entertainment: the career of choice for young people in Nigeria.
Back in the days, it was a thing of great pride for a young person to study to become a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer. Parents encouraged their children to study any of these ‘prestigious’ courses so that they in turn (especially the mothers) can be addressed as ‘nne Doctor’ or ‘nne Lawyer’. On the other hand, parents felt disappointed whenever their children showed interest in entertainment – a sector regarded as a preserve for drop- outs and never do- wells. Needles to say, the near to nothing remuneration for practitioners in the sector, did not help matters. Hence, those who took up entertainment as a career did so purely on interest. The passion for the industry, overrode the desire for monetary or any other form of aggrandizement.
Fast forward to the 90s, the huge potentials in the entertainment industry became more pronounced and perceptions began to change. Today, entertainment has become the career of the moment so much so that every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to be in entertainment – talented or not! Well, with the kind of mega and ‘easy’ bucks available in the entertainment industry, no one would blame anybody for wanting a piece of the juicy pie! After all, everyone craves the good life and the guys would love to give their girlfriends exotic gifts of ‘Assurance’ on their birthdays as well huh?
The recently held Big Brother Naija provided great entertainment for millions of viewers in Africa, those 18 and above that is, and made instant celebrities and millionaires of the participants. And, I dare predict that as things stand now, when the auditions for next year’s edition of the reality TV show kicks off, the number of applicants will triple that of this year. That’s not all; sponsors are likely to pay more to secure the ultimate right – Entertainment sure sells!
Don’t get me wrong! I’m a sucker for entertainment. After all, the world would be pretty boring without it right? And it’s proof that the Nigerian youths are not lazy as has been averred, because they built the industry from the scratch. But, have you thought of what a world it would have been without Scientists who dedicate their entire lives to constant research and inventions? Have you for once paused to think of what the world would be without medical practitioners: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, radiographers and all the others? Have you also thought of what it would have been without engineers to build houses, air planes, cars and provide electricity, or, without information technologists; the ones that make it possible for us to communicate and socialise without leaving the comfort of our homes?
If there were no carpenters, we wouldn’t have beautiful furniture in our homes and classrooms. If there were no pilots, the air planes wouldn’t fly and so would the ships not sail without captains. Have you thought of how lawless and insecure our society would have been without the police and the military to maintain law and order and wade off external aggression? If the teachers are not in the classrooms, the school system would collapse and if there are no farmers? …. I will leave that to your imagination.
I can go on and on because the list is almost endless. If you look around, you will definitely see more and more people tucked in the corner but who are adding value to our daily existence by their services; the vulcanizers, mechanics, tailors, barbers, hair stylists, make- up artists and so on.
Without doubt, every other occupation mentioned and those not mentioned provide a solid support system on which entertainment thrives. This means that entertainment cannot stand and thrive alone and with the collapse of other sectors, would come the collapse of our society.
Entertainment is very good no doubt, but we shouldn’t all gravitate towards that one direction. God has put different talents and abilities inside us and the onerous task before everyone of us is to discover our area of value to mankind and fill that gap irrespective of the reward system and you will be surprised by how God will bless you in it.
Oya! Let’s go dancing….