Solomon Ibekwe’s Article : Indeed this is Nigeria
In the next six decades or more, when Folarin “ Falz the Bahd Guy” Falana would have his rich, dark beards replaced with glistening white ones, when his bones and muscles must have terribly lost their energetics and vibrancy, when his poor eyesight must have compelled him to get rid of his lens-less glasses for bold, rimmed and drug laden ones, and when the candle light of his life will falter helplessly like a white washed leaf, he should be commemorated as one of the greatest Nigerian entertainers of the 21st Century. I am of this defiant stance because in yet another paroxysm of dexterity, Falz has dazzled Nigerians with an eye popping, insightful, heart wrenching, yet thought provoking song with his epic semblance of Donald Glover’s “This is America” with “This is Nigeria”.
Falz is a great entertainer. He is the most multi-talented, prolific and creative entertainer in Nigeria, and by a wide margin. In whatever form his art is morphed in, be it Comedy or Acting or Music, he has always striven to carve a niche for himself more so in a highly competitive industry where all players are head strong in their positions, unwilling to venture into other realms. The first of many bold moves he made not letting the territorial boundaries of education define his life, discovering his abilities and shoving his UK Law degree. So far, his gargantuan steps have become proven success stories, epitomized by this latest project of his. A chiseled analysis of his music for instance, is its highly distinct way of addressing the travails of the average Nigerian with unconcealed truth, brutal honesty laced with beautiful rap lines. If it is not “Soft work” advising parents to let their children decide their futures, then it’s the rib cracking, fake life story of “Weh done Sir” then to “Something light”, a comical representation of some girls whose solipsist aim is to drain the wallets of their prey and finally the soul touching advice to young girls on “Chaid of the world”. It is however, this daring venture to lobotomize the ineptitudes plaguing this catastrophically wrought geographically location Nigeria that retreated Falz’s stance to become the voice of the people, albeit through music.
The song began with an infused interview where a concerned Nigerian lent his voice on the continuous deprived state of the health sector, and another lamenting on the “predatory neo-colonialist system in Nigeria fuelled on fraud” Falz then begins by lambasting the nuisances the system created, the jobless, excessive beer drinkers and Indian hemp smokers whom sit in executive beer parlor seats, barking orders at a heavily painted, voluminous “ Madam Stainless” or “Madam Gold” and her female apprentices, and arguing irrelevancies, one of which was “if his watch was Original”. He also vented his anger on the broad day light 36 million naira theft in JAMB, which comically disappeared with a monkey – a situation where our avaricious leaders have lied so much that their bank of lies bled, them they resorted to fooling the masses with a “monkey tale”. He further placed credence to the peak of institutionalized corruption in the nation, the times when T.V stations spoke about the “probes” and “arrests” of “previous administrations” who siphoned monies, or the “false declaration of assets” stories or “recovered stolen funds” all swept under the carpet, and how these villains prided themselves as saints during political campaigns, promising Angel Michael and his arch-angels, but delivering Lucifer and his demons. I laughed heartily on hearing the line: “Police dey close by Six, security reasons o”. That line explains the vulnerability of Nigerians to external aggressions. The damning truth is – as a Nigerian, you are either under-policed or non-policed. No more, no less.
The second verse highlights the rendezvous of the very many one roomed or at most, two roomed “churches” and “prayer ministries” littered all over the country. It is appalling, these ostentatious churches claiming to be the “headquarters of miracles, signs and wonders” but being a reincarnation of fetish by subjecting their converts into inhumane practices such as flogging or eating indiscriminately to solve their problems. It is reminiscent of the biblical instance when Jesus became enraged on visiting the temple and seeing that the gentiles had converted it to a market place. Falz then lent his voice to the famous “Lazy Nigerian Youths” speech by President Buhari in London. He emphasized on the incessant toil of many youths, performing all sorts of menial jobs and returning home with blistered hands and with very little to show for their hard work. These youths are not supported at all by the Government, yet they improvise to put food on their tables then some person, their leader driven in a posh Mercedes with the air conditioner freezing his inner being to the plight of his people and surrounded by the best crop of sugar mouthed sycophants goes to a common wealth conference and brands them “Lazy”. Other trending issues such as the Fulani herdsmen attacks, the rapid growth of Internet fraudsters popularly referred to as “Yahoo boys” and the malevolent attitude of SARS were not left out in this power packed verse.
The wizardry of Falz in this song was epitomized in every line, telling a disastrous story of a country on the verge of plebiscite. Like the scalpel in the hands of a surgeon, the song cuts stereotypically across the inimical borders of corruption, nepotism, greed and insecurity that plagues the Nigerian faithful. In a country blessed with abundant, yet unharnessed resources and supported by superfluous Human resources, the Nigerian dream is on a knife edge, threatening to loose its footings and fall to a barrage of hungry crocodiles. The video itself, shot in an underground garage, with Falz dancing shirtless, flanked by children and young women in hijab representing the chibok/dapachi school girls andother hilarious memes like ” Big Sister Naija” added that extra spice to the song. This is Nigeria, where the elected inflict wanton hardship on the electorates. This is Nigeria, where corruption is institutionalized and given a VIP chair in all transactions. This is Nigeria, where the looters still have the nerve to smile toothlessly before the people, making exacerbated promises they would not keep. This is Nigeria, where the Police flees at the sight of robbers with sophisticated weapons, only to return in rickety, smoke emitting Hilux vans with Gun powder rifles, arresting innocent people. Not forgetting the road side by standers among them, collecting “50 naira roja” from commercial motorists. This is Nigeria, where the rights of the masses are infringed upon with reckless abandon. This is Nigeria, where a student pays “in cash or kind” to get good grades from the lecturers.
The average Nigerian is not a masochist by nature, but because his leaders have created a euphoria for pain to thrive. Falz’s articulate call is a sounding bell for all Nigerians to save the nation from a stratospheric decline by shunning apathy and upholding transparency in voting their choice candidates come 2019.
When Falz emerged in entertainment and called himself a BAHD guy, I thought it was an insouciance in creativity. With the story in “This is Nigeria”, he has affirmed the claim.
Falz is Bold And Highly Distinct.
Solomon Ibekwe’s Article : Indeed this is Nigeria