Childish Gambino’s This is America is now a focal point of discussion for critics and fans alike. If you are yet to watch it, here it is.
There are countless articles dissecting the work and its numerous thematic preoccupations. Donald Glover has earned praise for successfully portraying the distraction used to deflect prevailing issues in contemporary America, and rightly so.
However, I believe his work is not just a reflection of the sad state of affairs in the US but the world in general and Nigeria in particular.
“Oh here it comes” might be the inward groan from you as you read this, but I do assure you, while we might face varying societal issues, we have created a distraction for ourselves.
A distraction to avoid discussions and proffering solutions to the problems that plague us. The distraction works just like getting drunk would but these problems remain. We have distracted ourselves from the killings going on in the North, from the kidnappings and the drug abuse endemic. We have distracted ourselves from the monumental corruption going on in the country, the ineptitude of our political class and leaders albeit the government.
Whilst we keep ourselves distracted; we die. We deny we are dead but we are; our morality, our values, our empathy and our humanity.
Childish Gambino has created a masterpiece and has left us the task of enjoying and appreciating his work, what we construe from it and the actions and inaction we then take are our responsibilities and the consequences thereof.