In just a few days, an unanticipated whirlwind of dissent that started off social media will hit the streets of Lagos in an all out public protest against the indiscriminate killing of innocent citizens by the police force.
The announced protest has been a long time coming, the result of a series of alleged murders by officers of the law with a notorious mention of the infamous SARS collective.
This time the communal angst was sparked by the killing of a 19 year old boy by a police officer in what is believed to be an unprovoked account.
Leading the protest alongside a throng of pumped up celebrities will be music artiste, Runtown. The others have been as impassioned by the outcome as Runtown is, with Naira Marley making an offer to lead the protest but in the same breath affirming that this time he will be imprisoned for sure. Wizkid has tackled both the President of the country and the Lagos State Governor, challenging them to show concern as regards this lingering issue. The list of famous names stoking the protest flame includes Tiwa Savage, Don Jazzy etc.
A creative collective is no doubt easily the most influential kind of people available, with millions of followers worldwide and an ability to shape and influence culture through personal preferences and convictions. But are they the most suitable participants when it comes to really enforcing change? The answer is probably no, because no entitled person is naturally given to putting their life on the line, due in large part to their privileged status.
So, does privilege and societal class directly impact the politics of the masses? More often than not it does. A look through history will reveal that all the frontliners who have championed causes great and small, were as affected by the issues of the day as the rest of the masses were. This singular fact helped inflame their passion to hit the streets with everybody else, unafraid to lose their lives in the process.
Malcolm X’s father was allegedly killed by ‘Black Legion’ a white racist group and Martin Luther King Jr. was from a lowly Christian background and experienced segregation from when he was just a boy.
Forgive me if I am a little judgmental but when a sleuth of privileged celebrities promise affirmative action in a bid to correct a societal ill that oftentimes does not really affect them directly, you begin to question whether they will be willing to follow through at the slightest hint of resistance.
Case in point is 2 baba.
Runtown for example, has never publicly shown a political side in and outside his music and so to suddenly opt to champion a cause this dangerous against the powers that be, makes us begin to doubt the credibility of his actions or at best question them.
But come the 8th of October, the convinced masses will no doubt stand behind Runtown and all the other celebrities not too busy to show up, and attempt to ride the long and arduous terrain towards enforcing a better country.
The alternative after all is to do nothing.
This article was written by Henri ‘Yire; connect on Instagram with him here