Nigeria – Telling stories is one thing, sharing them another
In terms of revolutionary movements and active resistances against inequitable governments, laws or actions, the Social Media is indeed a tool to inform people. Information that could be easily manipulated or even censored in the newspaper and TV news channels, find its plain way through the Social Media. The blossom of the Social Media era has reached its height. Once stamped as a menace or even worse a mental enfeeblement to society, Social Media is now considered to be a reasonable chance to spread out important – maybe world changing information as fast and effective as possible. It was nearly impossible sharing underground information with so many people from different parts of the world, before the discovery of the valuable source.
The so called “Arab Spring” set the beginning of reporting on what is actually happening by the use of the Social Media. People start to have the courage to raise their voices against the government.
A short look at Nigeria: With a 117 per cent rise in fuel costs, the Nigerian government went to far. Nigerians made their way up to the streets to protest. Of course there is a lot more behind the rise of fuel costs, which seems to be the general media headline. It is implicated with complex political actions. But concentrating on the the way Nigerians try to tell, more essentially share their story, a network have been build up called ChopCassava (“chop” is Pidgin English and means to eat with immoral or criminal greed – a provocative allusion to the government). Connected with facebook, for instance, they have reached a lot of Nigerians, including the diaspora. The protests in Nigeria are documented in a video blog at www.chopcassava.com including interviews with citizens and direct views of the marches. Police violence against the people are been revealed. This documentation wants to tell a story and wants to expose violent actions ordered from the government against its own people. ChopCassava is sharing a story, that must be seen and discussed, because telling a story is one thing, but sharing it is another. The more stories you share, the more society gets access to knowledge about injustice from the government. And knowledge is power – power to rebel against an unfair and violent system. And as Francis Bacon once said:
For knowledge, too, itself is power.