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You are here:Home>>Strategic Research & Analysis>>Lagos deputy governor and semi-nude dancers intersection
Sunday, 20 October 2013 20:32

Lagos deputy governor and semi-nude dancers intersection

Written by Ugochukwu Ugwuanyi
Hon. Victoria Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire Hon. Victoria Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire

May we give a round of applause to Hon. Victoria Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, the deputy governor of Lagos State who did what was expected of an elderly woman at a public event last Wednesday. You may wonder why she should be applauded when she only did what was to be expected, but don't forget that ours is a country where most 'elders' look the other way while heavily-pregnant goats deliver in tethers.

The deputy governor is worth the clap for taking exception to what should be frowned at but have been allowed to assume the status of a norm in our society. She, at that event, stood up for her number one constituency which is womankind. She also proved that she has indeed had a stint with social work. All these and more she evinced by just throwing one stone, like the Reggae musician, Culture, would sing.

You wouldn't be forgiven if you expected anything less from a princess who has a committed passion for the emancipation of the womenfolk. No, such a person can't be present yet stomach what went down that day. I can imagine how uncomfortable the former Lagos House of Assembly member would have felt while the desecration lasted. How she prayed for the show to end abruptly so she can address the anomaly.

But she kept her cool till the end only for her to make the correction in an indulgent manner, adopting what was more like a slap on the wrist for an offence some hardliners would only have been placated by the severing of wrist. And if you ask them, they will quickly remind you of the good book's injunction for us to chop off whichever part of our body that comes between us and heaven. We shall return to this presently.

However, before we veer off too far, the woman chose the path of dialogue. Do you blame her? Of course, not! If there is any word that has been most mouthed in our polity right now, that word is surely dialogue. It is so much on every tongue that GEJ had to inaugurate an advisory committee just for it. Who knows, our Lagos mummy may have opted for dialogue as a form of rebuke in order to put her in better stead to dialogue when the stage is set for the national version. Let's now hear the dialogue that ensued between her and her interlocutors:

Deputy Governor: I guess you are professional dancers?

Interlocutors: Yes ma!

Deputy Governor: If you must entertain without pants on, certainly not in a gathering like this. Just see how you are disgracing and degrading womanhood. Don’t try it again.

Interlocutors: Yes ma!

Still lost, I suppose? Let me find you. The dialogists are kukere crooner, Iyanya's female dancers who wore no pants while they danced seductively. The conversation happened shortly after the sensational artiste and his troupe performed at the closing ceremony of the MTN Lagos Street Soccer that was staged at the Campos Mini Stadium in Lagos Island.

Footages from that event which went viral on the social media revealed how the dancers in question appeared almost naked such that it wouldn't take much peer before their pudenda are gleaned. To make matters worst, they danced like agents of satan sent to advertise sex by flaunting what traditionally shouldn't be flaunted.

Indeed, provocative would be an understatement for what they displayed. Yet for all of this, Hon. Orelope-Adefulire only charged them to take their display elsewhere! Verily, you will be forgiven if you expected more from her. There are lots of options before her, even within the ambit of civility, that could have been employed in ramming her disgust in and avoid a recurrence. I'm talking of options that could cause the dancers to change profession, but the good lady chose to be gentle instead.

Excuse me, did I just call for a round of applause for the deputy governor? My bad! It should have been a round of half clap, if there's anything like that. So, feel free to collect the remaining half from her, if you can. While we try to accommodate the temperate scolding she gave, her asking the dancers to take their flirtatious brand of entertainment elsewhere is a no-no! Hence, she should please make do with a half clap.

Given her statement that their show shouldn't be 'in a gathering like this', that ordinarily suggests that such display can be taken elsewhere. This elsewhere can be on music videos with impacts that would be even more devastating. It can be on television channels where advertisers would employ their craft on the claim that sex sells. The right thing would have been for the honourable to use the opportunity that availed itself to dissuade the girls from engaging in such an act no matter the setting.

If it so pained her, she could have demanded a means of contacting them or prevailed on them to see her afterwards. When they do, she could re-orient them after which they will be empowered to reach-out to other ballerinas who are still disgracing the sanctity of womanhood in other gatherings and under different capacities. Only this would have guaranteed that the gals and their like won't try it again.

The above option should have been favoured in view of the fact that the girls who were cautioned weren't just dancing for the fun of it. Rather, they performed because that is how they make ends meet. They may not have wanted to dress that way but were cajoled by the higher pay such costume would attract.

Given that this is how they earn a living, it then becomes unreasonable and unjust for anyone to ask them to give that up without providing an alternative means of livelihood. It becomes even hypocritical for the person making such demand to be in a position to provide a more decent job yet chose to be mute about that. Now you know why the number two citizen of Lagos State reserved other options before her.

Be that as it may, it is good that she at least condemned their desecration of womanhood. That is one profanity we know women to always stand against. I have witnessed an scene where a deranged lady was about stripping herself bare but was stopped by women around who rallied round and covered her with a wrapper donated by one of them.

If they could do this for an apparently raving female, why can't they prevail on ethically-mad ballerinas who appear almost naked in the guise of entertainment? The girls engaged in this nudity definitely have mothers, aren't their mothers curious about the kind of work their daughters do? Or do they know yet see nothing wrong in it since that pays the bills and makes their daughters stars? All these are vain things which a mother who ab initio did not bring up her girl-child well will glory in.

And now the poser: where are the women societies and women-cause advocates who should be campaigning against what musicians are turning young members of their gender into? I sense they have been so busy chasing 35 per cent affirmative action that they have rendered this one negligible. Looking at Iyanya, who the ballerinas were dancing to his singing, he was well clad concealing what everyman should conceal, why then should those dancing for him not clad themselves well enough?

It is in reaction to this that American divas like Beyonce, Rihanna and sorts are now trying to make boys act in a manner that degrade manhood in their music videos. This points to their acknowledgement that females are being abused in musicals, albeit they started it. Warts and all, that wouldn't change the given that womanhood had been and has continued to be desecrated globally on the altar of entertainment.

This smacks of the selfishness of the average Nigerian music artiste like his counterparts abroad. They don't really care about us, neither do they still give a heck about morality. They are basically about anything which helps in increasing their fan-base not minding how injurious that thing is to the society. I'm sure Iyanya would least be bothered when told that one of those who watched his performance that day went ahead to rape an under-aged girl.

We have really suffered at the hands of our music stars. After leading many to sin through their sex-glorifying lyrics, they are rubbing it in with pornographic visuals as well. If only Hon. Victoria Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire had spared some words for Iyanya as well...

Ugochukwu is a freelance journalist who you can follow on twitter via @ugsylvester or reach through: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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