#LCBs stand for Lagos Corner Boys. It is a proposed replacement for words such as ‘miscreants’ or ‘hoodlums.’ Since these boys are mostly found at street corners the name kind of fits. Considering their substantial and extensive ‘weight’ in the current dynamics of Lagos and the fact that upon their ‘shoulders’ may be erected strong stones consolidating gains for everyone in Lagos, they could become ‘cornerstones’ indeed for Lagos. And depending on how well the pilot project goes, it could be adapted and customized for different parts of the country as time passes.
That memo to Bolanle Austen Peters, Naira Marley, Kunle Afolayan, Olamide and Ben Chiadika rests on a powerful idea. At its heart is the hope that these influential individuals in the entertainment culture may zero some of their energies on the LCBs, converting them to dancers, actors and other form of entertainers.
Bolanle Austen Peters, Naira Marley, Kunle Afolayan, Olamide and Ben Chiadika all have a history of constantly engaging with, and influencing young people. Bolanle Austen Peters is head Bolanle Austen Peters Production, Naira Marley is musician and founder of the ‘Marlian Movement.’ Kunle Afolayan, renowned movie director is head of Kunle Afolayan Productions, Olamide is a leader of the Yoruba rap and hip-hop culture while Ben Chiadika is a renowned storyteller and MNET Director.
With the right support, Bolanle Austen Peters, Naira Marley, Kunle Afolayan, Olamide and Ben Chiadika may collaborate on all manner of empowering productions with the LCBs forming the bulk an core of their cast. These productions may take the form of web series, musicals like the hugely successful Fela put up by Bolanle Austen Peters Production, or any other format.
Imagine for example, a musical centered around some of the hits of Nigerian music icons. How many Nigerians who have seen the Mama Mia musical did not wish to see a similar production around hits of Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Ade, Sunny Okosuns, Majek Fashek, Tubaba, PSquare or even Naira Marley, Olamide, etc.? Would the LCBs not to be ‘easier’ to work with considering their famed repertoire of anything Nigerian music? Do we not have the manpower to pull off such productions from the LCBs? Do these productions not translate to tangible employment opportunities for Nigerians?
If like Bolanle Austen Peters said at Covenant Christian Centre’s The Platform Conference a couple of years ago, these productions go on as proposed, would these productions not create multiplier benefits in the society if they can be run for weeks, months, or even years, like we see abroad?
Might this time not be a chance to give this possibility a push? With all the talk about ‘hoodlums hijacking this or that?’ We must accept the fact that we cannot continue to see the LCBs apart from the rest of society? They are bona-fide members of this society and definitely have positive things they can contribute. We cannot simply conclude that they cannot give anything but violence and intimidation to the rest of society. That narrative must change by deliberate thoughts and actions following the kind of memo to these lady and gentlemen. Have we even considered the kind of impact their incredible network and links of the LCBs may bring to any projects like we are suggesting? Would those not be assets to these proposed productions in terms of marketing and distribution, especially the use of word of mouth?
And mightn’t a bigger slice of Netflix’s $20billion used for buying up contents annually be extended to these productions if we factor in the huge market called Nigerian mostly youth population?
In terms of how this might evolve on the road to 2023, its development must be seen beyond that date or event because of its potential to do much.