Corruption happens because we have forgotten who we are- Saidi Balogun
Saidi Balogun, a veteran actor in the Yoruba movie industry, on Friday said that people should embrace their cultures to curb sharp practices and corruption in the country.
Balogun said the nation’s cultures were potent enough to help change people’s mindsets.
He added that they were capable of building positive characters in the individuals.
According to him, the Nigerian culture, over the years has helped to shape our moral values and several Nigerians have imbibed positive characters such as respect, truth, justice and empathy for others.
“Our culture is very important for our development as a people and a nation; in fact we need it more at this time of social, economic and political tensions.
“Extreme corruption happens because we have forgotten who we are as a people and allowed it infiltrate into our system as a social vice.
“However, if we are culturally inclined, we will not be corrupt because our culture will serve as a deterrent to evil and covetous thoughts.
“We will, thereby, be creating a happy society,’’ he said.
The actor recalled that during the pre-colonial days Nigerian traders would display their goods in the markets without having to be physically present to monitor them.
Balogun said that every good displayed then used to have a price tag to which an interested buyer would drop the specified amount and carried away items commensurate to the amount they paid.
‘‘Those were the good old days when our culture was at the forefront. People could go to bed without closing the doors to their houses but it is not so nowadays.
‘‘The neglect of our norms and values as a people has led to moral decadence which has bred lots of social vices in the country.
‘‘The only way out of this decadence, which seems to be threatening our peace and unity, is to embrace our cultural beliefs again,’’ he said.
Balogun said that it was necessary for artistes to go on cultural festivities abroad so that they could properly educate Nigerians in the Diaspora on how to do things in a proper way.
‘‘In many European countries, we have a lot of our cultural heritages in their museums without the proper history attached to where they originated from.
‘‘It is, therefore, our responsibility to ensure that proper education of our norms and values is taught in the Diaspora for the preservation and continuity of our culture as a people,’’ he said.
Balogun advised Nigerians, both at home and in the Daspora, to be proud of their cultures and remain assertive in the propagation and preservation of their norms and values as a people.
‘‘We cannot just sit back at home and fold our hands without doing anything.
‘‘We need to be assertive in ensuring that our true origin as a people is preserved both locally and internationally,’’ he said.