say thank you when a governor does the right thing - we expect "him" to thank himself by helping himself to public funds. We don't vote women into office, we say men should "rule" and women
should assist. I'm tired of female deputy governors, assistant council
presidents, what's so wrong with women being authority figures? We don't say thank you when a citizen does the right thing, we don't have time for that, but we have time for the one who can dash us money. We have no time to contemplate the stars or to smell the flowers.
But we have pop music. By God, we do. And maybe that can lead us into the future, at least by telling us our dreams.
Maybe Baby, it is just a thought:
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