Are Mainsteam Musicians Decaying The Nigerian Youths? By Esosa Osa

MUSIC is considered a blessing to man. From the beginning of time till now, it has helped man to go through tough times with minimal hurt, and made good times better. With the advent of technology, today’s musicians can be watched and heard globally with the aid of different devices and streaming platforms. Music is seen as a balm to the soul; it does not discriminate as its language is universal. Therefore, it is an essential tool to the average Nigerian youth both for survival and pleasure. However, are the musicians positively impacting the youths? Internet fraud and drug abuse are two of the major vices affecting Nigerians today, especially the youths. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ranked Nigeria as the 16th most affected country in the world by Internet crimes in 2020. Also, in 2018, the estimated annual financial loss in Nigeria due to cybercrime was estimated at 288 billion Naira.

It is sad that the leaders of tomorrow are the main participants in cyber crimes. Unfortunately, musicians are one of the drivers of the get-rich-quick attitude prevalent among the youths. For example, when you listen to Naira Marley’s “Am I A Yahoo Boy”, he clearly declares that he has Yahoo Boys (Internet fraudsters) as friends and did not speak against it in the song. Also 9ice hit song “living things” clearly supported the lifestyle of Yahoo Boys. The mass media is a very powerful tool of socialisation and those songs can and do influence some youths in committing cybercrimes.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency said that 40 percent of Nigerian youths are deeply involved in the abuse of drugs. Marijuana and Codeine are two of the most commonly abused drugs, both of which are illegal. Musicians can also take the blame for this. In the music video of “Manya” by Mut4y featuring Wizkid, you can clearly see Wizkid and the video vixens smoking what looks like “weed”. Spotless stated the line “you make a man wan smoke cannabis” in Starboy’s hit song “Soco”. I see this as poor social behaviour from the artistes. Also worrying is the use of half-naked young women in numerous music videos. It is very degrading to womanhood, and this objectifies them sexually. Olamide’s ‘Pawon’ video is an example. It is also ridiculous as the women dance around fully clothed men.

Consequently, broadcasting regulatory bodies should impose stricter measures on the content of songs and music videos. The government should also create more programmes aimed at reducing drug abuse and Internet fraud. The youths are the leaders of tomorrow, and if they are hooked on drugs, the future is bleak for the nation. Musicians and anyone with a form of influence should use such positively. Let us learn from the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt who says “we cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”