Addressing Brymo’s “freedom is a kind of prison”

As paradoxical and unclear this statement seems, it is an unarguable truth in this particular era of human existence. Humans who get too obsessed with freedom often think they can possibly think whatever they want and achieve it (dreams and careers are out of it): “I think, therefore I am.” Most times, this set of folks goes all out with the thoughts that they are wiser than the rest whose freedom is intentionally minimal. Asake called the former “Sodiki” (overwise); you should not be surprised that the other group however, understands Brymo’s theory that “freedom is a kind of prison”.

Think of a married man who has the freedom to do whatever he thinks. He is soon cheating and bringing other women home for his wife to witness. He has the freedom to misbehave now, same way he had the freedom to marry his wife in the first place. In reaction, the wife will likely abandon the marriage. Now, his choice to misbehave has kept him away from his wife and vice versa. His freedom becomes a prison keeping him from his wife. You can’t enjoy the benefits of both sides of the coin. You choose the one you want to enjoy! Hence, no complete freedom. Hence, the saying, “freedom is an illusion”.

According to Raymond Pelumi’s citation in his Are We Not Slaves To Freedom? published online: “What remains is the extreme display of our ability to exercise freedom. The absurdity of course, is absolutely admirable, as they feel somewhat wrong, yet they are right, logically. Consider the life of Lia Thomas (formerly William Thomas), a former American male swimming athlete who originally struggled in his profession. Then, he took upon himself the liberty to choose his own gender, identified as a female and has climbed the ranks considerably at the other side. There is also the case of a transgender male (now female) offender who was locked up with other female convicts. She ended up impregnating two of them!”

“To live is to suffer,” Frederick Nietzsche wrote. Life does not care about what anybody feels. “That is why we humans were born with mandatory sense of responsibility/duty to our fellow man, family and community,” a social media user complemented. And the society, relationships, the internet are all messed up because of the fact that humans are gradually moving away from taking responsibility. People hardly take responsibilities for their actions. Instead, they either blame it on someone else or guilt-trip others by reminding them that “nobody holy” or whether they’ve never committed an error before.


Brymo wrote about Black Sherif hours ago: “who never fucked up, hands in the air,” hits me like intent to make trifle of one’s misdemeanor — I do know we aren’t ever saintly, yet I insist we not peddle our filthy rags for truth.” This same phrase, “who never fucked up, hands in the air,” was used by Tiwa Savage to shy away from her guilt in the incidence of her sex tape. And freedom was why she or anyone else could boldly make a sextape without considering the possible negative outcomes in the first place.

Black Sherif’s “who never fucked up, hands in the air,” continues to prove many people are not accountable for their misbehavior — the general populace will never take responsibility for their errors. We use this phrase whenever we try to justify our horrible acts.

“Let people do what makes them happy,” is why the Gen Z (especially born between 2000 and 2005) is the rudest and nonchalant generation in this era of human existence. No one can hold them accountable: if anyone dares, disrespect and insults follow. As much as I realize that age factor and immaturity are a contributory factor to their childishly crude behavior; I also strongly believe that life has a way of teaching humans intelligence and maturity through experiences.

A certain Twitter user questioned why “we are in the “let people do what makes them happy” generation, yet, e be like say na we dey depressed pass.. people are not genuinely happy at all. So, freedom has more cons than pros after all? Allow people enjoy things, now many people are suicidal.” This present generation has the most freedom, and it is also the saddest generation, in spite.

Another user added: “People are more interested in faux happiness that meets social validation or standard; not true happiness, so they chase faux goals, build their happiness around vain ultimatum & criterium. When they realize it’s not real, that’s when the depression sets in.”

This is absolutely true, and this again, brings us back to the take that “freedom is a kind of prison”. Certain lifestyles and choices are peaceful. But these lifestyles seem not to be attractive to the peddlers of “let people do what makes them happy”, the obsessor of freedom, hence, they choose a life where peace and satisfaction are not obtainable and fall into depression or regrets when they finally realize. They fail to realize that life is all about sacrifices in areas of decisions, choices, relationships etc.

Made Kuti, the son of Femi Kuti and a grandson of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, recently revealed that he does not smoke, and a lot of people do not believe because of the fact that many of his family members are known to be good smokers. This is freedom. This is a choice! This is a sacrifice, for whatever he is sacrificing it for. You have friends who sell palm oil, and you sell white clothing materials: irrespective of how much you love your friends, you should avoid hawking together with them. That’s called sacrifice! Sacrificing your friends for your profession. That’s freedom! Choosing your own prison that keeps you away from your friends you so love. The absence of this is depression, dissatisfaction, drug abuse, heartbreaks, irresponsibility, blame game, etc.

Sam George Mac is a music journalist known for the reviews of several music albums and songs. He is a singer and songwriter of Afrobeats, Dancehall, Highlife and RnB with the stage name SGM — a graduate of Mass Communication from The West African Union University, Cotonou.

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