by Tahir Sherriff
For the Abuja dance circle and to a large extent the whole country, gospel inspired dance group Soul Quest seemed as though they had opened a magic portal in Nigerian encyclopedia of dancing.
The body movement introduced was uniquely styled to mathematical precision. As also the dancers, modeled not only by an inspiration to greatness, but also by the firm certainty that each movement of their limbs was set to glorify God.
That was years ago, like many other dance crews before them, Soul Quest may have also faded into oblivion.
But the sad reality is, it isn’t only the dancers and the groups or the events, that set the stage for nation-wide fame which fades away, more than that, what is truly lost sometimes, is the belief that dreams can be fulfilled.
More and more young people these days have begun to adjust not only their expectations to more suitable forms of reality, but also their dreams as well. How can one aspire to become an astronaut, a dance icon, or an art critic in a society where even the most professional of practices barely ‘puts butter on the bread’
After all that is said and done, the question on the street will be ‘How much dem give them?’
There are more workers and students who set their mind more, upon what is to be gained than what is to be created or contributed. Even passionate dedicated practitioners know that to survive in their trade, here in Nigeria, the gears are to be constantly changed.
This also has a dangerous ripple effect on the society too. When financial gain as against knowledge becomes the objective even education will be defeated. When state allocations, as against the lives of citizens become the objective, even security will be defeated.
More important than needing more blue or white collar jobs, or changing Nigerians perception about the importance of money, there is the need for creating an atmosphere of genuine creativity.
What more people search for, a large part being the lower and middle class who have come to terms with the financial imbalance, is really a chance to dream, a shot at possibilities, a knowing-ness that hard work, in whatever direction will translate positively.
Our social plans must include creating an atmosphere that can promote careers in simple things like plumbing, photo-journalism, gardening, painting and all the myriad of opportunities that stem from the human creative spark. These tiny sparks, like the brilliance of Soul Quest, who held millions of watchers spell bound, eventually contribute to the magic of living.
It is necessary to set a new course, one which will place young people on a quest to an alternate reality.