The #EndSARS movement has baffled the world. During the two weeks of active peaceful protests, we saw creative content like never before. As Nigerians evaluate whether the protests were worth it or not, we want to share the beauty of creativity displayed during those weeks.
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Nigerian photographers shined through amazing shots that got more youths clamouring to join the protests. They created photo documentation of different aspects of the movement. Some became graphic arts like the iconic photo of Aisha Yesufu. While others were edited into amazing black and white shots or colour pop versions that brought beauty out of chaos.
We had pictures of citizens getting teargassed and facing off against officers, slices of suya forming EndSARS to the breathtaking candlelight vigil, and bodies forming the words ENDSARS on the ground (Art by Oye). We will forever have beautiful memories of a turning point in Nigeria’s history.
Long before the #EndSARS 2020 protests, musicians have been singing about the struggle against police brutality. Let’s not forget the #EndSARS move started as far back as 2017, but the fight has been on since Fela Anikulakpo Kuti’s time. Some popular songs on the matter recently trended again. Such as ‘Army Arrangement’ and ‘Authority Stealing’ by Fela; ‘This is Nigeria’ by Falz; ‘Oga Police’ by P. Square; ‘Jailer’ by Asa; African China’s ‘Mr President’; ‘Monsters You Made’ by Burna boy ft Chris Martin, and Majek Fashek’s ‘So Long, Too Long’.
This year, some songs debuted while others which hadn’t made it to the limelight at the time of their release finally got attention. Examples are ‘Magnito’ ft Ike; Sir Dee’s ‘End SARS ’; Bankeh’s ‘Freedom’; Ajebo Hustlers ft Davido’s ‘Barawo’ remix; and Falz’s ‘Moral Instruction’, amongst others.
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Comedy skits and videos on what the End SARS movement was about were not in short supply. We had engaging videos with live clips, music, doodle, graphics and all conveying the heart of the youths. Examples were Officer Woos’ End SARS comedy series and Mr MaCaroni’s Together As One, E Fit be You and Soro Soke videos, amongst others. There was also ShowMeOneThing.Com’s doodle video; @i.kaelo’s video with music by Cobhams Asuquo and Morayo; @folaspeaks Youtube compilation of comedies, and a short film directed by Daniel Emeka. Others created covers with Lovato’s ‘Commander-in-Chief’.
Art and Literature
We’ve had numerous digital art, including the Scheme of Things by Sunny Efemena. Remember the images which called brands to join the protests by tweaking their slogans? They were ingenious. There have also been cartons and caricature drawings showing the SARS fiasco. A creative created a visual art video using red paint on a Nigerian flag to draw a face.
Writers of the literary society were not left out in support for the movement. We had prominent writers churning up Essays in support. Such as Wole Soyinka’s Deja Vu: In Tragic Vein; Chika Unigwe’s Where I Come From, and Chimamanda Adichie’s Nigeria Is Murdering Its Citizens. Poets like Kola Tubosun, Ibiene Bidiaque, Jumoke Verissimo and James Yeku, curated and put out poetry typifying the situation.
Nigerians are a resilient and happy bunch. And no matter how horrifying the #LekkiMassacre has been, we are back up and ready to go. Stay alive, stay safe, stay angry.
Featured Image Source: Businessday NG
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