The renowned Nigeria Actor of Nollywood fame, Pete Edochie, was forced a few days ago, to go on air, to offer explanations, on why he took up a role, in a movie that has not even premiered.
The claim was that many Nigerian muslims were angry, because he played the role of a muslim man in that movie, which no one has ever seen till now.
One then wonders, the factual basis upon, which this faux outrage rests. No one has ever seen the movie. The movie is not yet out, yet people are outraged.
It is like someone accusing the feaces you have not even dropped, of stinking, and pursuant to that, threatens to murder you, for a shit you have not even taken.
Nigerians seem to hunger and thirst to be outraged. If no outrage exists, they either pull one out of their asses, or manufacture one and impregnate themselves with outrage; to fulfil this nihilist urge to be outraged.
This tells us of the alternative universe, which many Nigerians are living in; and their readiness to murder you, based on the figments of their imagination.
Why would Pete Edochie, or any artist for that matter, be forced to defend himself, for a non-existing crime?
He took to the air, because threats were being made to his life.
That Nigeria is a testament to murderous impunity,where forces of superstitious nihilism, intimidates an artist, at a metaphorical gunpoint, to apologize for his art,is not news anymore.
This was the country that watched in inaction, as forces of zealotry ran Isioma Daniels, out of town, in fear of her life, for daring to publish an opinion, about Nigeria hosting a Beauty contest.
Nowhere else on the African continent, has a country been so thoroughly corrupted by a belligerent sense of unproductive privilege; and a people so decisively cowered into timorous acquiescence, in the face of rampaging evil,as to be co-opted and conscripted into inaugurating its own self-destruction.
This is a country that has constructed a tradition, out of grooming certified debauchees, eminent scoundrels, and irredeemable quacks, as legislators of her national ethos; who go about writing murder for anyone, who dared curse the darkness,by lighting a candle of progress.
This was the country that letter-bombed Dele Giwa out of existence, while his alleged murderer, was allowed to run down the clock on the remainder of his contract with fate,still hiding in his rooftop mansion in Minna; instead of visiting the hangman’s noose, which would have been a just recompense.
This is an embrace, where every law is obeyed in the breach; where the sources of social legitimacy issues from breweries of dogmatic toxicity;where every temple is dedicated to bending the knees at Mammon, or genuflecting to those golden calves of monumental superstition, sculpted by our megalomania.
It is only in such a boiling cesspool of impunity; this coagulated cauldron of ignorance armoured by dogma; this whirlpool of raging fanaticism; that an artist is ever compelled by zealotry, to rebuke his vocation as an artist, under the pain of violence to his life and limb. I thought that this is a hangover of our evolutionary infancy. But alas, Nigeria has retrogressed, to the point of being a placard of an all round decadence.
History has borne inglorious witness,to societies doing violence to her bearers of progress.
Without the intent of revisiting the Greeks’ condemnation of Socrates to a cocktail of Hemlock, or the medieval church imprisonment of Galileo and burning of Giordano Bruno at stake,modern versions of that social Hara-kiri, is everywhere to be seen.
Hitler made a bonfire out of books by Jewish authors, before his mad drive to gas and cremate the Jews out of existence. This proves that whoever burns books, or destroys art, will burn and destroy human beings if given the opportunity. In fact, it is a proof, that the destruction of arts and culture have always been the forerunners of genocide. This is also why Hitler murdered the creme de la creme of Polish intellectuals, as his genocidal armies raped Poland in 1939.
We also saw modern versions of that inquisitorial medievalism in the Islamic Fatwah by Ayatolla Kohmeni, on Salman Rushdie. That Fatwah was very much like the Islamic version of the Malleus Maleficarum, deployed by Grand Inquisitors of medieval Catholicism; proving that Islam has not yet graduated from medievalism. The Charlie Hebdo saga, consolidated that.
In Nigeria, we all witnessed the exilic martyrium of Isioma Daniels, who asked the entitled Islamic debauchees, protesting Nigeria’s hosting of the Miss World Beauty contest to take several seats, since the patron of the religion they pretended to profess, may have loved some exposed flesh too; if he were to be here and now.
That medievalism was also at play in the failed attempt of many Nigerian Muslim fanatics, to once again use the bodies of hapless Nigerian womanhood, as an arena to stage a rehearsal of all the murderous debaucheries native to medieval patriarchy.They so much desired to masturbate to the morbid eroticism of stoning Amina Lawal and Safiya Husseini to death, for an adultery, which many of them commit daily without consequence.
Today, we are also seeing another instance of that in Kano State, where a thieving governor is aspiring to legally sanction the murder of a musician, under the flimsy ruse of him insulting prophet Muhammad.
One wonders whether the prophet or the god these asses claim to worship, is such a weakling, that he would require the uneducated groveling of consolidated ignoramuses to go fight for him.
We have now arrived this junction of silly outrage again.
Our anger at this silliness of religious fanatics, threatening artists for following the dictates of their vocation, has now compelled me to tell these armies of uncouth ignoramuses, to go to hell and eat feaces.
We are never gonna allow them to hijack our national discourse or enthrone their impious neurosis as the framework for behaviour, using emotional blackmails, threats of violence or every other such fulminations that cow their kind.
They should go to hell and eat shit.
Pete Edochie has the right to take up any role he wants. He has that artistic license. His vocation commands that. If you don’t like it, or if you are uncomfortable with it, you can offer a critique of it and publish it for the education of us all.
Threatening him, would not cut it this time.
Your religion is not more important that any human life. Your silly and hypocritical affectation to piety is an undeodorized piece of dog shit, if you feel it empowers you to threaten people with violence, for doing their jobs.
Threatening to destroy a life you cannot create, is the most stupid aspiration of an idiot.
It is high time we tell the idiots that they are not the ones to define for us, how an artist is to deploy his talents.
If they don’t know what Art is, they should go educate their presumptions. Art mimics life. An artist is paid to pretend.
No human being, should be allowed to presume, that he reserves the right to tell an artist how to go about his art.
We have come very far from those days, when an artist requires the imprimatur or the nihil obstat, of medieval inquisitors, to publish his art, or express himself.
We should not empower these fanatics with our silence, to think that we would tolerate them telling a reincarnation of Leonardo da Vinci how to paint his Mona Lisa, or Michelangelo, how to sculpt his David. We should not allow them, to stampede the many potential Marquis de Sades, sprinkled generously in our clime, how to create their literature, or the many hidden Shakespeares of our firmament, how to write their tragedies.
These fanatics are guys, who Karl Popper recognized as the enemies of open societies. We should never tolerate their intolerance. They should take their intolerance to hell, and leave our artists in peace to go about their vocations. Artists are the witnesses we send to posterity, that our culture ever existed.
We may never hear about the fanatics as the tides of history rolls, except as foils to the germination of genius.
These religious fanatics of Islamic atavism, are only piggybacking on Artists like Pete Edochie, to have a slim chance of getting a mention in history.
But they should be told in no uncertain terms, that no artist is beholden to their murderous intolerance.
As for Pete Edochie, he is the only one ever empowered, to determine the limits of his art and its expression, provided it never goes against social justice, equity and good conscience.
And to all men of goodwill, Peace!
Gwazia Ndi yard unu!