Buhari’s mouth, Ebenezer Obey’s Òrò Seniwò & the “lazy” Nigerian youth | Sayo Aluko


*WARNING: Read this not, if your heart is humour-proof. THANKS*

Last week, sadly for the umpteenth time, Nigeria’s supposed Chief Marketer, President Muhammadu “Blunderphile” Buhari, successfully demarketed its bloc of youths, basically tagging “a lot of them” as sit-still-look-pretties who prefer handouts from “oil money”, rather than getting educated so as to stop “doing nothing”.

A clear public relations blunder, a political pratfall, no question.

Though, I’ve been inundated with free doses of laughter from the Presidency’s comical attempt to downplay the uncensored gaffe with semantic acrobatics. Hear them: “Oh! He said ‘a lot of them’, not ‘all of them”, “Oh! He didn’t use the word ‘Lazy’ in his sentence now”. Bla bla bla!

Ha-ha! Talk about deliberately running (a)round in circles in profuse sweat to plug the illiterate leakage in the mouth of your literate boss…E funny die! Errrrrm, maybe not too funny. *giggles*

But, as most of my readers must have noticed of late, I’ve somewhat refrained from making commentaries and writing articles about the episodes of tragicomedies produced per minute from our pretend democracy. I was just tired. I am still tired. In fact, let me just say my heart and head are both on a long vacation away from Nigeria’s cataclysmic misfortunes, and I’ve been “fine”.

So, “Sigh” Baba goofed, #LazyNigerianYouth was trending, Buharideens got to work, Buharigeeks started giving grammar classes, a herd was raging, but, me? I didn’t even care.

Okay yeah, maybe I cared a little; no jare! I didn’t care! Well, that lasted till when Ebenezer Obey decided he wasn’t going to let me care less. Chai! That old man!

See, Sayo Aluko is a huge fan of core sociocultural (musical) classics. The Ebenezer Obeys, Sunny Ades, Kayode Fasholas, Alhaji Odolaye Aremus, Victor Olaiyas, Felas (hard and kinda weird to categorize Anikulapo here as “classics” though, because the man’s so up to date even in death!!!), the I.K Dairos, you just name it. I love them. Very unparalleled, relatable and inimitably sabi songs.

Yesterday, I was heading home from work. My ears were still busy though, as they ushered tunes into my tired system. Ebenezer Obey’s Oro Seniwo was on play. Suddenly, it happened.

Somehow, my heart and head had connived to place the easy, slow tempo tunes of Oro Seniwo, side-by-side with the source of the ongoing #LazyNigerianYouth episode; a comparison which drew a conclusion that made me vexed and made me care about Buhari’s gaffe. Let me explain.

In that moment, my head suddenly came to the realization that most of the songs back then, from Obey to Sunny Ade and even Bongos Ikwue, were mostly produced as slow tempo melodious tunes, such that the best you could deliver as dance to these tunes was either to move from side to side, or get slowly rocked back and forth. Not much energy dissipated, just easy peasy something.

Then, my heart yelled, “Have you seen Shaku Shaku???!!! Jesus!!!”

“How dare you Buhari!!! How dare you tag ‘a lot of’ Nigerian youths as lazy when your generation spent little or no effort to enjoy the best of everything, even in songs and the ways you danced???!!!”

“Sai Bubu, seriously, have you seen Shaku Shaku???!!!”, thus, my heart yelled, again.

Oh! They had the best of everything, and they dissipated little or no fuss to get the best of everything – Buhari’s generation in Nigeria. I’m sure a handful of us in my generation must have heard a tale or two from our parents, about the “full or half chicken and thick tea” they had in their university days. LOL. They had everything. Scholarships, Seed Capital, Jobs, etc, they had everything, better.

But, the present day Nigerian youth? Nope, they have it relatively worse. For one Ebenezer Obey, they have 30 shekels of Small Doctor. Hain Hain Hain! *What a betrayed* [SELAH]

They have ‘none’ of everything, such that, even to dance shaku-shaku, alanta, azonto, galala and gwaragwara, they dissipate energy. 😁

They are anything but lazy.

I get Buhari’s thinly veiled point though, but, e nor just fit him mouth at all.

Lazy? Well, that’s not the word that describes it for me.

For what’s worth, I believe a lot of Nigerian youths are just hugely distracted and hugely unengaged, and there are an array of wholesome factors responsible for this; from how the population explosion met our unpreparedness, to perennial lack of governance, to decay of home values, etc, it’s an array of causes. Thankfully though, for every lot of these ones described above, there are a lot of Nigerian youths who thrive and give a glow to our outlook as a nation through self-brewed efforts.

While shaku-shaku won’t shackle their shackles, these Nigerian youths will still dance it after hurdling heaps of hustle, to celebrate the life they hard-earn through orphaned efforts and fostered sweat, in a sweltering, not enabling, environment.

Other than demarket, choose to salute, celebrate and market these “lot of them” who ride high against the unfortunate tide – these ones who have successfully secured independence from your independence.


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