Nigeria’s first election season show for millennials ‘On The Couch’ is making a clear difference

Nigeria is moving toward its next general elections, everyone seems to have differing opinions and concerns about who represents their constituencies at the parliaments, states and most importantly – who will become the next president of the republic. This time, what makes it different is the accelerated number of young people using the internet to connect and network around entrepreneurship, nation-building and policy formation, grassroots politics and innovation, a tech-savvy generation has been birthed and information has never been so widespread and accessible as before. Since 1999, democracy has not yielded expected dividends to many Nigerians, in fact, recent stats show that 92% of its denizens live below 2,000 naira or less than $5 USD daily; this is contrary to presumptions that a democratically elected government will engender growth and infrastructure of Africa’s largest population.

Regrettably, democracy does not bring about socio-economic development by default, not in a country where social classes aren’t defined and basic amenities to support the bottom of pyramids is still a fantasy. However, it has become more glaring that socio-economic development would only play an important role in sustaining democracy. So it is democracy blended with good leadership that will ensure economic development.

It is now a trend for politicians to cling to social media, new technologies and Instagram stars, just to appear cool.

As we head to the polls, many young influencers, thought breakers and entrepreneurs in the Nigerian blogosphere are becoming more popular for building voices and movements that engage other citizens on critical issues, for the purpose of shaping the nation’s future. One of such conversations is happening right now, a show by Falz, a comedic rapper and social commentator alongside TV presenter, Laila Johnson-Salami. Both of them come across as young, conscious Nigerians using their platforms for social good and entertainment. On the couch, the indie dedicated elections season show has been sparking a dialogue on the type of president the world’s ‘new poverty capital’ needs. Coming at a point where the majority of the population, the youths, think a younger president or someone different from the typical career politician is the answer, Laila and Falz are proving to us that actions don’t equate to words, and many times.

On the second episode of On The Couch, Olasubomi Okeowo – a presidential aspirant argued that Nigerians and black people are not technologically wired to innovate, a statement that deeply upset the youths, prompting him to opt out of the race. 

So far, the thought-provoking show has aired three episodes on it’s Youtube channel, featuring Fela Durotoye – a business consultant and growth expert, Olasubomi Okeowo – self-proclaimed IT guru and Donald Duke, a career politician and ex-governor. It’s unscripted and relaxing nature makes it easy for young Nigerians to relate with and have intelligent conversations revolving around human rights, LGBTQ, the political and socio-economic climate in the country. It is also exposing pseudo politicians or individuals who don’t have a clear sense of leadership and blueprints to fixing the Nigerian Nightmare.  While snippets from the weekly show keep blowing up on the internet, Nigeria’s first election talk series for millennials is a step forward in critiquing men and women vying to occupy the country’s highest office.

ON THE COUCH TV

Richard Ogundiya

Journalist & Techpreneur. Africa, communications and data.

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