I interacted with Jagun Jagun,the Warrior, a Nigerian epic movie owned by Femi Adebayo currently airing on Netflix, on multiple levels. I was particularly interested in the war school, what would be taught and how the mentees would transform. So I put on my mentor hat pretty early as a viewer.
As I was going to publish this piece, Mohbad happened. His death has exposed the unhealthy hegemony in the Nigerian music industry. Naira Marley, a music label owner, musician then becomes an uncanny parallel.
Ogundiji, the war lord accurately discerned Gbotija’s success seeds, but like many tormentors in the garb of mentors, five factors prevented him from taking the glory of the making of the next warlord out of Gbotija. Here are the five preventors:
Insecurity- An insecure leader is a dangerous man. Insecurity breeds vices, it breeds the two monsters of envy and jealousy. Gbotija saved the Olori from a mortal attack, that became the genesis of his travails with the man whose woman he saved.
Yielding to the monster that envy is – Three tasks were given to the aspiring warrior. They were borne of insecurity. Every time the poor man scaled a task, he envied his ability to surmount the task. It infuriated the warlord the more.
Being an unforgiven soul – A terrible mentor burnt his protégé who was on community scholarship to his war school, at the stake, literally. He burnt the boy for being compassionate. Disobedience was unpardonable to him, even if it was out of ignorance, affection, or filial. The man eliminated his second in command, killed his war school instructors, appointing no one to fill the vacuums he was creating, paving the way for the direct attack he suffered, eventually.
Fear – the fear of the success of a junior warrior, better still a mentee warrior unleashed the dragon in Ogundiji. For many in leadership and governance the fear of a successor makes them plot endlessly to put obstacles in the path of the hierarchical succession plan in their organisations. They become narcissistic and continually talk down on the bright ones in the office environment. No one is good enough.
Selfishness – It is amazing how utterly selfish people are often blindsided. They are loyal to no one. His war school was not founded for altruistic reasons. It was to massage his ego; and provide him, a supply of soldiers for his conquest goals.
All of these combined to bring about the downfall of the seemingly unbeatable warlord. As I read different accounts of the death of Mohbad, aka Imole, an emerging light in the Nigerian music industry, I found these factors in the man, he signed up with, as a musician.
There are many tormentors out there fronting as mentors. Look beyond the surface, past the glamour, and the wealth. Toxicity is more than a cloak, to them. It is a way of life. The clout, on a closer look is really a cult. Think again, take another look, before you choose a mentor.
By Anike-Ade Funke Treasure