Unsurprisingly, Naira Marley continues to ride high on the waves of his endless controversies, the latest being his recent lash out at veteran dancer, Kaffy. This came as a reply to Kaffy’s earlier critical comments on Marley’s latest dance move called soapy. Kaffy raised objections to the dance’s obvious demonstration of masturbation.
This, according to her, is unacceptable as it is bound to negatively affect kids. While Kaffy’s comments seem to be the exact concern of a lot of Nigerians, a lot others see it to be nothing more than a needless alarm over a harmless dance. The toxicity of Naira Marley’s dance, however, does not bother me as much as his attitude to criticism. And more so because this attitude of his is reflective of that of many other people Nigerian youths, especially on Social Media space.
I first noticed Marley’s ad hominem habit during his famed Yahoo Boys campaign. It came first against the popular Instagram blogger, Tunde Ednut. Ednut had raised concerns about the effect of Marley’s open support for Internet fraud on youths. Marley quickly reminded him that he collects money from the fraudsters. Next was his reply to Ruggedman on the same issue. Again, he did not address the issues raised by Ruggedman.
Rather, he attacked the rapper’s personality in every conceivable manner. The disturbing thing is how much he was hailed for throwing tantrums against some legends of the industry. As it is, all you have to do is criticise anything Naira Marley stands for, and you will get seriously tongue-lashed, no matter who you are.
Anybody conversant with the conversational pattern of a lot of Nigerian Youths online will agree that a lot of them are just like Naira Marley in the way they disagree. Instead of presenting their point of view on an issue, many Nigerians on Social Media would rather rain abuses on anybody with dissenting views.
Yes, we are the famed world over for being ruthless online bullies. But it does not look so serious until you see how Nigerian youths handle issues of national importance. If we cannot engage in simple discussions without verbally attacking ourselves, how do we hope to live in peace? Unfortunately, many youths do not realise the gravity of this irresponsible attitude.
Without dwelling much on this, it is important we all realise that verbal assaults/abuses pave way for physical abuse. We probably still remember how Ruggedman was attacked in London sometime last month. Can we disconnect it from the earlier verbal abuse he got from Naira Marley?
At a time of fragile national peace, we need all the understanding we can afford. And it all starts from separating arguments from personalities. Respect begets respect and it all starts with what we say to each other.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Kayode Oyeyemi Akinwumi studied Yoruba at Obafemi Awolowo University. A music enthusiast, social observer and music freak. He writes on various interests including social commentary and popular culture.