Increasing Suicide — Be Careful What Your Children Consume

Increasing Suicide — Be Careful What Your Children Consume

By Abdulkabir Olatunji

If everything goes to plan, children will grow into adults but what is not readily recognized and accepted in our society is that adults carry the information they downloaded at childhood with them. The character most people develop by 20 is very difficult to change unless there is some radical change in their circumstance or environment — yet, the basic persona is there.

In the last decade we have seen an alarming increase in suicides, attempted suicides and murder as well. Many have quickly opined that these incidences are just a reflection of what has always happened in our society. I disagree.

The introduction of cable television in the early 90s in Nigeria has changed our society meaning part of a generation has been born with access to Western lifestyle which includes a tendency to glamourize violence and you guessed it — suicide as well. Let’s leave the promotion of sex and drugs for another time.

Some might argue that even till now, many Nigerians don’t have access to cable television and I agree. However, what many cannot get via cable, they can get with a set of DVDs costing as little as N100 each. Look around you, the average Nigerian youth is hooked on some American or foreign series — they call them ‘season films’. This content is rapidly dumping the mindset of the West in Nigerian youths without the support structure present in those countries (no matter how flawed they are).

Let me explain in a way that people might understand. So, a 16-year-old girl starts acting like a rebellious American kid, this will not make her parents, typical Americans, neither will it change Lagos to Los Angeles. In essence, the girl is exhibiting traits the Nigerian society doesn’t readily accept. Then, frustration begins to set in, her Western dogma tells her frustrated people usually commit suicide. To kill yourself is not easy but she reads on social media how certain people died taking certain things and it begins to look attractive.

Yes, we all get sad and depressed at some points in our lives. At this point, it is so easy for the young person to commit suicide and even write letters seeking validation and justification.

Our “yuppie” analysts give it — “Depression is real” “You don’t understand what people are going through”. Biko, be quiet for a while, some of our ancestors went through 100 years of war, others slavery, they didn’t start committing suicide for “I don’t like my life reasons”. I condemn all forms of suicide but the ones that existed in our culture in the past had certain complexities attached which I still find unjustifiable. For example, a King should not have to commit suicide, better face your enemies and die in battle.

I stop here before I digress too much.

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