By Akinola Iwilade
PEOPLE that influence actions and inactions of people either positively or otherwise in the society are religious leaders, royal fathers, artists, social critics, rich-wealthy people, spiritual leaders, heads of families, community leaders, political leaders, security agents, youth leaders, and social, academic, professional and cultural institutions and organizations.
These groups individually or collectively command the influence knowingly or unknowingly, consciously or unconsciously, based on their followership or fans strength. But of these groups, in relation to several modern social interaction techniques, the artists (actors, actresses, musicians, footballers, athletes and people whose trades are associated with that group) have a greater influence on the youths.
The awkward or highly unAfrican dressing codes in town today is largely influenced by these influential group of people. In fact, empirical studies have shown that changing or successive dressing codes or styles of human generations have consistently been a result of the influence and dress codes or fashion sense of artists around the world, though it is gradually derailing to complete nudity as we hopelessly build a seductive sense of dressing and consequently aid and promote prostitution, rape, early teenage pregnancies and mass female school drop outs in what I call “enternakedness” ; a mockery of entertainment.
It may also interest you to note that the alarming rate of alcohol abuse like codeine, tramadol and many other harmful substances intake is one of the prizes the society is paying for the much influence these group have on our teeming unemployed youths as some videos and performances of these group practically preach such anti social drug extremism. In the build up to elections in Nigeria, celebrities are usually either indifferent or protective of political aspirations, as their influence on would-be electorate are obvious factors that shape voters’ decision.
But a close look at the background, reasoning and social efforts of 2face Innocent Idibia, reveals that he has one way or the other been a modest and moderate star whose influence on the young people can positively affect the mindset of the younger generations who incidentally are his fans.
To start with the 1stface of 2face which is his music career, the African Queen Crooner has been such an heritage of bond between a man and a woman with a decent approach while helping to reduce the nudity populism concept which I refer to as “enternakedness” in the industry.
Since “every man is either a political animal (the natural state) or an outcast like a ‘bird which flies alone’” as observed by Aristotle in 4th century BC, and there is no sitting on the fence in nation building, 2face is not left out in the political scenes. With utmost caution, and unparalleled civility, he has championed a non partisan neutral “Election No Be War” movement which has canvassed for peace by touring the divides and consequently calming political frail fingers during elections across the country.
As we approach 2019 general elections, I implore celebrities and other influential blocks in the society to begin to observe themselves to measure whether they are of good influence on the society because the good of the society is beneficial even more to the influential blocks. The recent arrest of a musician on illegal possession of firearms is not a good omen at this time on the psyche of his numerous fans, though his guilt is a judicial issue but the news is bad news.
It is, therefore, an irony of English lexicon, since a simple literary meaning of 2face can mean a man with inconsistent values, that I conclude that 2face has human face and he is of consistent values that his peers must emulate.
- Iwilade, a tourism researcher wrote from Lagos