By Eseoghene Al-Faruq Ohwojeheri, Benin City
About ten years ago I lost a friend in an armed robbery incident. Obviously, the armed robbers were not satisfied with robbing. They needed to make a point by harming someone in the house and my friend's mother was their target. As they swung the axe, my friend, who was the scholar of our class in secondary school, protected his mother with his head… He died. No national award, no postmortem speech from the Governor and, of course, no celebrity burial; he was just another guy, the fact that he took a battle axe to his head for his mother was irrelevant.
This and many more of it happens in a country wherein people get millions both in local and foreign currency for playing football; a country wherein comedians shake hands with the President and women who kiss strange men on camera in the name of acting take home National Award, and an immoral youth who made fame singing about his private part, is given special opportunity to interview the President in a desperate campaign strategy because the thinking is that the community is populated by zombies and bimbos who will vote in a PHD holder on the "honour" of a nuisance whose only relevance to society, apart from lewd music, is competition in air and space. Thus, the question every sane Nigerian should be asking is: when will this madness of underserved honour stop?
The death of the musician from Ekiti, Goldie Harvey, and the attempt to make it seem like we lost an icon is another and perhaps the worst of all these madness. I do not believe that death, which we will all face, should make you a hero except you died an honourable death. When people just drop dead we grieve and console the family not tell blatant lies as to who they were. This is why the statement of the Ekiti State Governor is worrisome. Mr. Kayode Fayemi is reported to have described Goldie as a "great daughter of Ekiti State", and one has to wonder upon what was this greatness achieved? Are people now great for singing meaningless songs with promiscuous suggestions or for taking and publishing suggestive photos of themselves?
Since when did we consider it greatness to appeal to the sexual cravings of perverts and run after men on camera in the name of a reality show that is far from reality? Since when did it become great achievement that a lady is even thought of as being a junkie in her life time? How can this be great?
In the past, fathers would tell their children "don't bring shame to this family", but nowadays shame and shamelessness is celebrated with such noise that you think the Devil himself is in charge of people's lives and even he has gone crazy.
Ironically, around the same period this unfortunate death occurred, governor Theodora Orji of Abia State was commending Mrs. Nwanyieze Prosper for winning the Purity Queen title for a lady who kept her virginity until her marriage. Some Nigerians criticized the Governor and even 'accused' him of giving her a car whereas Governor Kayode Fayemi was praised for describing Goldie as a "bright star " among other accolades including that she lived a "fulfilled life". Indeed, the world is upside down.
The problem with giving honour to people who did dishonourable acts is that people will definitely emulate them. The Dolly Parton's of this world made it a fashion for women to expose their cleavage; years on women have lost their husbands to such exposure and homes have collapsed; the Dr. Dre's of this world made being "gangster" a fashionable thing and years later the gangsters are increasing and we even have a gangster in the White House killing innocent people with Drones...
Martin Luther's Dreams became a Nightmare. And this list goes on and on; for every irresponsible person you honour you make irresponsibility the "swag", the same way for every man who dies for his mother you honour you make standing up against oppression and protecting the weak the in-thing… Make your choice.
Lastly, we must clarify two issues. The first one is with regards to speaking "evil" about the dead while the second one is the "who are you to judge" comedy.
Firstly, the dead has already met what he or she put forward hence there is no need to speak of its evil. What there is need to do however is to either call the living to an example to live by if the dead is worthy of emulation or to warn the living to stay away from a wasteful lifestyle like that of the dead who lived life as if death was never going to come and this is the real lesson here; life is short, if you live it like Goldie your death may come and meet you in that state; what will you tell your Creator? We cannot pretend this is not the lesson here; it will be one lie too many Secondly, they ask us not to Judge and we say to them since we are in the spirit of not judging kindly don't judge the location of your mouth so that you put your food in your nose. We say to them that in this spirit of not judging please cross the road without judging that a vehicle is close enough to knock you down; maybe when you are in the air you will realise your stupidity.
We do not Judge a person who has Faith that he or she will be in the hellfire, we do not Judge that the person's bad is more than his/her good, we do not Judge if God will forgive a believer… But we Judge that fornication and the promotion of it is EVIL, and that the one who represented evil dead does not make evil good.
Some others will say an adult can do what he or she likes and you don't have to force your life on others. The question we have for this set of confused mentally colonized perverts is that this same justification is given to homosexuality and it will soon be given to incest so that if a grown up man and his grown up daughter say they fell in love and want to marry your kind will say well it’s their life, it does not affect me… Can you see now that you are sick?
Conclusively, the lessons from this unfortunate incident can be summarized as thus:
1) Death can come at any time; be prepared to meet your Lord.
2) Fame and fortunes are but illusions, what matters is your relationship with your Creator.
3) The enjoyment of this world is fleeting; don't let it deceive you.
4) Live a good life; one that does not involve promoting lewdness or any type of evil; death and Judgment is real and it is no respecter of status.
5) It was the honour given her musical mentors that led the lady to not just music but a meaningless form upon which her life ended, so let's ensure that we do not turn scum into icons because people will sure emulate them.
May God Almighty give the family fortitude to bear the lost and guide them aright.