Media and the recovery of Igbo values

The media in every society are seen as agents of change development and progress. They also help to dictate the pace of development by the way they focus on issues of importance. What therefore the media regard as important inevitably gets attention. This is why the mass media in their collective, and the practitioners in the field, including authors of books, historians, newsmakers and news disseminators, should all join hands in this all important effort of recovering human values.

There is no doubt that humanity especially in the West, is tottering towards and or retrogressing rapidly into the pre-civilization or Stone Age. What with the adoption of same sex marriage by many of them, the advocacy for nudity, and other such abnormalities; it seems somewhat awkward that one is advocating for the recovery of such behaviour patterns as respect for elders, decent dressing, etc. for a world that would rather discountenance their existence.

The implication of the above is that the few sane minds and these are generally to be found among journalists, writers, artists, etc. should bestir themselves and make sure that humanity does not go back to the doldrums. How can this be achieved?

This question should be rather directed at the lgbo people, it has been said in a proverb that a man about to be roasted does not rub himself in oil. This means that the lgbo have a challenge to address the issues raised here especially given their uncertain place in the nation called Nigeria. I say, uncertain, because they are always at the receiving end of other culture’s equally uncertain temperament.

In the first place, there is an urgent need to address the issue of mass media in the form of an Igbo language newspaper or magazine. This will both encourage the spoken and written aspects of the language. Here, the government should get involved. Agreed, efforts have been made in this direction in the past but they failed. However, no rest is permitted until success is achieved. Though the above is not directly under the purview of the mass media, they can write on its need and thus get the government and other financially buoyant parties involved.

In the same token, the media should help call attention through their agenda setting function, to the crying issue of lgbo way of dressing, especially among public figures. They owe the people the duty to bring up these issues. You get to the National House of Assembly, for instance, it would amount to a search of the proverbial pin in a haystack to see any senator spotting lgbo dress. The house of representatives is not any better. One does not know however, if the same pathetic situation obtains in the various state houses of Assembly. These are no doubt issues begging for attention and only the media in whatever form can come to the rescue.

Positive human values embedded in a people’s culture are veritable sources of wealth. For instance music and dance serve for international cultural exchange. They alongside other cultural and traditional values also serve tourist interests and are therefore avenues for generating internal revenue. This is why the media must not relent in advocating for the upholding of these values. As Osazee Odia (2006 p18) has argued while citing Ukala: “Thus, arts and culture reduce individual poverty levels, and also yield revenue for nations. Art and some elements of culture are articles of trade, purchased locally and or exported, Painting, sculpture, ceramics, poetry, architecture, music, dance, creative, Writing, literature, acting, theatre and film production yield incomes for those engaged in them, thereby reducing poverty and fostering life-sustenance.

The relevance of culture, of human values, of what is important and should be upheld and what needs a change, a reshaping, readjustment, a re-evaluation, and what needs to be discarded and done away with is dependent on what significance humanity attaches to it. And the media generally and the mass media, in particular, are pivotal in the quest to make this significant decision.

However, hope is not lost. Humanity is continuous and for the sake of future generations, it is not too late for humanity to reclaim itself. There is, therefore, a need for all well-meaning individuals, groups and government at the various tiers, to contribute to this task of rescuing humanity from itself. Government should make policies and ensure their implementation. Policies such as culture, communication, film, among others, should be revisited for implementation.

Also, the humanities as an academic discipline, in general, should be encouraged to document relevant human Values in all their forms and aspects. Finally, individuals, especially men and women, who are above seventy years of age, and who are familiar and well-grounded with their people’s culture and history, should be visited, in order to interview them and access the relevant knowledge and information from the before they become ancestors.

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