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Misrepresented : Yoruba value system

  • Recently #Netflix and #Amazon Prime are making a lot of noise in pushing out so called “African content” such as “Young, Famous, and African” and “Gang of Lagos”.

    I feel this is a dangerous trend and again is misrepresenting #Africa, in this case #SouthAfrica and #Nigeria in particular. Why does this South Africa version of glam remind me of its American version? Just how much money, sex, and violence do we need to portray a continent with half of the population identify themselves as Muslim and 30% Christian?

    I think voicing objection is needed. What do you think the global village would feel after watching these westernized shows about Africa?

    Once I walked around a market in #Tanzania and i noticed families watching shows from India and China. I asked why not American Hollywood shows and was told because they are not suitable for Tanzanian children.

    Obviously a missing link here is Tanzanian media content too.

    A more realistic portray of Nigeria values is “Up North” from Nexflix but still not good enough. #Yoruba is the second largest tribe in Nigeria. Here are some insights about the Yoruba Nigerians from Francis Adegbola-

    *In Yorubaland, money has never been foremost in Yoruba value system*

    *In our value system money is number six*

    *What are the first five?*

    1. The first is làákà’yè - The application of knowledge, wisdom & understanding. (Ogbón and ìmò òye)

    2. The second is Ìwà Omolúàbí - (integrity) Someone with integrity is a man/woman of their words.

    If you have all the wealth in the world but lack integrity, you are not worth a thing. Integrity is combined with iwa, (character) which we regard as Omolúàbí.

    3. The third is Akínkanjú or Akin - (Valour).

    That is why Balóguns is second-in-command to the leaders in Yoruba land.

    Balóguns are people that can lead them to war.

    To lead with great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.

    Yoruba people have no respect for cowards.

    4. The fourth is Anísélápá tí kìíse òle - (Having a visible means of livelihood).

    A person must be identified with a visible means of livelihood that guarantees a lawful income or sustenance. His or her profession or job must be open and legally approved by society, and not through cheating or forcefulness.

    5. The fifth is iyi- (Honour) Yoruba people place a premium on the gait with which individuals carry themselves and public reputation.

    That is why Yorùbá people usually say when you set out to look for money and you meet honour on the way then you don't need the journey anymore, because if you get the money, you will still use it to buy honour.

    6. The last in the Yorùbá value system is owó tàbí orò- (Money or wealth).

    If putting money ahead of the other five, then you are nobody in Yoruba land of the olden days.

    Unfortunately, this is being pushed to the front burner nowadays due to the erosion of our values.”

    \ud83c\udf3a We need truly Afro-centric content to dispel the negative perceptions hurting Africa’s economy indirectly.


    by Dr Eileen CZ \ud83c\udf0d Africa Ecosystem Builder • Group Shumba • Pan African Chamber of Commerce