An Economy Of Justice – Josh Journal
Do you have an idea how much it cost to be a justice fighter in Nigeria? In this case, I’m ignoring the daily cost of abandoning your work and showing up to protest. Or the cost of transportation and other logistics.
Instead, I’m focusing on the cost on their career, family, mental health, and social life.
Have you ever thought about it? Do you spare a thought for those you know to be popular for being freedom and justice fighters?
When you hear people being called activists or campaigners before you “shimusoke” or “yinmu” for them, do you think about what that must have cost them?
I first got exposed to the world of activists when I began reading newspaper coverage of the pro-democracy struggles of the Babangida and Abacha years.
I was still a preteen then, so despite sympathizing with them, I wasn’t emotionally matured enough to think about its implication on other aspects of their lives.
When I watched the press conference of the TAMPAN executives angrily and vehemently banning Iyabo Ojo and Nkechi Blessing Sunday, I suddenly saw a new angle to activism and being a justice advocate.
Despite acknowledging that one or both ladies were not members of their association, the men not only banned and mandated members of their unions from working with said ladies, they also vowed to frustrate them out of the industry.
For all the talk about Nollywood one day going through its #MeToo era, I always had a premonition that this would be the response of its powerbrokers. I happily stand to be corrected.
They have not even said #Me, talkless of #Too, men are already moving heaven and earth to silence them.
Some would argue that accusations were being thrown indiscriminately which warranted the ban. Why didn’t the body set up an investigative panel to look into every accusation that is not already been looked into by the police?
Weed yourself of unwholesome elements before the big scandal rubs off on everyone.
Or are these men guilty of something we shouldn’t ungentlemanly?
When you hear a veteran actor granting an interview claiming that “sleeping with each other” is a normal thing in the industry, we have to investigate how “normal” it is.
Not how frequently it is. Rather, are all participants doing it willingly or is anyone being forced?
Is there an abuse of power? Is anyone being taken advantage of? Are minors and underage involved?
These are questions that if answered properly, then no one would be able to accuse the association of shady dealings or an attempt to cover up its seedy past.
Instead, they are throwing away the baby with the bathwater. And hurriedly too.
If these ladies are blackballed out of the industry, wouldn’t that silence future victims and their sympathizers from speaking up?
Or is that the intention of TAMPAN? Because that would be a real ballsy and devilish move if it is.
If in the future, these men that announced this ban are seen leading a protest, campaigning for justice, and opposing the government, with which lens are we supposed to look at them?
Scratch that. With which lens are we supposed to watch them in movies?
If they have decided to blackball justice advocates, then I think it is only right that sponsors and corporate Nigeria blackball them too.
It is time for advertisers and sponsors to put morals and ethics behind their money.
Stop patronizing problematic and rape apologist entertainers. You have options. Your money has a lot of power.
The same thing goes for the viewers. Stop watching movies or other content made by or featuring these inhumane characters.
Instead, sponsors and the audience alike should show support for the warriors of justice.
They have put their income, wellbeing, and reputation on the line. It is only fair that we support and reward them in the little way we can.
Now I understand why the Gani Fawehinmi and his likes didn’t die as multi-millionaires.
Mr. Macaroni, Iyabo Ojo, Nkechi Blessing Sunday, and other entertainers sell something that the common man can buy. Or watch. Let’s do that.
When this storm finally blows away, we should never forget those that tried to stand in the way of justice. Those that put their industry over the welfare of vulnerable women in that same industry.
And let’s not forget those who supported a government that wickedly took away the lives of its citizens.