On first impression, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley may look like another lucky guy from the hood that a vibrant music career offered a way out of squalor, and luck twice the size of zuma Rock to spear-head a popular culture shift that has successful permeated the fabrics of life over this side of the hemisphere. Quite the contrary, it will shock you that the president of Marlians worldwide and the leader of this fast growing group of decadents with “no mannaz” is actually well educated, and educated abroad.
It totally shocked me that Naira Marley comes from a privileged world normal with the idea of harbouring and fantasizing about a passion. Yeah he had the passion of being an MC and voice over artiste. This means that everything about this rave is intentional and planned, and that Marley is such a genius.
Naira Marley seems to be that escape clause in a very rigid deal, that unexpected option out of a very unpleasant situation. He ushers in a cultural shift quite alright, but in the least expected way. Marley seems a breath of fresh air, that ultimate way to rebel against societal ordinations and expectations.
Frankly, most people that confess to being Marlians are not necessarily excited by the idea of the clumsy looking artist or by his ridiculous hairstyle. Nah, this revolution is more than the out-of-beat dance steps and absurd love of bright colours the movement is known for.
But instead, the controversial singer and his ways both offer a way to revolt as a group and also accept the society’s condemnation as a group. It is quite sad that being denied a thorough pedagogy on individualism and its many progressive benefits, many young Nigerians lacking this 21st century survival skill consciously look out for trends like this to actively express their repressed sides.
When I claim to be a Marlian, I mean to say that you shouldn’t expect so much from me, that I don’t shy aware from drinking and smoking heavily, that I don’t harbor such pretentious piety behind terms like “sexual immorality”, and that I have very lax morals that should probably worry the older folks in my life. While I say all these, I want to stand out like Billie Eilish at the Grammys while receiving a standing ovation, outlaw yet talented AF.
This attraction to everything Marley represents is why most young Nigerians would take up nicknames that basically scream moral disregard. This is also a sign that most Millennials here are not from the same stock as the older generation and will readily embrace trends like this to make known their innate wantonness. This however is because we have been raised quite deficient of the much needed rudiments of individuality and self-confidence. So majority of young Nigerians lack the backbone to shove it in the face of prim modesty and decorum, and when chance brings cultural drifts like this they do not think twice before jumping on the train.
This shocking revelation exposes the actual level of moral decadence and the illusionary state of Christian education forced on children.
So pious Nigerian faithful,
Naira Marley is not a demon or whatever, and it is more about the changing state of things than on the artist himself. Literally anyone could have achieved what Naira Marley achieved which involves turning your children against their Moral Instruction classes. A pop-culture trend is a trend and it doesn’t have to make sense. The only tangible lesson to draw from here is how eager young Nigerians are to embrace this tendency that loosens the subdued parts of them.