An examination of the prevailing alarming cultural dissonance in our society today tells us that something needs to be done urgently in a nation caught in the web of globalisation fraught with so many discontents. Globalisation is not only about trade and economy.
It is not just about global politics or international affairs. Far more are the dimensions of globalisation, as they cover such aspects of our lives as sports especially soccer, information and communication, science and technology because these significantly underpin our humanity, existence or subsistence, defining our self-knowledge or awareness and socio-cultural orientation
So, today I am more interested in how globalization is shaping the cultural orientation of the modern youth in the blind exhibition, adoption or promotion of pop culture which finds expression in fashion and style, in music and dance, in drama or film, in tout patterns and language use, preferences and choice of cuisines and drinks; and in attitudes and dispositions in matters of the heart and filial relationships.
In all these, we are witnessing a horrifying deviance, sometimes bestial, sometimes obscene and vulgar, sometimes libertarian but obsessive and usually obnoxiously wasteful and distasteful to reason and odious in all respects.
Unfortunately, the addicts or patrons of this popular but perverse culture are our children who are becoming monsters before our korokoro eyes, as we agonise that in our days, we dare not present ourselves in such ridiculous frame without facing a form of sanction or disapproval from the larger society.
We wonder, towards where are we heading, if not a dungeon of history or cultural annihilation. We are concerned about their tomorrow because in no distant future we may be suffering anomic suicide, a sort of complexity of loss or lack of identity and disconnected even from the essential value system that bonds us in the nation.
Our children are already losing sense in dressing, as our foods are losing taste and appeal to their taste buds, even as our homes are getting empty of human or personal connectedness and their spirituality becoming hollow. The maker that these children worship is likely getting to be their purses, not for the purpose for which our creator created us.
Especially the females, their flesh or bodies are getting more attention than their hearts or brains in the bid to be beautiful and presentable as if they are a delicious menu to be voraciously devoured or consumed by sound men.
Check our schools and colleges and you will be confronted with many hollow characters or deviants even among lecturers not to talk of students and you will marvel if our universities are still equipped with the required capacity to imbue students with ennobling learning and character.
So, many a student go to school not to learn but to pass time as they already made up their mind to find an easy way to wealth and fame, not the hard but dignifying immersion in study and sweat. It is unfortunate that many do not want to pay any price, yet they want to be prized and honoured. Honour, they do not merit.
Lamentably, however, There seems to be no more inspiration for them from the divinity and sacredness of the valued scriptures and originality of our authentic value-laden traditional music of land, but they find comfort and satisfaction only deafening noise of rock and roll or meaningless samba from overseas.
Look around you if you will not find a barrel-chested male youth with a sickening tattoo covering almost his entire frame or one with earrings like a devotee of Sango Olukoso Oka Oya. Our neighbourhoods are brimming with rascals best described as NFAs (No future ambition), yet they are supposed to be the future leaders.
You find area girls going virtually naked without any mother to call them to order yet they will be wife materials from which the successor generation are to be sired. Area Boys have become rapacious wolves and hounds at whose sight innocent school girls are not safe from sexual harassment or molestation.
Worse, we have all become victims of gang fights among sinister neighbourhood rings or accomplices in sheltering ruffians, thus, hemp smokers and drug addicts and yahoo boys around us, who if you dare report or expose, you become an easy target for serious intimidation if not eventual elimination for constituting a nuisance to them. They are the lords of motor parks, street corners and road junctions extorting and harassing road users.
These street corners and abe igi aanu are nothing more than drug joints where the Omo Adugbos find comfort in self-destruction. Under many brides and flyovers have these NFAs found good bases to train themselves in adjustment to drugs and alcoholism.
But from where do they acquire the audacity of deviance and culture of madness? Do not look any further but our free airwaves and the uncontrolled social media space. Today What our youths are exposed to are mostly from the depraved minds of some acts in the movie and music world obsessed only by vanities as what they purvey is almost entirely destructive in lewd exhibitionism, dollar deification and drug and alcoholic entrapment. Ask some nursery school pupils who their idols are and they are likely to name some monsters in music and movie as if they are messiahs.
There is no doubt that the handlers or managers of the cultural domain, especially the mass media and officials in the national orientation or mobilisation departments are also confused about what their mandates ought to be. They are yet to work adroitly for the preservation of our noble values which are being eroded by globalisation in the adoption and obsession for the pop culture of the west. They must wake up to this current task.
By Abdulwarees Solanke
Assistant Director, Strategic Planning & Corporate Development Department, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Ikoyi Lagos.
Director, Media & Strategic Communications, Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC), Nigeria korewarityaoo.com