Down the River is an advocacy for a better Nigeria
The single ‘Down the River’ is no ordinary music. It is a piece put together to address the very values that defines a true modern society especially in the face of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Interestingly, the maverick behind this powerful advocacy, Victor Agbo, is not resting on his laurels yet. Within a few weeks of releasing the single, the official video recently premiered on YouTube to continue his strong advocacy for the government to do what is right and set a foundation for a truly independent nation.
We spoke to Victor Agbo on how Nigerians had received his message, Down the River. We also sought his perspective on the partial reopening of schools by the Federal Government.
Read the excerpt of the interview:p
Your single, Down the River, touches on the predicaments we are currently facing as a people. How has it been received by Nigerians since its release?
Down the River has been well received. I felt so good when Uncle Jude aka Alhaji Tanko invited me to talk about the song on his show at Dream 92.5FM, Enugu.
Basically, everyone that has given me feedback on the song attests to the fact that it’s a beautiful piece of art. But even before I put the song out, I knew it was an amazing song. I knew anyone who listened to the song would like it. But I want more than that.
I want people to talk more about the message in the song. The aim of the song is to raise our consciousness and awaken a desire to see positive change in the country, most importantly, the academic sector. I want to hear serious talks on different TV or radio programs about how to improve the academic sector. I want to hear serious talks about poor power supply. I want to hear talks about learning options for people at home. Be it formal or informal education. What is within their reach? Should they fold their arms and sit at home because the government has failed? What about skill acquisition? If they can’t get other forms of education, are there skills they could acquire instead of playing at home? So yes, the song has been well received, but it is yet to make the impact I desire.
The video, Down the River, strongly advocates for safe practices and a new approach to learning in Nigeria during the Covid 19 pandemic. Do you think music is enough to get our leaders to do what is right?
I believe music is a very important tool for advocacy, but it is not enough to push the leaders to work. Music awakens a feeling in man. When it’s a dance song, it makes you wanna dance and move to the beat. When it’s a sad song, it gives you the bittersweet feeling that could even move you to tears. The aim for the use of music, movies or documentary films for advocacy, is to reveal a problem to the audience and make them understand the need to urgently solve the problem. It gets the audience to start talking about the problem and to start seeking for ways to solve it. When a lot of people begin to speak up and ask for change, the government will certainly be moved to act.
What are your thoughts on FG reopening schools for finalists?
I think we’re not ready for the reopening (of schools), but I also believe it is not a bad decision. If the students don’t take the required exams, it will be a huge setback.
From my perspective, if the safety precautions are taken seriously, everything will be fine. Since it is just the graduating students, there should be a lot of space in every school to make social distancing achievable. I believe the schools will have provisions for washing hands and hand sanitizers will be made available, before we even talk about face masks.
The problem is just that even adults don’t take these guidelines seriously, so I fear that the kids might not be properly guided. But life has to go on.
Everything in this country is being mismanaged and I am not surprised that Coronavirus has been mismanaged too. The consequences of mismanagement will follow. We just have to brace ourselves and get ready for the worst.
However, regardless how dangerous the virus is and how it has made its way into society, if the safety guidelines are strictly adhered to, the impact of the virus can still be reduced.
Parents really have to make the kids understand these things very well, and the teachers in schools have to take the precautions seriously. I believe if this is done well, everything will be alright.
Watch the official video below: