From void to force – The Nation

  • These are what have shot Ikorodu Bois to global limelight

If there is any action by the Nigerian youth that affirms the relevance of the social media in a 21st century world, the invitation to Hollywood of the now very popular Ikorudu Bois is it.

The Ikorodu Bois constitutes brothers Muiz Sanni, 15; Malik Sanni, 10, and their 13-year-old cousin, Fawas Aina, and they have caught the attention of the world through Instagram as they proudly showcase their parody productions of music videos and movie trailers.

Their core ‘equipment’ are sourced around their neighbourhood and include used cartons, wheelbarrow, toy helicopters, used pots and pans and other household items that often appear as toys and add to their child-like but well-articulated acts that have caught the attention of movie makers globally.

The fact that the group is barely three years in practice and seems to be on a stardom super high way is almost a miracle given that they seem to have literally tilled the land with their bare hands.

They started their parody acts in 2017 purely as fun stuff then. With time, their eldest, Babatunde Sanni, mooted the idea of putting their acts up in the social media and, as he told CNN in an interview, their acts were well received by their followers.

Encouraged by comments and reviews, they intensified efforts and what they earlier did for fun became a passion.

They improved their acts, added colour  and somewhat perfected the parodies. Their improvisation with mere household objects like using wheelbarrow for cars and old cartons for backdrops and plastic cups for earphones were as hilarious as they were attention-grabbing.

They shifted attention to recreating multi-million dollar music videos and Hollywood movie trailers and the world began to notice.

Their use of social media paid off in April, this year, when the famous Will Smith shared a copy of their ‘Bad Boys Forever’ on his Instagram page with the caption, GENUIS@ikorodu_bois!!

Another actor, Alvaro Morte who acted as Professor in ‘Money Heist’, which the boys had parodied enthused, “What an amazing job”.

They equally tried to replicate local acts like D.J Cuppy, Davido etc. They were equally clever enough to replicate the sad farewell to the late American basketball player, Kobe Bryant, after his tragic death.

Their invitation to Hollywood for the premiere of the #Extraction movie  seems a very good and encouraging reward for years of hard work and ingenuity of these young Nigerians.

Their success comes as a breath of fresh air for a country smarting from the series of arrests of some young Nigerians for fraudulent acts in the UAE and United States of America.

Their achievements would somewhat help to tell the world that Nigerian youths, like all youths across the world, is a mixture of the good and the bad.

We commend these very young boys for their diligence and ingenuity. They equally affirmed that their parents were very supportive amidst disapprovals from neighbours  who felt they were irritants with their noise.

We regret however that the Nigerian film industry might just lose these budding talents to the United States simply because their talents cannot get the needed nurturing and infrastructure here.

They are not alone; millions of youths are talented in various ways but policies and infrastructure seem to be hurdles too high for them.

We also applaud the famous actors that were magnanimous enough to give them audience through their social media pages, and for actually seeing the potential in them, even with their lack of support or equipment. Their support and encouragement are worth more than gold at this time.

Nigerian governments must realise that investment in youth development must be prioritised. The greatest asset of any country is its human capital that must be planned for deliberately.

There are many other Ikorodu Bois waiting to be nurtured and encouraged, with the best infrastructure. There must be a sense of urgency in planning ahead while we encourage the youths to get an education too, which will refine their skills.

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