Is Integrity Misplaced in our Society?

It was the last hour of the work-week and I was looking forward to having a relaxing long weekend. I spent the hour daydreaming about the events of the weekend. Finally, I can catch up on the shows I’ve missed. Imagine my surprise when I got home and realized that the DSTV subscription had expired! What?! Thursday and Friday are public holidays. While contemplating how I was going to spend the long weekend without my TV shows, I remembered this DVD with a collection of Yoruba movies. Bingo! That will take the edge off for a few days. I put the DVD in the player and settled down to watch the movies. As the first movie starts, I can’t help but notice the poor quality of the camera. I thought the movie was an old one but nope, it was made this year. Naija sha! So the director can’t afford a quality camera in 2013? Surprisingly, that wasn’t the worst thing about the movie, it was the subtitles!! they were filled with grammatical and spelling errors. Oh! I’ve got pictures for you 😉

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By the end of the movie, I was laughing hysterically; not because the movie was funny, it was actually a drama but because the grammatical errors in the subtitles were so bad. Seriously, how can the director, producer or even the actors let this type of material go out to the public? The film crew is so focused on getting their products on the market as fast as possible that they don’t take time to properly edit the movies. It is a race against time to put the film together and sell so that production can begin on the next movie. The theme becomes quantity over quality. It’s all about the amount of money to be made which  I find is  directly linked to their integrity.

This disease is not endemic to the movie industry alone; it spans several areas in Nigeria. The mechanic buys the lower quality brake pad so that he can make a few extra bucks. The electronic store delivers a faulty ‘new’ fridge and when it breaks down a week later,  convinces the buyer to fix it. The phrase ‘built to last’ eludes them. We practice the ‘just patch it up, keeps ‘em coming back’ motto.  What we don’t realize is that without integrity our short-term gain remains just that, short term.  It doesn’t keep people coming back or make them think highly of you because they lose trust in you and your abilities. Our society is filled with citizens in a bid to make it, to live above comfortable lives and if they have to compromise their integrity to get there, it’s no problem at all. Lately, everyone is quick to point fingers at the government for all the mishap in the country but no one is looking at themselves. Don’t get me wrong, they have a lot of faults but everyone is responsible for Nigeria’s image. It starts with you. Like Robert Kennedy said, “Each time a person stands up for an idea or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest wall of oppression.”

Integrity is a value all of us should have because it keeps us grounded. I found this quote while doing some reading and I think it encapsulates integrity as a value. “Values are important beliefs and desires that shape attitudes and prompt action. They are a small set of general guiding principles not to be compromised for short-term gain or expediency.”– Anonymous

I will leave you with another picture. 🙂 Note: picture from a different movie.

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4 Comments

  1. It’s so amazing how mediocrity has become skillfully n closely woven into the fabrics of our culture through something I call a subtle Gradual Desensitization System (GDS). I am pursuing a Post Graduate Diploma right now in the National Teachers’ Institute and I have not ceased to be shocked ever since I started this program. You need how see how our teachers are produced. It’s a sorry sight. What’s worse, even the trainers and coordinators who are supposedly Doctorate degree holders and Proffesors need help. Intergrity is alien to the system. Values only exist in theory as a part of the things mentioned to us in our training, but a cause for alarm when it comes to its application. I now understand why our public secondary schools and tertiary institutions are the way they are and the students that are produced there. But that is why I am pursuing this degree, so I can fufill the qualificational requirement for entry into the academic system, perhaps I can position myself to do the much I can to produce values driven intelligent and competent graduates; agents of change and catalyasts of transformation. So help me God.

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    1. Thanks Uka. I hope you get that degree and can ‘be the change you want to see’ in the education sector. Nigeria would be better if everyone realize that the country can develop and be built only by individuals who have true, strong positive values.

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  2. I want to appreciate this idea called LEAP Africa. Honestly I was begininig to think that I was the only person who noticed this constant grammatical error from Nigerian Yoruba movies.it is so alarming. All the same, the truth is we also have our own role to play in the course of our National Development. Thumbs up to you all!!!

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