UNN Youngest Professor, Ozioma Onuzulike Writes About The Marlians Cult *The Deadly Virus Called Naira Marley*
By Ozioma Onuzulike.
“Quarter pass, you still want to get high/After one original tramadol extra…/ I want to wake up inside money… /Yeah, come! Am I guilty?/ I am smart and I am making money… /Am I a yahoo boy? No evidence…”
Taken from “Mafo” (2019), these lines easily spotlight the hot lure of our youth towards Naira Marley’s world of reckless lifestyle. Azeez Fashola took up the stage name “Naira Marley” in admiration of Bob Marley, the late reggae musician. Like Bob Marley, he wears dreadlocks and is a notorious smoker and promoter of cannabis (Indian hemp or Igbo). He is the latest deadly virus in town, creating a cult followership among the youth who are called Marlians.
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Like an evil genius, Azeez Fashola easily sells the Marlian brand to his admirers by blowing their heads with customised volleys of “Marlians! Marlians! Marlians!…” Many adults have also swallowed the bait. One of them recently thumbed up Azeez Fashola’s photograph on the social media, gleefully declaring: “This is the Marlian Prince”. He proceeded to enlist as one of Naira Marley’s spin doctors, blatantly lying that Naira Marley “studied uptil (sic) Masters level in the UK and holds a degree with distinction in Business Law”.
Is he correct? Has Azeez Fashola attended any degree-awarding school? Naira Marley’s last school was a Sixth Form college (Crossways College) at which point he left off formal education because, according to his own confession to the EFCC, “I had kids at that time, so I took a break and started making music till date”. But his spin doctor told ‘white’ lies in his spirited effort to convince his audience that Naira Marley is, according to him, “a successful young man, living an interesting life”. And why not? Naira Marley, born only on 9th May 1994, is married to two wives and has four kids!
Concerned parents should discountenance Naira Marley’s spin doctors on social media who are dutifully reading his recent Wikipedia entry upside down to the extent of expressly awarding him a master’s degree in an unknown field of study. They are working hard to dispel fears that real Marlians do not become school drop outs even when they are “mannerless” and smoke weed like their Prince, change women like clothes and immerse themselves in the quest for easy money that are spent on alcohol and sex – vices that constitute the selling points of their Prince’s music videos.
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As a parent, take out some time to understand the lyrics of Naira Marley’s latest hit song “Soapy”, which he released after his recent “visit” to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Watch Naira Marley himself or members of his growing gang do the “Soapy Dance”. You will be surprised to witness how audacious Naira Marley has grown in injecting deadly viruses into the brains of our youth.
Before now, you may have seen people dancing lewd dances with their vibrating buttocks and changing gear sometimes to make gestures that are suggestive of the sexual act itself. But you have seen nothing yet. In his so-called “Soapy Dance”, Naira Marley has got those vulgar dance moves “improved” by his introduction of a very explicit sexual gesture that has extended the deadly reach of today’s insanity. Beginning with the song’s title, “Soapy”, he makes no pretensions about his glamorisation and promotion of masturbation. In doing this so-called “Soapy Dance”, the right or left hand is held in front of one’s groin in a way that visually suggests it is holding up a man’s charged “thing”. A rhythmic glide of the folded hand is sustained at work while the dancer seductively moves his or her groin in an aggressively suggestive way.
That is not all. It is even more perplexing and vexing to encounter Naira Marley’s deliberate injection of real or simulated voices of children into the “Soapy” choruses in ways that easily sway unsuspecting kids to sing along with him. What good does a practical lesson on masturbation do to your children? He even ends the song, most enchantingly, by cautioning on the wrong kind of soap to masturbate with. Your children innocuously sing with him, oblivious of the song’s poisonous flow that gradually finds its way into their vulnerable brain. Naira Marley’s “Soapy Dance” is sugar-coated poison! Like a delicious candy, your children nod their heads to its sweetness at first, but, if care is not taken, they are bound to be silently and gradually destroyed by the candy’s deadly core!
