I just had the opportunity to finally watch Fela Durotoye’s interview with OntheCouch on its debut show. I must say that I am quite disappointed. First of all the name isn’t coined right. Names like this are usually used to discuss lighthearted subjects like romance, love and relationships. How can one discuss critical matters of national concern in an atmosphere with so much lark?
The introduction of the show disguises the show as a mere fun outing and not anything serious, and no political aspirant will take the platform seriously as the setting and objective is supposed to be for just casual conversations, but alas the show is nothing short of the BBC Hardtalk. Even BBC Hardtalk has just one host interrupting their guests compared to a suffocating situation of two interrupting hosts. On this note, it would be absolutely unfair for anyone to judge the true potentials of these young presidential aspirants with a show intended primarily for entertainment.
In trying to blend with the atmosphere of unseriousness, Fela Durotoye must have relaxed and decided to play along leading to his playing down on his responses to the unsuspecting tough questions received from Laila and Falz taking him unaware. And being the debut show with no previous history and established routine, you can easily see why Fela Durotoye was a mere Guinea pig on the show.
It will be completely wrong to base one’s decision on such an interview as Fela Durotoye has been interviewed on many bigger, better and far more established platforms like Channels Television, BBC, TVC, AIT, and the likes in which he performed excellently well.
It seems that Onthecouch is just out there to make a mess of this young presidential aspirants instead of seeking ways to promote and support them for the sheer fact that these hosts are youths and supposedly should have the same desire for a New Nigeria like Fela Durotoye and other well meaning presidential aspirants have.
Fela Durotoye is a Management consultant and he is been very successful at his craft locally and internationally. Motivational speaking is not what puts food on his table. Yes, agreed, he has no political experience but where has all the political experience of all our experienced politicians combined taken us to? If they had so much experience and if experience is what really mattered the most, then why is Nigeria bedeviled with so much poverty, corruption and economic decay begging for true leadership and transformation?
If Onthecouch wants to be fair and taken any seriously, then it should focus on all the presidential aspirants, young and old, instead of picking on the easily accessible young presidential aspirants who do not have years of failed political experience to be ashamed of but who have the courage to contest for the highest position in the country in the hope that they can end the decay and recover the remnant of our once egalitarian nation, Nigeria. On the other hand, it should consider changing the name of the show and communicate its seriousness to avoid misrepresenting the show to well meaning and unsuspecting guests.
The greatest mistake we will make as youths is to use the same tools we are supposed to exploit to take back our country from our corrupt and stomach-infrastructured grandfathers to fight against people in whose hands the hope of a New Nigeria lies. It will be a shame and will do no more than prove that indeed we are not just lazy but worthless youths. Maybe we have forgotten those statements so soon as is characteristic of us.
According to one writer, “A huge portion of his interview was dedicated to questions about his stance on gay rights, his stance on homophobia and LGBT discrimination. He was asked about his views on homophobia and if he thought it was rightly criminalized in Nigeria.” How can homosexuality and lesbianism be the main stay on an interview in a nation where there are more critical issues like power, insecurity, poverty, corruption, unemployment, education, health and agriculture, etc. begging for solutions? Doesn’t this inform the jocularity of such a platform?
Nigeria is yet to solve her fundamental challenges like abject poverty, poor standard of living, bad access roads, lack of social infrastructures, lack of potable drinking water, epileptic power supply, etc. and what youths are concerned about is gay right laws? Words fail me. Isn’t it evident why we have been victims of bad leadership for so long? Indeed, we are utterly clueless about what we truly desire. As one writer rightly said, “the issue of homosexuality is a very complex problem”, let’s focus on solving the fundamentals first.
In conclusion, the Onthecouch show is a failed experiment from the start. This show does not in anyway communicate the gravity of the urgent change and transformation Nigeria desperately needs at this time. Instead it has revealed itself as another source of entertainment for the Nigerian public, and shamefully more so for the Nigerian youths, and it is an uncomic attempt at ridiculing all the young presidential aspirants unfortunately to the advantage of our “very experienced” self-aggrandizing career politicians.