For greenhorns who might have little or no idea of the trends and copyright artistry of the 21st century popular culture space in Nigeria, the new established ‘cult’ by Folarin Falana known as the SWEET BOYS ASSOCIATION might be another frivolity conceived accidentally from a WhatsApp chat group of Falz and friends, or from a music studio filled with drunk post teenage men, or by narcissist young lads finding relevance in an overcrowded entertainment industry. As these assumptions may be relatively true, it is not idealistic to claim that there are over-riding clauses that give preeminence and head start in the pursuit of popularity and influence within the Nigerian entertainment industry.
The present renaissance of Charles Inojie’s “Na dem dey rush us” and Abimbola Kazeem’s rhetoric of ‘se o mo age mi ni?’ are clear evidence to this claim. However, Falz’s ‘Sweet Boys Association’ unlike the aforementioned, singularly gives itself a clout different from street slangs to a broader interest view which cuts across socio-cultural importance.
Within this topical scrutiny, the metamorphosis of Folarin Falana to Falz and the transition of the school-boy-barrister to being President of an association of over thirty thousand followers is a testament to factors like hard work, resilience, determination, risk taking, needed by millennia and youths in their drive for success in various field of study or practice.
As the lines of Falz’s new song, ‘see person pikin see as he fresh, if you see am dey come give am respect, all white agbada check the rolex, if person check am too much person go fair…’ play out from the stereo of the okada man on the streets of Mushin in Lagos, or from the beat by Dre headset of a middle aged Caucasian in New York, there are meaningful silences within these lyrics that are spelt out in the code and conducts of the sweet boys association.
While code of conduct 1, 2, 3 and 6 give importance to self-worth, good looks, and self-pride, 4, 7, 8, 9, and 10 reflect a 21stcentury manifesto of social responsibility and civility. It is not creative coincidence therefore that at the median code of conduct 5 lie the over-riding faith of the association, which states that ‘you shall aspire to be the best in your field of study or practice.’
Therefore, we can allude that beyond the rhythm and beat of the sweet boy, and the social media hush of Falz’s association, the underlying communication is that the Sweet Boys’ President has carved out a blueprint of success and self-dignity for his fans and followers.
This article was written by Joseph Akins; connect with him on IG here