June 14, 2024
Colloquium

‘Music alone is not enough’

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  • May 31, 2024
  • 2 min read
‘Music alone is not enough’

By Chris Anyokwu

A truly well-wrought piece brimful of irenic rage against the ‘shitstem’, but given our ongoing descent into the bottomless pit of spiritual atrophy, moral deracination and political self-defenestration, it seems to me that all talk of the revolutionary torpedoing of the decadent order is mere jiggery-pokery. In vain do you hope to see Nigerians slough off their mind-fogged manacles of ethnicism and religion.

A situation whereby your so-called oppressed masses would fight to the death over the political ascendency of their oppressors; where they’re prepared to sacrifice their children’s future knowingly so long as their ethnic idols are sitting pretty in the saddle; in an Orwellian scorched-earth dystopian cauldron of equal-opportunity predators and their ilk, hope of any sort is a bridge too far.

Yes, Marx teaches us the need for the class-in-itself to morph into a class-for-itself in order to wrest power from the capitalist vampires and buccaneers. But he equally spoke of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the negation of the negation. It’s a never-ending whirligig of antinomic tensions and inherent contradictions. But, again, contradictions, Bertolt Brecht reminds us, are the stuff of life!

Where does that leave us? We shall always enjoy the pious preachment, the moral suasion and the will-to-power promptings in Bob Marley’s music, but, as you rightly observed, music alone is not enough to move the needle, to set unconscionable power to heel. The best we can hope for is to individually brighten our little corners, make our immediate localities a better place and strive to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.

* Prof. Anyokwu, a writer and lecturer of English at the University of Lagos, writes in response to Aj Dagga Tolar’s piece ‘Bob Marley: 43 years after, still in our living memory earlier published in TheArtHubNg

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