Off Your Mic Versus Soro Soke: A Tale of Two Generations

For us in Nigeria, the past few days have hosted a battle between the wrongs in our existing systems and what the future holds for us. With the series of protests running across the country daily, one can tell that this is more of a revolution than it is a protest. As it is, the issues raised are bigger than the EndSARs that birthed them.

P Daniel Protest

After being willed into existence from Lord Lugard and Miss Shaw's colonial laboratory of artificial insemination, Nigeria has lived with multiple issues affecting her system. The bulk of these problems do not get solved because each administration shifts it under the sheets after each tenure. The ones who barely try to address these issues do so with partial attention. At the same time, there has been massive looting and disrespect to what democracy means in saner climes. 

 

All you have read is a summary of the first generation. The generation that prefers to off the mic, leave issues as they are, cover up crimes and fix makeups for consciously inflicted bruises.

 

Why the Protest?
The reason for this is not far fetched - the almighty acts of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), police brutality and extra-judicial killings. However, it has birthed a million more reasons. As it is, it may lead to a total revolution because it seems to be the mother of all protests.

 

Is this the Revolution?
Unlike Omoyele Sowore’s #RevolutionNow protest in 2019 shortly after his presidential ambition was dashed and the clamoured need for a reform, this new revolution looks like it has come to stay. The facts lead that there is no leader for this revolution because everyone leads by acting in their capacities. The only available energy that drives them is a need for a total reform and restructuring of Nigeria.

 

The Revolution
Soro Soke is a fast emerging Yoruba slang which literally means "Speak louder". Nollywood actress Toyin Afolayan, better known as Lola Idije, is credited to have buzzed the internet with this Yoruba slang as she had mentioned it in a movie. Defining it in the Nigerian context, it is a proper wakeup statement to say to an oppressed individual who won't speak up due to fear, oppression or whatever. This rings a bell and plays perfectly to the tune of these protests - that Nigerians have suffered long enough to be silent.

In the words of Edmund Burke, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." As this is fast coming to reality in Nigeria, it is necessary to consider the fact that many new faces will visit the scene of mainstream public political power, many of which will be visiting politics for the very first time or perhaps, have only observed from a distance. From the management of the protests so far, it is more than revealing that these hands seem very ready to work and be accountable for everything placed under their watch.

 

Maybe this is the responsibility we have waited for. Maybe not. But certainly, the Soro Soke generation will leave heavy footprints in the sand of time.

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