Home Essays Western Popular Culture And The Nigerian Youth by Victor Oladejo.

Western Popular Culture And The Nigerian Youth by Victor Oladejo.


Western pop culture( also known as popular culture) refers to entertainment( music, film, sports), politics, fashion, education , technology and social life originates from the European and American cultures.

The presence of western popular culture in Africa can be traced to colonial links and civilizations which in no small amount contributed to the development of the continent , with the marks of the influence drawn on the educational sector, the mass media, economic sector, political realm and the lifestyle of the people that are influenced.

Western popular culture in Nigeria has remained as an influencing force right from the 50s and the 60s . such influences includes the first television station in Africa which was established by the then western Regional government on october 1st 1959 a year before the independence of the sovereign nation and a similar broadcasting television station was established by the then Eastern government in 1960 at Enugu. The television stations served as major tools of mass socio– economic and political enlightenment in the nation. Also in the league of the electronic media influence includes FM ( frequency module) Radio stations which also served as a tool of mass enlightenment through the various programmes where relevant issues of the country were made available. The print media which includes Newspapers , magazines journals and other educational materials such as literature , research texts and documents served as a mode of education to the citizens of the country. Another notable influence includes the use of electronic equipment and gagets such as computers, musical instruments , telephones, television and other technological inventions.

In addition to the media influences, there were impacts on music, this is evident in the various musical improvements in popular and indegineous music such as highlife, juju, bongo , reggae and blues which were made with musical instruments and studio recordings. Western cloths and dressing culture also played significant roles in the Nigerian society.

In the present day Nigeria of the advanced technollogical era, western popular culture remains as a strong force of influence like it was in the early years of our country. Through the mass media, social media, internet, gagets electronic and other technologies various tools of change have been made available . For example, during the corona virus outbreak the mass media ( print and electronic) was used as a mode of spreading information to the masses on safety measures in Nigeria. The social media is another perfect example of a strong influence on the Nigerian society and the youths in particular. Social media platforms like Twitter, facebook, instagram , and whatsapp have served as a mode of linking people with others and exposure to different oppurtunity and discussions on social, political and economic issues in the country. During the protest against police brutality in Nigeria and the demand for the closure of the special anti- robbery squad(SARS) the social media platforms were used for the display of hashtagged posts and later, the videos of the bloody scenes during the protest.

However, admist all the positive influences western popular culture has made in our society, the negative effect on our society and the youths is a growing challenge.

Western popular culture with it’s influence on mass media , entertainment, social media and fashion which most of the present day Nigerian youths are interested ; gradual and evident negative changes are made to their lifestyle in some ways.

In a bid to replicate and ‘improve’ , the entertainment industry ( music, film) after some contents in some western movies, most of celebrated and trending secular movies now contain sexually glamorizing scenes that celebrate sexual violence , promiscuity and reduction of women to mere sexual objects. Music in Nigeria on the other hand, especially hiphop is a great example of how far western replication has created an ugly trend. Most hiphop music contain the display of nubile women dancers in indecent dressing. In those musics , celebration of sexual promiscuity, addiction , violence and get- rich-quick inducing messages are present in the lyrics. The effect on the youth is quite alarming, because the youths as the audience try to identify with the attractive characters and life portrayed by the celebrities which they accept as normal and realistic to engage in, which in the end lead to the modelling of their new behaviours and reaction to things. The imitation of this celebrites in no small measure has contribute to the rising rate of armed robbert, rape , indicent dressing, drug addiction cybercrimes and other vices in our society.

In addition there are tendencies of addiction to the social media due to it’s interactive modes. The frequent use for information search and dissemination , overtime; leads to addiction to the contents which places strains on relationship with others, work , religious and other physical activities.

For change to occur and wipe the ugly marks of western popular culture in the lifestyle of our youths and society, the change lies in the hand of the government and citizens. The various control boards on entertainment in Nigeria should place ban on movies and musics that induce vices. The massmedia should promote good values, religious beliefand morals in their programmes and symposiums that would teach on the need to divert attention from aspects of western culture that needs not to be emulated. With all this steps taken, i think the presence of western popular culture in our society would be a tool of positive change.


International journal media, journalism and communication.(issue 2 , volume 2, 2016)

Albert Bandura , social foundations of thought and action.Englewood Cliff, N.j prentice Hall.( 1986)

Oladejo Victor Olayemi is a budding artist and a secondary school
graduate. He lives in Ore, Odigbo, Ondo state and wrote in via victoroladejo95@gmail.com
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