In my last Post I promised to write something on “Paid Writers: 5 Negotiation tricks” . I beg to quickly deviate and examine something that would help reinforce the need to pay for any art form or service rendered.
LESSONS FROM THE OLYMPICS
Recently we have all been trapped in front of TV screens, following Rio’s olympic games. The whole world has been throbbing with anticipation, some have celebrated victories. We all saw Usain Bolt and the drama he introduced into his sport, he smiles at his opponents and sends a message to the whole world that he is “beyond human”. Jamaica and the world celebrates bolt. There is also young Simone Biles, whose streak of gold medals are celebrated by the United State. These are the ones who were victorious at the Olympics, they had their countries behind them.
Tom Gerencer wrote a detailed post on Simone’s net worth and I could not help but just gush at it! And she is six years younger than I am.
On the other side, we have countries like mine (Nigeria) with a lot of financial strain, a number of our athletes were self sponsored. A lot of them had to go out of their way, make a lot of sacrifices just so they could appear in our green, white and green. This also includes the U-23 team, captained by Mikel Obi.
The team went against all odds and returned with the bronze medal. I remember some time before the semifinals, the Nigerian Football Federation refused to pay ” Match bonuses” and the players endured in good faith. They emerged in the 3rd position after a promised donation from a Japanese business man (Dr. Katsuya Takasu).
Now the donation was received ($390, 000), and rumours have it that the Federation has sinister plans to hijack the funds.
IN NIGERIA ITS CULTURAL TO NOT PAY FOR ART
One of my guests on this blog (Charles Uzor) shared his thoughts on this issue and related it with the way our Nigerian fathers would collect monies, gifts and anything we received as children. Some of us put in our best in competitions and got awards, yet we were never acknowledged nor allowed to bask in the beauty of rewards. This is what I call the “mad culture of our fathers”, we believe that art has no value and is not worth getting paid for.
This is The Death of Art
Its almost a taboo to tell your fiancee’s father that you are a musician, or painter or writer. The African father wonders if that is a ” real Job” that people get paid for. This has translated into the stereotypical make-up of our career choices, everyone wants to be a Doctor, Engineer or Lawyer.
Creativity has been murdered in Africa, the capacity of art forms to transform a civilization has been trampled. This weekend I was at a writer’s conference and a number of the speakers examined the influence of writing on civilizations, the ideologies behind sexual preferences, political reforms (Karl Max) and societies (Hitler).
If we continue on this path of self destruction, we will continue on a downward trail, in our value systems. We will remain without a sense of identity, we will continue to kill the innovative ability of our people and make Africa a perpetual slave to white communities who celebrate every piece of art.
Getting paid for the beauty you create is not a favour, you are not an object of pity for being different. It is your right to protect your intellectual capacity and to be paid for it.
PS. I will still write about negotiation tricks for paid writers. I also have two guest posts about education and the learning experience in Nigeria. I look forward to sharing them with you. Nkechi Bianze wrote a story about Mike and it is hitting the headlines right Now and My friend Oluwatosin Phillip also gave me his beautifully scripted narrative of a major “thorn in the flesh” of Nigeria’s learning process. I look forward to sharing my progress with you all.