The Media Is a Powerful Force
Dr Erwin Lutzer was right when he said, “After God died in the nineteenth century, man died in the twentieth century. For when God is dead, man becomes an untamed beast.” It would therefore take an individual who considers God as dead to resort to killing another person for money making rituals. God can’t be alive in the heart of such a fellow. One of the most powerful tools used by Hitler in shaping the consciences of the Germans in preparation for his reign of terror was the media. Hitler was so good with the media that his administration invested so much money and efforts on resources and personnel that would galvanize the passion of the citizens towards his totalitarian state agenda. In fact, it was Dr Erwin Lutzer in one of his accounts of the rise of Hitler in Germany who also said, and I quote, “Hitler’s speeches, broadcast on radio and propaganda movies were persuasive. It is chilling to think of what Hitler could have done if he could have used today’s media to gain followers”.
The Media Has Enormous Power To Shape Values
That is how powerful the media can be in shaping values in the minds of citizens, and most importantly, in the minds of youths. Further, history tells us that at the root of the widespread hatred between the two opposing tribes in the nation of Rwanda, was the media. Scholars say that the media set the stage for the Rwandan genocide by spreading hate against the Tutsi community. And in every nation of the world, the role of the media in shaping and or triggering public opinions cannot be underestimated.
For the last three years, I have been speaking and writing about the escalating menace of collapsed value systems in Nigeria, a situation that has now galvanized emotions and public sentiments towards the monster of money rituals. The sad thing about this horrific menace is that it has captured virtually all sectors of the Nigeria state, and sadly, the church cannot also be excluded. And this is what makes the situation more regrettable.
It Is Saddening That Values Has Collapsed In Our Great Nation
Every nation is a reflection of her dominant value systems. And for a nation to get to a point where money ritual is the most laudable avenue for financial empowerment for the youths is the height of value system collapse. On its own part, the media in Nigeria have been badly politicized, and polarized, and for the most part, the messages being churned out to the public from what is supposed to be a noble entity, are to a large extent, the enablers of greed and covetousness in the society.
The Media Can Transform Nigeria
It would interest every keen observer like myself to know that gone are the days in Nigeria when the media were favoured to play host to the music of great men and women like Christy Essien, Sony Okosun, Funmi Adams, Bongo Sikwe and a host of other fine gentlemen and women whose songs stood on the pedestal of value system transformation. Recently, I stumbled at one of my favourite songs of Christy Essien, “Ife” (Love) and I was just too stunned to draw any comparison between her content and what is playing out on our media platforms today.
Today, the reverse is the case. Majority of the most celebrated artists in Nigeria, as of today, are drug addicts, sex perverts, baby daddies and baby mummies, and appendages of corrupt politicians, whose lives mirror nothing short of reckless pursuit of money through hook or crook. Consequently, most of the lyrics of their sons unsurprisingly skewed to the direction of poor values and quick money-making tendencies. What then do you want the youths to do when they are constantly bombarded and captivated by songs that escalate in them the passion for quick money and sudden wealth? And most importantly is the current role being played by movie and theatre practitioners on the platform of what is popularly called, “Nollywood”.
Is Nollywood Effecting Positive Change In Nigeria?
Widely regarded as one of the largest movie industries in the world, the Nigerian Nollywood industry has produced some of the greatest thespians in the African movie space, both in the English and Yoruba genre. I won’t be quick to dismiss the incredible contributions of many honest and gifted Nigerians in this industry, across all racial divide, whose works have graced the TV screens of our homes from the 1960s till date. Gone are the days when we all stayed glued to our screens to glean wisdom from series like Checkmate, Village Headmaster, Cockcrow at Dawn, the Masquerade, and many other weekly series of playlets and dramas, both in the English and Yoruba genre. And following these historical seasons was the outbreak of mainstream home videos that helped many Nigerian families in no small ways to stay bonded, together. However, things seem to have spiralled beyond the scope of decency when these same home video platforms threw caution to the winds through the release of contents that began to promote indecency, ritual killings, money rituals, violence, prostitution and so many other morally bankrupt contents. It was from these recent contents that many of our youths began to model their ungodly appetite for violence, greed, discontentment, and covetousness, all of which formed the satanic desire for quick wealth through money rituals.
The Media Can Be Used To Change the Negative Narrative
The media are extremely powerful platforms for shaping the values of a nation. It was John Whitehead who said, “the media do more than affect public opinion, they alter the consciences and worldviews of entire generations”. And for a nation like Nigeria, the media, aside from the other enablers to be discussed later, have done enormous damage to the psychological wellbeing of the average Nigerian, the youths being the worst hit. Thus, if Nigeria would stem the tide of the escalating evil of money rituals among her youths in particular, stakeholders with conscience, and especially those with superior values must rise up with unity of purpose to review, reorganize and rebrand the nation’s media industry to reflect sound moral values. This cannot be achieved as a unilateral goal. First, specific policies that are ably enabled by government legislations must be enacted to drive home this point, no greed promoting content must be allowed on any Nigerian media platform: radio or TV or newspapers.
Second, well-meaning investors with a heart for the transformation of Nigeria must stop complaining about this money ritual menace. If they’ve got the money, they must arise and look in the direction of mass investment in new media platforms that would be dedicated to providing contents that promote hard-work, creativity, ingenuity, patience, and every other positive moral standard in the society. This change may not happen overnight, but at least, for the next generation, the generation of our children, there would be hope that they would live through a society with a media that promote sound moral values. If this is the case, I am more than certain that many youths in the coming generation will not resort to ritual killing, but to hard work.
Ayo Akerele, a leadership and system development strategist and minister of the word, writes from Canada and can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org.
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