You may also examine Naira Marley’s “PXTA”, his music video featuring a large crowd of shameless young men and women dancing with bare bottoms and even copulating like dogs. You will find a set of pregnant girls dressed in what looks like secondary school pinafore uniforms and who suddenly turn to dance the “ass dance”. In this video, Naira Marley unambiguously defines the qualifications for admittance of young, impressionable minds into the Marlian “gang” (to use his own expression!). In the song’s introduction, you hear Naira Marley say “Hey control the crowd, control the crowd/ Marlians come forward, the rest Bleep off…” Well dressed young men are refused admission into the dance arena as Naira Marley intones, “If herb is not getting you high, just play Naira Marley song and you will scatter/We, the mannerless ones; zero belt, a thousand trousers”. The young men pull out their belts and stagger into the arena to join Naira Marley whose own ‘belt-less’ trouser hangs below his ass as he continues singing “Do you know MD?/ That means you should dance Marlian Dance/Can you see NBG?/ Don’t bother saying too much; it is we, the no belt gang!”
From my interactions with students of my university, “Zero belt, a thousand trousers” has become a very catchy line for them. So, to be a real Marlian, you have to dress without a belt and your trousers would have to hang down your ass, exposing your inner wear like that of Naira Marley. Why? “We, no manners” is the creed! After all, “U Bad-Oh!”
If you are patient to search out the English translation of Naira Marley’s “Opotoyi”, you will confirm that he has NOTHING good to offer your children. In this, he sings: “Marlians (7x)/Lift Your Legs (6x)/ Marlians (7x)/MD, MD, MD, this MD is Bad-Oh!/… South Africa owns this bottom mehn/Look at that bottom, they travelled to mould that bottom./So It’s as big as this/You covered it up with clothes/It’s as big as this…” He continues to sing about big bottoms. Suddenly, he adds “…Dance to my song, give me 5 minutes like indomie/ She’s looking at me, seems she wants to bang me/ Give me my thing, man, give me my weed”. He glamorises illicit sex and Indian hemp. He then goes even more vicious: “I called my dealer, she sniffed, I had weed in my mouth, ganja!/She wants to kiss, baby girl can you kiss Tobi, Go down …/Small breast like tiger pussy/Sexy girl, let me lean on your chest”.
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He is not done yet. In “Opotoyi”, Naira Marley tickles the fancy of your children towards MouthAction, raising their curiosity as he sings, “Just like sugar,… her pussy is as sweet as sugar… / Lick what you want, let them know we met wealth on earth/ So It’s as big as this/ You covered it up with clothes…”. He continues with other lewd lines before the song comes to an end with hails of “Marlians! Marlians!…” And then, you wonder if Naira Marley is building your children for good or helping the devil to plant seeds of destruction in their impressionable minds. Or whether the devil himself has not cultured Naira Marley into a deadly virus.
Without doubt, what have characterised Naira Marley’s brand are illicit drugs, sex, alcohol and easy money. All of Naira Marley’s music lyrics and videos of 2019 that I have seen are never complete without the glamorisation of cannabis (Indian hemp), the female ass and alcohol. The glorification of internet fraud (yahoo-yahoo) is also his trademark. These are among deadly viruses that drive many young people away from their parents’ godly counsel and either destroy them completely or keep them disoriented.
Parents? Yes, I am referring to godly parents, those who are truly responsible and exemplary, not those who are probably worse than Naira Marley himself. One of Naira Marley’s strange fans among the university lecturers that I know has vehemently argued that Naira Marley is not the inventor of these vices and that they (these vices) will not end with him. Yes. There have always been these vices, no doubt. But the point is that Azeez Fashola (Naira Marley) is currently one of the most audacious promoters of them all. And responsible parents ought to be on their guard. They should be wary of the trending deadly virus of this time.
I urge all truly concerned parents to be on red alert, constantly guarding their children with the anti-virus of godly virtues. One of my own father’s efficacious anti-virus programmes is drawn from God’s word in Proverbs chapter 1, especially verse 10. I can confidently recommend that – “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not!”
*Ozioma Onuzulike is a Professor of Ceramic Art and African Art History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.