Plagiarism and the forgotten labour of our heroes past

Still on Nigeria shameful widespread of plagiarism but this time nothing to do with Linda Ikeji and Google saga but the thing is ko si bi a se maa pe ori aja ti a ko ni pe ori ikoko ti a fi se loosely means We can not talk about a delicious dog, without referencing the pot that cooked it. 

When I was challenged to this task, I didn’t think it would be difficult to pull a dozen examples but getting honest information about current status was my worry, however, within seconds of putting Baba Sala’s name on my browser, loads of articles popped up and the first one I was drawn to was an interview he did in 2010 where the old man narrated his life story. Baba Sala took a bank loan with hefty interest rate in the 80s to produce his first ever film – Orun Mooru, obviously a big deal for the much-loved comedian as it was produced in the UK with the high costs tag. Upon getting to Nigeria, copies were made and the rest is just another story of thieves on our brains

I grew up listening to Baba Sala. He was a comedian/spoken words artist/singer. His jokes were mostly in Yoruba. There is always a storyline to be followed using his family as templates. Think about his jokes in line with Chris Rock or Eddie Murphy minus the lady body parts joke bits – only he had nothing to show for his hard work/talent like the lucky Americans.

I was young and lived in the middle of the town where lots of Radionics (electronic repairers/pirate centres) were plenty and celebrated.

Baba Sala’s  jokes were relatable, decades later, watching on youtube, still send ribs cracking. Baba Sala did not lack audience as his jokes were very popular throughout Nigeria. The saying goes “why would you pay 10 naira for a cassette when you could get it from the Radionic for half the price?” Many profited from Baba Sala’s talent but the old man in his late 70s is in his home in Ilesa still paying off his 1982 loan.

The only closest Yoruba comedian to Baba Sala that I remember was Gbenga Adeboye, if God is going to let any soul rests in peace, it’s got to be Gbenga Adeboye’s. I have the same admiration for him as for Baba Sala albeit a bit more sentimental. He worked so hard like no man’s business both within and outside of Nigeria. Same story about piracy only that Gbenga died way too young due to kidney failureI know I can’t blame everything on the thieves on our brains but I can’t help but think Gbenga could have sought help earlier and perhaps lived longer if he didn’t have to waste time begging for help to be on the bill of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, governor of Lagos State at the time.

Gbenga Adeboye was the only artist who joked/sang about Modakeke and Ile-Ife crisis and implored the two communities to stop the mindless killings. Gbenga is a native of Ode-Omu, attended The Apostolic Grammar School in Modakeke. I never get the chance to meet him but I followed his works as he used his talent to tackle injustice that many shied away from. If you want a message to sink into a person’s core – tell it in their first language. 

Today, most of Nigeria bookshops have their printing press – no kidding. Publish a book especially school textbooks today, tomorrow copies are out, they are cheaper so they get more sale. I’d walk from Olusanu Omo Arewa to Atiba going from one bookshop to another looking for the cheapest price.

Pirates are always cheaper so they get all the benefits and the brain behind the work get what is left over.

Should we continue like this or should we for once be happy that Google was a God-sent and perhaps Linda Ikeji to use her already God-given shining stars to join the campaign against thieves of our brain?

Categories: Africa, Nigeria

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2 replies

  1. I remember Baba Sala quite fondly. Four Yoruba people have projected the image of the rich Yoruba culture to me, to such an extend that they made me concerned that I can’t speak Yoruba. Baba Sala was the very first, Wole Soyinka came a close second, one Chief Aleyemi (A character in ‘The Village Headmaster comedy TV series) was third & Asa (The Soul/Jazz musical artist) in the fourth. It is so sad to hear of Baba Sala’s present state. Who Wants (Deserve) To Be A Millionaire…should take up the power man’s case & toss a couple of millions his way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I heard our ex president who has been a fan of Baba Sala since his military days honoured him (likely with some handouts) in 2010, hence the interview. I see your point re Who wants… org giving him money, but that is not the point though. People like him rightly deserve to eat the fruits of their labour not relying on public mercies – they worked hard for it. Don’t you think?

      As always thanks for the inputs.

      Liked by 1 person

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