“I wanna be a billionaire, Billionaire, yeah yeah, I wanna be a billionaire,
Billionaire yeah eh eh!” — Teni Makanaki Billionaire Lyrics
Earlier in September 2019, Teni, a rising star in Nigeria entertainment, released a track titled, “Billionaire.” The lyrics of the song were riddled with her unreserved passion to be a billionaire, without any support base or problem to solve for a common man in her quest. Soon after, Tiwa Savage, another popular and a-list female artist dropped her own track titled, “49–99.” Singular message in the track was to be rich and leave poverty life behind. This single was devoid of values to add to reach her goal.
The trend was unlimited to the entertainment industry alone. In fact, it cuts across every sector.
In early December 2019, we were assaulted by another headline — murder of a final year student of Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, by her boyfriend. The ritual killing of his late girlfriend was motivated to get-rich-quick. The pathetic narrative of the incident was that the accomplice was a local pastor. The pastor’s solution to lift the poor young man out of poverty was to sacrifice his girlfriend for rituals.
Needless to restate internet crimes called ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’ scam business that Nigerians now have reputations for in recent times.
This is the spirit of the times that Nigeria grapples with every day, as said by a respected mentor. With no end in sight, one wonders where are the elders and guardians of the realm that could have pointed us in the right direction. Where are the intellectuals, sages, school systems, religious bodies, parents, and guardians that could defuse this time bombs?
It’s been said that “Elders cannot be in the markets and a child would be badly molded.” It is worrisome that the men who know better are sleeping, or perhaps looking other way, when nation’s values are daily eroded.
There is an urgent need for value appraisal and reorientation of the younger generations of this great nation before it’s too late. We should not let the spirit of the times goes by without questioning the conscience of the spirit for its truth.
We need men of impeccable characters that not only bring the nation to his feet but bring the nation to its senses. It is a time that values of hard work, patience, integrity, and contributions to societies must be coveted and rewarded far above questionable wealth.
Institutions, such as schools, homes, religious bodies, and organizations, must be empowered and armed with instruments of nation-building so that we can produce God-fearing youths and be better for it. We must not bow to the god of this age — money.
This is a call for all men to be conscious of the time, rather than flowing with the tides of the spirit of the times. However, such change can only begin when we reset the values aright and teach young boys and girls values of honesty, hard work and value additions, not through get-rich-quick syndrome.