Goodness! How I dreaded writing ‘Moral Lessons’ in Christian Religious Studies (CRS) class while in secondary school!
Once I recounted an event from the Bible, say the Parable of the Sower, I would have to draw out moral lessons different from what I was taught. Frustratingly, the lessons to learn were straightforward, hence how was I to write something new so it didn’t seem like I had copied? It was not until my university days that I was able to critically analyse content, a skill that is coming in handy now with an album that has been making waves.
At first glance, it is amusing that a musician hit the studio, solely to produce an album titled, ‘Moral Instruction’. The sheer audacity of the action makes one wonder if it is not bordering on arrogance. Indeed, what right does this guy who is less than 30 years old have to ‘advise’ us? However, the amusement fades and becomes a story worth learning from when one realizes that the heroine of the story is Nigeria, a character plagued by many woes.
Therefore, following the release of the album on January 15 2019, Folarin Falana, better known as Falz The Bahd Guy, was labelled as a Fela Anikulapo Kuti protégée. Others rated the 9-tracked project as his most controversial and politically charged work yet. Nevertheless, I am not about to toe the line or take others’ ideas and bend them into mine as I did with my CRS teacher’s moral lessons. What has intrigued me about this latest serving of well-formed, incisive thoughts is that it got us TALKING.
I admit that he is not the first to point out the ills of our society but it is the timing that matters. Considering the depraved and lyrically hollow songs being peddled these days though, this is a breath of fresh air.
Now, one might wonder, “What is the use in talking when the rave about this album will fizzle out soon and we’ll all move on to the next big thing? Besides, does the fact that we are talking change the status quo?”
To be frank, only a delusional person would say that this one album is the Messiah of the country. In spite of this, the songs are a reflection of the current state of our society in that they show the growing agitation for more than the truckload of rubbish that Nigerians endure in the name of resilience. There is thread of national consciousness that is finally sewing our minds together in clarity of purpose and understanding of what we deserve. This awareness alone breeds hope.
Now, if other musicians or Falz himself could ride on this 5 minutes of attention to translate the awareness into mobilization for action, I dare say that we will not be where we are in the next few years.
Meanwhile, can someone help me tell Falz that I am willing to be his sidekick? Besides, there is no Batman without Robin.
This article was written by Angela Umoru; connect with her on IG here