There is a saying that in a sane, virile and progressive society, the orientation that guides the hearts of humans is “one for all and all for one.” But today, we no longer have this orientation, most especially in the most populated black nation; Nigeria. We no longer watch out for the good of others as the past generation did.
We no longer pass on the folklore stories that teach children about patience, love, peace, contentment, submission, obedience, etc. Bedtime stories are extinct. Stories about the Tortise, the Dog, the Elephant and other animal characters that were usually used to personify human behaviours are no longer told.
What we have now are children who spend virtually all hours of the day in schools and after school centres. Children who watch Keeping up with the Kardarshians, Nickelodeon, Telemundo, CSI, etc at their spare times. How much of our value system has these foreign motion pictures eroded? Unquantifiable!
Some parents do not care about activating parental control on their cable installations and smart devices. Some who wish to do so most times do not have the technical-know-how to do so because of the ever growing complexities of the new crop of electronic gadgets.
The African society (especially urban settlements) is so busy with making ends meet when the ends are getting farther apart by every passing day. Many years ago, we heard Yoruba folklore songs such as Eleko’dere, Lekeleke, Abukeoshin, etc in schools. But today, these songs are a taboo in our schools. They are either branded as occulting or old-fashioned. This same occulting songs gave us a saner society than the new ones being introduced.
Books that teach our value system in folklores are no longer in print. The few that are in print spend moon cycles on bookstore shelves. Our local languages that are best in passing on our value system have been neglected. Children who speak their mother tongue in the midst of their peers are tagged uncivilized or unrefined.
While I was growing in one of the ancient cities in Nigeria; Ibadan, we played with various discarded household items which developed our brains in directions of science and arts. Such items include bottle tops, beverage tins, flip flops, match boxes, threads, etc. At that tender age we learnt the art of DIY (Do It Yourself). Look closely at the new generation of teenagers, they can hardly drive a nail into a wood with ease. They can hardly handle simple DIY tasks.
The few musicians that still push the course of our folklores are hardly noticed nor listened to. Singers such as Uncle Jimi Solanke, Segun Akinlolu, Pa Orlando Julius, Lagbaja, Asa, Sola Allyson II, etc are sometimes branded as infidels because of either their dress culture or their failure to push a religious idea or cause in their lyrics.
In order to have a society devoid of rancor, hate and bitterness, we must decide to bring back the culture of passing the amiable values of our fore fathers to the newer generation. To take the very few good in the western culture and discard the many bad therein.
Kayode Gideon Balogun