The first time I heard the word ‘Marlian’, it brought with it feelings of nostalgia as thoughts of the popular Jamaican Reggae Musician Bob Marley of blessed memory, rented my mind. The conclusion for me at that time was that the word ‘Marlian’ was coined from his name and anyone who identified with it was either a follower or fan; as he was an ardent believer in the Rastafari faith. Alas! My assumptions were extremely far from the reality of the moment. Who would have imagined that beyond a name, lies far deeper meaning if we dare to look a little closer?  Certainly not yours truly.

Marlians are supposedly diehard followers of controversial Nigerian Singer, Azeez Fashola, professionally known as Naira Marley. The Marlian movement was introduced early in 2019, and in a short period has deeply impacted societal veins of morality with its mundane ideologies, questionable practices and beneath acceptable lingo.

Since its inception, one could not take a complete walk through the streets of social media regularly without sighting or hearing the word ‘Marlians’ in a video, write-up, or meme. Our homes and streets have not been spared. The old and young alike derive pleasure in being referred to as Marlians.

The most interesting of the lot is the sub group of professionals who call themselves ‘Corporate Marlians’. Obviously, the idea of unruliness holds a thrill that defies logical reasoning for some. How else can one explain this ‘Marlian wildfire’?

In most cases the word has been used to connote negativity; for simple reason that the musician whose stage name it stemmed from appears to endorse certain unsavory behavioral choices. Some of these choices have significantly influenced the music preferences, fashion sense, and social lifestyle of the public.

According to these people, to be a Marlian, one has to behave like Naira Marley himself, by wearing one’s trousers in a way that reveals the underwear and prevents free movement – sagging.

As surprising as it may seem, the younger generation now ignorantly upholds the opinion that Marlians do not graduate, where-as it is recorded that the proponent of the Marlian school of thought graduated with Distinction from a renowned International University. This misdirection of mental energies has resulted to an increase in cultism and other social vices.

As an ardent onlooker, one keeps wondering what the rationale behind the whole conundrum is. It is a fact that man is a social being who should freely exercise his rights, however, why should he choose to be socially inept? Do we have to break rules to exert our rights? Are there no longer admirable celebrities that our young ones can emulate? Has immorality and social decadence become the order of the day?

A whole 24 hours was actually set aside as ‘Marlians Day’ to officially celebrate this star. What value does this movement add?  Why be a Marlian? Too many questions to ask, who can offer answers? I will drop my pen on this note.

This article was written by Ohueri Chimdiya Eugene; connect with him on Instagram via here  

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