This is further to the post on GNaija's blog and my comments thereon.
Most of our (grand)parents have/had lived through two great wars - WW2 and the Civil War - and were witnesses to the attendant deprivations. They did not want their children to go through same. They were witnesses to the struggle for independence and the eventual attainment of that goal.
After independence, the challenge of our (grand)parents was to pass on a high quality of life to their children. A qualify of life most of them never had but they knew was possible. If only they could raise their children to know what the white man knew. Building this new society called for more doctors, more lawyers, more engineers.
So they struggled to give their children an education to achieve their goals. So our parents became the doctors, the lawyers, the administrators and shortly after, they too became parents.
It is not in question if our parents had artistic talents. A generation that produced Soyinka, Achebe, Fela, Onabrakpeya and Ogunde could not but have had it. But for every Soyinka there must have been at least a thousand others good writers who became engineers or doctors. For every Achebe, would have been at least a thousand businessmen with fine painting skills. And Fela could have become just another manager in UAC.
There were a lot of talents but they had to survive first. And survival meant getting a degree in medicine, engineering or whatnot. Getting a 'good' job and then working hard at providing the good life for your family.
It is true that we do not have the same challenges as they had. Our generation can afford to pursue our artistic (and otherwise) dreams because they have provided for us. They had cleared the bush for us to plant.
As I had said, we will be ungrateful if we do not recognize their sacrifices for us. They sacrificed their dreams - and happiness - that we might have the good life. That we might have the luxury of dreams. That we might nurture our talents and become all that we can be.
You know, every time I hear Tuface sing, I remember Felix Lebarty of the 'Am Your Lover Boy, Lover Boy, Boy-y-y, Am Your Boyfriend' fame. He was one of the few Nigerian acts to sell a million records and go platinum. Last I heard, he was selling cars.
Asa reminds me of Martha Ulaeto. Martha who? you'd probably ask. She was an artiste in the 80s and sang ballads back then. She actually had a song - 'African Life' back then. God knows where she's at now. (New and correct information: The song was 'Africa Rise' and there's more info on Martha here. Also, listen to the song there too. Go there people, I recommend it. Many thanx to Comb&Razor!)
And there was Prince Nico Mbarga. Remember 'Sweet Mother, I no go forget you ...'. Probably still the highest selling Nigerian act ever. Last we heard, he died on an okada in Calabar.