Is there anyone who has shown a better understanding of the issues at hand than Falz? For the last 5 years, Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana has been teaching Nigerians about our political history and how our leaders have been running the same scams since the 1960s through his music, his comedy, his social media channels, and his creative choices. He isn’t just another armchair critic, when the #EndSARS protests started in early October 2020, he dropped everything else he was doing to lend his support to the protests, marching with young Nigerians who demanded an end to police brutality and debunking attempts to discredit the movement by agents loyal to the government.
In the weeks since the protest began, a lot has happened and much of the initial passion that fueled the protests have slowed down. Horrified by the Lekki Shooting of October 20, 2020, and the attacks against protesters by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigerian Police and on social media, the flood of tweets and events online and offline demanding a response from the government has slowed into a trickle. We are being bombarded with so much misinformation and gaslighting that it won’t be surprising if some people just give up altogether and try to return to their ‘normal lives. We were starting to forget why we were fighting in the first place.
Thankfully, you can always depend on Falz The Bad Guy to keep his eye on what matters. Yesterday he released via his Instagram a music video to his song ‘Johnny’. Released in 2019, as part of his 2019 album ‘Moral Instruction’, that was part homage to the legacy of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s activism and part scathing critique of Nigeria, its government and its people, Johnny reminds us of the wanton and needless deaths that come as a consequence of unchecked police brutality. It reminds us that we are the casualties of this violence, and our silence will not save us.
The new video for Johnny is sufficiently graphic, and we would recommend people still coming to terms with the violence from the Lekki Shooting and other attacks on protesters across the country avoid the video, but if you have the stomach for it, please find, watch and share the video. Don’t look away from the reality of our lives, don’t overlook the message.
Our #EndSARS fight is far from over, and the consequences of giving up too real to ignore.