Thank God its Friday. Apology for my non-consistency in the past few days. Many water(s) has gone under the bridge but not without drama and scenery. Amvca, champions league, twitter rants etc gulfed the national space. So today, timi has taken his time to voice his own version of the popular twitter hastag “#BabaWhileYouWereGone”…in a more creative manner or should I say he was able to acknowledge the creativity of the Nigeria masses as per the way their feelings was often expressed in hashtags. So, stay cool and read along.
WHAT HAS CREATIVITY GOT TO DO WITH IT?
Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting. — Edward de Bono
I love being a Nigerian. Nigerians are creative and innovative. We have been described as the ‘Happiest People on Earth. On Thursday, October 2, 2003, BBC World news reported that Nigeria tops Happiness survey beating Mexico and Venezuela to the second and third places respectively. BBC reported that the survey published in the UK’s New Scientist Magazine suggested that the happiest people in the world live in Nigeria. The report itself is interesting because in another survey, Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places to live in the world. In the Poverty Index, Nigeria is one of the top five countries. The Vanguard Edition of April 11, 2014 reported that World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim said Nigeria ranked third in World with 7% of world’s poor people.
Why is the same Nigeria the place where happiest people in the world live? And how can we be poor and at the same time be happy. A simple answer to the posers is the ‘never dying spirit’ of an average Nigerian and the ability to turn things around. Again, one could say the creativity of Nigerians has helped in being the happiest people. Nigerians make things lively for themselves even in difficult times. With the growing insurgency in the North, the harsh political campaign environment, divisive campaign speeches, economic downturn, political violence and some other challenges, Nigerians have not been found wanting in the ongoing Electioneering Process. Nigerians have found time to ease the pressures, create jokes and enjoy them. The use of social media has also helped in many ways to achieve that.
In the current campaign, Nigerians have shown their innovative ways.
The struggle to sell candidates and make them media friendly have been done by the two leading political parties at the central and some popular candidates at the states. Without being sentimental, the supporters of the All Progressive Congress (APC) have been the most creative and innovative when it comes to social media campaign. The way Buhari is presented to the media; one would take him as a complete saint. Prior to the postponement of election that was scheduled to hold on February 14, 2014, the APC foot-soldiers came up with a coinage of #FeBuhari which means ‘love Buhari’ and specifically, the coinage sounds the same as February. ‘Fe’ is a Yoruba word for ‘Love’. For an election on February 14, the saint Valentine day, a day of lovers, #FeBuhari was creative coinage. Blown away by the morphological and semantic creativity in the coinage of the term “Febuhari”, an Atlanta Based English Grammar Columnist, Prof Farooq A. Kperogi in his ‘Politics of Grammar’ Column in Sunday Trust Edition of February1, 2015 described it as ‘a well-thought-out pun that simultaneously exploits the ambiguities of sound, meaning, time, and language to make a compellingly humorous yet deeply political and rhetorical statement’.
When the election was rescheduled to hold in March, the APC foot soldiers CHANGEd #FeBuhari to #March4Buhari. Like the former, branded shirts, campaign posters, jingles were made for the latest coinage. Many coinages have been created in the course of this electioneering process. Twitter, an online social networking site co-founded on March 21, 2006 by Jack Dorsey et al is the best place to be if you are interested. The symbol #, called hashtag is used to mark keywords or topics in a tweet. The hashtag is mostly used in reporting an event. The APC online supporters have created hashtags like #TweetLikeAGejite, #GMB4Nigeria, #CorruptJonathan, #iHaveDecided, #ActNow, #GMBforChange and any others. Some of these tags have become movements and campaign organisations. The #iHaveDecided and #ActNow are good examples. Recently when General Muhammadu embarked on a journey to London, the APC foot soldiers rebranded their campaign and created another coinage sense when he returned from London.
The All Progressive Congress Presidential Candidate’s journey to England was not less dramatic. He had barely left the shores of the country when it was alleged in some quarters that he had gone for Medical Check-up. Some people suspected to be members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party went ahead to state that Buhari was being treated of an incurable ailment and that he was in a particular Hospital. Some contagiously ebullient social media foot soldiers of General Muhammadu Buhari, in an attempt to calm the public with the latest developments, released pictures of Buhari which further complicated the matter. Some of the pictures were found to be false and doctored. It was obvious they had played to the gallery by releasing pictures that were not factual. The appearance at the Chatham house and his return to Abuja finally ended speculations earlier raised.
