A group of kids from the neighbourhood come to play with my son in my house. The only thing my son watches on TV is the kiddies channels. My son particularly hates Africa Magic. And so it is for most of the other children. However something happened few days ago. I was inside my room when I overheard one of the children telling my son to let them change the channel to Africa Magic. Of course, Africa Magic is the thing my son hates most on TV. So he screamed at the boy ‘No Africa Magic!’. This boy didn’t relent. He kept begging like his life depended on it. With my son (a naturally firm kid), he was never going to be successful at it anyway.
I noticed that this particular boy wasn’t flowing with any of the animation movies that were showing. He just wanted his Africa Magic jẹ́jẹ́. He understands Africa Magic, not Jakes and The Neverland Pirates. Then I asked myself. What kind of parents turned a six year-old boy to an Africa Magic addict? Isn’t it too early for such a kid to be glued to the IQ-depleting Africa Magic? Shouldn’t he be watching the educational things that show on the kiddies channels?
The first few years of a child’s life are very crucial to their intellectual development. Today we have lots of adults who can’t think for themselves because their childhood lacked the right intellectual input. Morals are one thing, ability to think critically is another. Unfortunately, morals and critical thinking are somehow related. No wonder we have a nation that is filled with heartless politicians who enjoy ample support from empty-headed and immoral followers!
And one other scary thing is that the first few years aren’t only formative but the ‘credulous’ years, i.e., the years where children absorb everything that’s thrown at them. So if you feed them with Africa Magic at an early age, they will simply grow into Africa Magic adults. And you know the symptoms of an Africa Magic adult? Just look at any Africa Magic addict you see around or look at yourself if you’re one.
There are three reasons why you shouldn’t let your children watch Africa Magic.
1. Africa Magic won’t entertain your child
To a typical kid, entertainment comes before anything else. They’re even better educated while being entertained — edutainment. There’s nothing entertaining to a child on Africa Magic. Absolutely nothing. It wasn’t made to entertain kids: so no need thinking of entertaining your kids with it. Africa Magic scares my son like hell. All the scenes that portray human suffering, human rituals, and spirits can never be entertaining to children. They do have bad dreams from those things. In fact, those movies are pure lazy entertainment even for adults.
If you notice that your child screams from his sleep at intervals in the middle of the night, that’s a sign that you’ve been a bad parent feeding him with the wrong audiovisuals at a very tender age. In contrast, I’ve never seen my son shudder at any scene in a kiddies channel. Child psychologists are mostly involved in the production of the programs that show on kiddies channels and they’ve certified them perfectly fit for children. However by the time you distort your child’s mind into one that gets entertained by Africa Magic, his mind is screwed up for life. Trust me.
2. Africa Magic won’t make your child intelligent
In fact, it will make your child progressively stupider. It doesn’t provide any information. Your child is supposed to be learning vocabulary, science,history, facts, verbal and qualitative reasoning, and problem-solving. These are the things the kiddies channels provide. On the other hand, Africa Magic is filled with myths and half-truths about our world, propagating superstition and reinforcing the wrong beliefs. In those movies, kids can be witches that suck people’s blood. But how accurate is that? In one of my previous articles (click here to read it), I discussed how Africa Magic reinforces the wrong health beliefs and generally misinforms people about illness and the health profession. In another world, the Federal Ministry of Health would be banning Africa Magic like the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation bans Olamide’s songs. And you want your kids to sit down with you watching those things?
3. Africa Magic won’t teach your child morals
This is the most important fact. There is this illusion that Africa Magic movies teach morals. Very funny. How? The contrary is even true. What kind of morals do they teach? That you shouldn’t show compassion towards a mentally challenged individual because he might have tried to do money rituals that boomeranged and made him mad? That children should not trust their fellow children because some of them might be witches? That girls shouldn’t grow up into ‘jealous women’ (whatever that nonsense means), i.e., they shouldn’t ‘misbehave’ if their husbands suddenly brings another woman home in the name of second wife?
That girls should never see themselves as equal to boys? That marriage and childbearing should be what girls should prioritize in their lives? That misfortune and fortune are always supernatural? That you should visit babaláwos, pastors or alfas instead of going to the hospital when you’re sick? I’m trying very hard to see what morals children learn from Africa Magic. Every single negative mentality in our society is freely given expression on Africa Magic.
And the religious ones are very funny, especially the Christian ones — Mount Zion films and co. What morals? That if a child steals something, he will be burned forever in a very terrible fire that is being supervised by the creator of the universe? That anybody that doesn’t believe their version of the god story is an unbeliever that they shouldn’t be close with? That their forefathers worshipped idols while their ancestors’ slave masters were the ones that brought the right gods? Come off it! As I said earlier, we’ve had enough dim-witted adults with warped moral compasses. We simply don’t need more children developing into that group of people!
Tales By Moonlight, the kiddies program that showed on the Nigerian Television Authority in the 80’s and 90’s was better. It showed Sunday evenings. It was a program tailored towards the kids delivering morals with African stories. It promoted the African cultural heritage in a very healthy way, not the way Africa Magic portrays it today. I don’t know if it still shows in 2016 but I doubt if it will still have any viewership anyway. The world has changed from what it was but that was what we watched when we were growing up.
In summary, Africa Magic is rated 18, 16 and PG 13 depending on the content that’s showing. That means even DSTV doesn’t want you to show it to your kids. That means at least your child must be up to 13 years old and even with that, parental guidance (PG) is advised. There’s a reason why it’s rated so. It’s not for fancy. So why should you expose your child to something he shouldn’t be exposed to? If you’ve become an incurable addict yourself, you shouldn’t enrol your child in the craze.
There are several options by which you can watch your Africa Magic and protect your child from it. You can buy two TV ‘s and then pay for DSTV’s Dual View. One TV for your Africa Magic and the other one for kiddies channels. You can collect films from your friends and watch them on your laptop or on another TV away from the children’s view. You can delay your Africa Magic till when your children are asleep at night. Just do anything to make sure that your children don’t watch the thing with you. And when you’re not at home, lock the wrong channels so that your househelp doesn’t switch them on and invite your kids to it.
The kids are our tomorrow. Taking them to religious places won’t make them any smarter. It will only make them pick up the same religion as you. Most parents around here think that that’s the only way to grow children into sane adults. How wrong they are! Unknown to them, it’s simple parenting efforts like watching what they see on TV that will make them grow into straight adults. Invest quality effort in their upbringing for a greater tomorrow.
Thanks for reading.
N. B. It’s Africa Magic, not African Magic.