They say until the lion learns to write, the victory will always belong to the hunter. This has never been more visible than in the case of Nigeria. Time and again, we hand our birthright over to other nations – many with malintent – and then cry foul when their plans come to fruition. Today, I am ranting about BBC News Yoruba.
London Promoter and my industry godfather DJ Abass tagged me in a BBC News Yoruba Facebook Live video where a moderator held a lively debate between Daddy Freeze and Apostle Oluwagbenga John. It’s no news that Daddy Freeze has been talking about Christianity in Nigerian and sheeple for some time now, begging Nigerians to wake up.
I watched the video and my heart broke. I actually heard the loud “kpakaun” as it cracked and then broke. Once again, they have taken our news, our zeitgeist, our trending topics, put a bit of spit and polish on it, and given it back to us.
Why can’t we do anything great by ourselves? Why can we not promote our own news and culture? We wait for others to do it, and then shout that it is not done right. Hollywood chose to honour Bennet Omalu in the film Concussion, and we cried foul, lambasting the Fresh Prince’s accent, and screaming for a Nigerian actor in that role.
They make a documentary about Lagos? We shout about their decision to show the poorer parts of the city and rail on Facebook about Lekki and VGC. Because we’re the ones paying their cameramen, okwa ya?
And now, this – BBC News Yoruba. Certainly, there are smaller blogs and news platforms that do Yoruba news (Viva Naija included) but none of us pack the punch or clout that the BBC ever could.
The NTA has been a disappointment, no doubt. In a world of Maseratis and Bugattis, they have clung on to their rickety chariots because corruption, theft and wholesale embezzlement. When there are no checks, balances or accountability for a national broadcasting service, what you get is the NTA. I’m not even looking at them; my only memories of the NTA are the Super Ted cartoons and the national anthem before they signed off for the night.
In that channel’s dearth, however, we’ve had AIT (Jumobi Adegbesan, thank you for a wonderful pre-JAMB year!), and, when it comes to news, we’ve had Channels TV. Why have none of these channels taken up the mantle of giving Nigerians the news in languages they can understand? Where is Channels News Yoruba? Igbo? Tivi, Itsekiri, Hausa or Pidgin?
And nobody is talking about some patriotic, altruistic endeavour here. Demand equals income. You increase your listener base = you increase your advertising reach = you increase your income, quick Maths. That you are the comprehensive news outlet for your nation is just another illustrious feather to your cap.
But Nigerians are mad. Even a child learns from its mistakes, but we never EVER do. There are dung beetles with more survival instincts than the average African.
WHEN???? When has the White Man ever offered a helping hand just because?! Them mirrors weren’t for free. The diving and unification of OUR land masses weren’t for free. The wholesale carting away of our precious stones and minerals were not done to elevate Nigeria. Mark Zuckerberg did not come to Nigeria because he’d heard of the many-splendoured glories of our Jollof Rice (yes, capitals. Show some respeK.).
Every time a foreigner, particularly with a notable lack of melanin shows interest in our lands, our cultures or our ways, IT NEVER ENDS WELL. But it’s not like any of this is news to us, but instant gratification is our kryptonite and our undoing.
I understand we are selling Africa off chunk by freehold chunk to the Chinese, a people not exactly known for moderation, fair play or human rights. Haha. We don finally craze finish.
So while our senators are sitting on their modest $37,000/monthly salaries, we will continue to wait until the entire nation finally implodes and we’re back to shackles and chains.
Thank you, Nigeria.
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