Of Bobrisky, Runsewe and morality
Much sadder, our society has sunk lower in moral that some secondary school students these days go to classes with pornographic items on their handsets. During the break time, they gather in a corner to watch what mummy and daddy are hiding at home. All that is rotten is in oversupply these days. Our ethos and moral fibre have withered very precipitously. What seemed hilarious is no longer funny as hope is fast giving way to melancholy. Is this the way to go?
However, a more frightening dimension was recently added to this sorrowful narrative when a 27-year old transvestite Okuneye Idris Olanrewaju popularly known as Bobrisky transformed from being a man to a female. From dressing like a female and wearing makeup, Okuneye has graduated into enlarging his rumps and breasts. In a recent video on Instagram, Bobrisky has this to say “hello guys, I am a beautiful girl. So if I post a picture and you want to comment, you comment and say “you look beautiful, baby girl, pretty woman”. Don’t come to my page and address me as bro”.
Interestingly, while many custodians of moral values waited and wondered, stood and starred at Bobrisky’s strange idea, the Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe stepped forward to stop what he described as a cultural abomination. According to the NCAC boss, “Bobrisky is a national disgrace. He started by selling and using bleaching creams, now he has grown boobs, bums and hips. If Bobrisky is perceived to be doing well with his immoral lifestyle, how do you convince Nigerian youths to do the right thing? Bobrisky has the right to do whatever he likes, but not within the Nigerian environment.”
Otunba Runsewe further argued that if Bobrisky was not stopped, he would soon be seen as a hero and role model among the young people. His words: “My job is to protect and preserve the fabric of our good culture. Bobrisky is not a good role model or an icon that Nigerian youth should look up to. We should all condemn him so that he would go back to how he was created. He has a right to leave Nigeria for any country that practises and encourages transgender lifestyle. If he is caught on the streets of this country, he will be dealt with ruthlessly”
However, despite Runsewe’s remonstrance, Bobrisky remained remorseless. Hear him, “I heard someone in government talked about me a few days ago. Please tell him I am waiting for him. It’s then he will know that I roll with his bosses in government, not someone at his level”. What a tragedy of our society! Does it mean some more powerful people in government are encouraging Bobrisky in his abhorrent lifestyle? It is doubtful. Bobrisky must have made this statement to console himself. No reasonable person will be validating horrendous acts that are deleterious to our moral values.
To start with, what value is Bobrisky evincing by promoting and practising transvestism? As at the time of putting this write-up together, he was said to have acquired an N30 million-2019 Range Rover, flaunting it on social media, probably to show that “he has arrived”. The question is what does he do for a living? Where did he get the money to buy a Range Rover? Could he have spent such a huge amount of money in a saner clime without explaining the source of the money to the security agents? Nigeria is a materialistic country where thieves are often crowned as “chiefs”. We place so many premium on material wealth at the expense of honest toil. This is a dangerous reality that must not be allowed to fester. Bobrisky has added ruinous sophistication to the ugly phenomenon in the moral firmament. He was not created a hermaphrodite, yet, has declared himself so. Where is the wisdom in deliberately cuddling acts of self-destruction? We must never allow him and he likes to turn abomination into a celebration.
To me, this is where Otunba Runsewe deserves commendation for his bravery and moral courage to stand against the egregious behaviour in society. Those who know Otunba Runsewe will attest to the fact that he is not new to this kind of a fight. In 2004 when some Nigerian footballers began to plait their hair and wear earrings like women, Otunba Runsewe kicked against the act, saying such a habit is un-African and cultural. He vehemently argued that many youths who regarded these footballers as their hero would soon copy the bad habit. Though he may not have succeeded in curbing the uncultured habit, it is on record that he spoke against it. He is replicating the same gusto in this case of Bobrisky. Kudos to a man of passion and patriotism in the service of his fatherland.
Indeed, the battle against moral decadence must not be left for Otunba Runsewe alone. This generation of daring deviance must be assisted to stop dancing to the drumbeats of the devil. Our music is nothing more than an exaltation of profanity and nudity. There is a cankerworm festering in the soul of our youth. This immoral disease which is a silent revulsion is creeping over the mental and nervous system of this generation dangerously. Over the waves, over the world-wide-web, and over the digital technologies including phones, cameras and computers, there is hardly any topical issue besides voyeurism and hedonism. With the aid of technologies, lustful materials are exchanged rapidly at any time of the day. Even in some sacred places including churches and mosques, some lascivious fellows are in the habit of exchanging lewd pictures and videos, not to talk of offices and homes. This is deleterious to our moral values. All men and women of conscience and sound moral upbringing must stand to be counted on this fight against this decadence.
However, in a circumstance redolent of politicisation of morality, some legal practitioners have argued that Otunba Runsewe lacked the power to arrest Bobrisky, saying immorality is not an offence known to criminal code. This where all men of moral rectitude are expected to work together in order to liberate Bobrisky and his co-travellers from the prison of their own making. Should we fold our hands and watch helplessly while innocent souls are led astray? Can we say because immorality is not criminalized, Bobrisky should keep planting the seed of moral depravity all over the place? We should all work in synchronicity and condemn this current inversion of values. We must not legally justify what is morally wrong. Otunba Runsewe has belled the cat in this case, we must all rise to support him, not only in protecting our good African culture of decency, hard work, perseverance, respect for the elderly among others but in redeeming our youth from the part of the destruction.
Saanu wrote from Vice Chancellor’s Office, University of Ibadan.