by Farida Adamu
I started paying better attention to Falz after he released “This is Nigeria”, a song that talked about the most bedeviling issues that affect Nigeria. I thought it to be a bold and extraordinary work of art. Despite the backlash from MURIC over the use of hijabs in his video, he was unshaken.
His recent music video “Child of the World” has come to shake another familiar table. It tells the story of a girl who evolved from an innocent girl under her mother’s wings to a runs girl.
The protagonist, played by Bamike Olawunmi is seen at the beginning of the song after graduating from university, joy of her mother. She later enrolls for an internship with her uncle, he takes advantage of that and molests her and this event lead her into doing runs, sleeping with men for money. She later realizes she is HIV positive and wanted to end her life, but Falz comes in as a helper, asking her to “Speak Up”, assuring her that she wasn’t to blame for all that happened.
The song, mostly described as having a “Deep” message, ends with her talking about HIV on the streets and helping other people. There were also help and support lines provided at the end of the video for people who may want to talk about their situation. At that point, I dropped my phone and started clapping, I truly did. Falz may easily come off as an “unserious” person but in the short while he has been in our faces, he has drawn attention to issues we easily lay off.
I absolutely love and appreciate this work of art but I think the narrative of a girl subscribing to prostitution or runs after she is being molested is an over flogged one and it often overshadows what some other victims experience. I also think the perpetrator her uncle was neither shamed nor prosecuted, he was simply tagged “Agbaya” and everyone moved on. A metaphor for the poor justice system in Nigeria? Maybe. But I think Falz should have addressed the consequence of abuse by the perpetrator, the uncle should have been arrested and sentenced. Also, I think we need to move from pitying victims of abuse, it is not empowering at all.
All in all, this is out of the usual. Many artistes don’t talk about these issues in their songs. I mean, contrary to Olamide’s “Story for the gods”, this is hopeful and redeeming but the narrative can be improved.
Falz lives to serve us goals…LOL. Looking forward to his next song. If you haven’t watched it, do so please and let me know what your thoughts are. Cheers!!
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