Buhari’s return obviously calmed down the nerves of many of his supporters. The APC foot-soldiers were happy that Buhari is back in no dramatic manner but rather looked strong, fit and good to go. Like a son who had been beaten and battered when his travelling Dad was away, there was a need to report the actions of President Goodluck Jonathan and his men to the Daddy who just returned, General Muhammadu Buhari. While Buhari was in London, there were many developments at the home-front; the devaluation of the Naira continued, the long queues returned at the filling stations, Mr President held a meeting with the Youths in Lagos where several things were said, and many things happened.
Reporting President Jonathan to Buhari, his supporters created new hashtag #BabaWhileYouWereGone to run social commentary across social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. The creator of the Hashtag was speculated to be one Ediong. The veracity of that claim could not be proved. The hashtag underlines and defines the creativity, innovation and genius of Nigerians in finding comic reliefs from any situation. For more than 48 hours, the #BabaWhileYouWereGone hashtag remains the top twitter trend. While some of the posts were educative, some were informative and hilarious, some were wordy, meaningless, frivolous, unnecessary and ‘off point’. A large percentage of the post was about Jonathan’s campaign in Southwest; the endorsements from many quarters within the zone and the #MeetThePresident interactive session held in Lagos. Someone put it as simple as this “#BabaWhileYouWereGone GEJ relocated to Lagos!”. Some posts were made with pictures and that of Nigerian Afro Hip-hop Female sensation; Seyi Shay was top on the list. The picture of almost naked Seyi and a crossed legged President Jonathan was the major talking point. This was aptly put by a twit “#BabaWhileYouGone, Seyi Shay tried to seduce the President”
One cannot but appreciate the Educative and informative twits and at the same time laugh at some hilarious ones. “BabaWhileYouWereGone, CocaCola refused to put my name on their bottle”
A twit that I found hilarious again was that of a pix of Youth Corpers ferrying bags of Cements form a trunk. The corp members in their traditional green and white Uniform were pictured carrying cements. That must have been photo-shopped because I don’t think that uniform is suitable to do such job. The caption I saw in one of it reads “#BabaWhileYouWereGone Okonjo and her SURE-P goons created Jobs”. My O! Mine. That is loaded.
To read more, twitter is the place to be.
Dedication! Passion! One Kobo was not spent to put the hashtag up. The drivers were passionate about the Campaign and they devoted their time to think and compose educative, informative and hilarious statements.
The ‘movement’ was acknowledged by General Muhammadu Buhari few days after when he twitted through his official twitter handle @ThisIsBuhari.
“Many thanks to my supporters for the #BabaWhileYouWereGone updates this weekend. They have made my day #GladToBeBack
I am heartened to see that good humour and resolve rest deep in the hearts of those who seek Change. #BabaWhileYouWereGone
Despite the sticks and stones, we choose to remain focused and direct our energies into forging a bright future #BabaWhileYouWereGone
The troubling issues that face the nation continue unabated – plummeting power production & naira value, petrol queues #BabaWhileYouWereGone
Our collective strength, our ability to forge ahead in the toughest of times is what will allow us to restore Nigeria #BabaWhileYouWereGone
I am #GladToBeBack to make the Change needed #BabaWhileYouWereGone
Pick up your PVC by 22 March and vote for APC on 28 March & 11 April. Let’s bring the Change Nigeria needs #BabaWhileYouWereGone”
Disappointedly, some people took the matter beyond what it is. Some used it as an opportunity to insult the Presidency and the president. Such things should be discouraged. Some countries have a way of regulating how citizens use Social Media platforms. One would not be far from the truth is one concludes that it’s because of irresponsible statements that some citizens make to discredit the Government.
One would have expected the PDP media boys to react and create another hashtag to discuss that but it did not just happen. The #BabaWhileYouWereGone is one of the major flashpoints of this campaign. It has soon been overtaken by other issues and Nigerians have moved on. Obviously, it can’t get more interesting than that. The online platforms are too big to be overtaken by a discussion for more than a week but #BabaWhileYouWereGone came, saw and ruled. Creativity should be taken as a subject in our schools. With creative minds, the country will grow. With creative minds, there will be creative ideas and brains and a Nigeria where all problems will be solved by Nigerians. Think Nigeria, Think Creativity.
Edward Charles Francis De Bono is a Maltese physician, author, inventor and consultant. He is arguably the world best “Thinking” Tutor. He is described as the Father of Lateral thinking and creativity. With 63 books to his name, he is the world’s leading authority on conceptual thinking as the driver of organizational innovation, strategic leadership, individual creativity and problem solving. He once said “Creative thinking – in terms of idea creativity – is not a mystical talent. It is a skill that can be practiced and nurtured”
I shall be back.
Credit : Timi Boyinde, kwara state.