Does Money Always Make Sense?
Someone, a giant in the Nigerian literary scene, was quoted to have said:
“If I own(ed) a radio station, half the nonsense you call music these days won’t get airplay.”
I found the quote interesting but unsurprising. I agree with him for the most part. But not everyone shares those sentiments, according to one of the comments on the original post.
“He should go and sit down, angry old man. What does he know of today?” The commenter questioned.
Criticism is highly subjective, a lot of it depends more on the critic’s sense and sensibilities than actual facts and figures. For example, ”What does he know of today?” is a line that suggests that the man has lost touch with the times; that what he considers music has changed over the course of time.
Could this be true?
I often find myself wondering why today’s entertainment is a lot lighter than it was, say, two decades ago. Of course, materialism and shallowness have never been trendier than they are today. However it is, shallow or not, the general feeling these days is that the music has to make money to make sense.
Even though I disagree with the sentiments of that statement, I do not think I can objectively argue with the truth of it. Just take a look around, in all industries and spheres of life, it would appear that the only thing you need to be someone in today’s world is to make money. If you’re broke, what do you know? No one listens to a broke man.
The danger with that kind of thinking is that it supports or suggests that it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re making money off it. It’s part of why our politicians engage in brainless displays of wealth; there is simply no one or institution that holds them accountable for their actions. And the consensus of the general public, gauged by their silence and adoration of these rogues is that if it’s money, it’s good.
When you have a public that reasons like that, it’s not too hard to imagine what the future holds for such a nation. An ex-president was quoted years ago to have said: “People who keep arguing that the reigns of leadership should be turned over to the youths don’t know what they’re saying. The youths are not ready; they’re too preoccupied with making money and having fun.”
My question for him is simple: “Who put the youths in such a position? What sort of example did YOU leave them/us? It’s easy to talk. Who takes responsibility for the misdirection of the youths?”
When I was younger, my father liked to say: “Bad people are the successful ones as far as Nigeria is concerned. Just make money while you’re at it, and people will forgive you anything.” I thought they were just the words of an angry older man at the time, till I grew some more. I realised he knew what he was talking about.
I salute everyone trying to make something of themselves by doing something they love and just giving people the best they can. It doesn’t seem like much, but it is really important. For one thing, people need to understand that while money is good and important and has its place, it isn’t the be-all-and-end-all that it’s being made out to be – by peasants and politicians alike.
See Also: Easy steps to make money on YouTube.
This is why we live the way we live these days, trying too hard to copy our western counterparts and forgetting that they do not have the values we have. Our values are what make us who we are. That’s how you identify a Nigerian on a busy market day in Piccadilly. That’s how you tell who’s Nigerian and who isn’t at a bazaar in Kent; the way they talk, act, and generally conduct themselves. But if we lose all of that in our quest for material wealth, where would we be in ten years?
In reference to the opening, what do Nigerian musicians sing about these days compared to what they sang about twenty years ago? The arts is primarily a way the culture of a people is preserved and handed down over generations, so what do you think somebody listening to today’s music twenty years from now would think our culture is about?
Food for thought.
As I tell my students, anyone can make money, but very few can actually make a difference.
Which are you trying to do?
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