We are what we see and listen to
In my search for an answer as to where most of our youths draw their inspiration from, and on who and what they want to become in this life, I have realised how great an influence music is in their lives. This was amply demonstrated again the previous weekend when I saw how the audience drooled every time their favourite artists performed on stage.
But it is not only the artists as accomplishment personified, also the contents of songs stir the young minds. There is much power in a song to transform our society.
A few years ago, the likes of Jackson Kaujeua used to give music lovers a treat for their money with well-crafted lyrics, but from what I see today, the conventional music scene has since been invaded by drinking, guns, murder, drugs, rape and suicide.
Through music, people used to have an identity and it brought a sense of solidarity and togetherness to different communities. We all remember the major role played by music in fighting against colonialism and racial discrimination.
Most liberation wars were fought with the morale raised by the well-crafted music with some icons in the music circles making their mark.
I blame the so called “pop music”for most of the evils being perpetrated in our societies as they imitate some music stars, many of them with crime backgrounds.
If culture is defined as the ordinary, then what we are living right now, including the music we listen to, all identifies us with a certain culture.
Conventional music has changed ordinary songs, which in my opinion, were supposed to be cultural products, but have been changed into commodities which we now have to buy before consuming, thereby dancing to the tune of the “manufacturer,” only for him to make profit.
I believe when we listen to a song, not only do we consume the messages in the song, but we also consume some cultural artifacts embedded in the songs and these artifacts have a strong influence on our day to day lives, thus shaping our culture.
Even the Bible says in the book of Hosea (4:6) “My people are perishing for lack of knowledge.” It means people do not perish because of the absence of knowledge, but for insufficient knowledge concerning things we involve ourselves with. In the same vein, if people just listen to music without an informed understanding of the ideologies hidden inside a “simple” song, then we might miss the whole point.
Today you find some young men dressed in jeans which will be pulled down to just below their buttocks trying to walk in ‘style’ just because they saw a music star pulling down his pants in a music video. But the aspect of dropping trousers was adopted from the American prisons where prisoners were not given belts to buckle their trousers for fear that they might hurt or kill each other with the belt, so their trousers will be dropping as they walk.
Now many misinformed youths are doing the same, claiming that they have been ‘born free’- this is very strange to imagine.
Therefore it is high time we must educate our youths on what they should emulate and what is not acceptable for the sake of protecting our traditions from being eroded by the western culture which has brought ideas and feelings of rebellion to our youths.