Marlians! I guess you must have heard of the movement, but what I can assure you is that you haven’t heard of the Marlian cult.
Who is a Marlian?
This is recent youthful movement gaining ground across Nigeria. According to the urban dictionary, A Marlian is any real follower of the controversial Nigerian singer, Naira Marley. On the surface, this definition seems to cover what it is to be a Marlian but doesn’t cut it for true Marlians. A Marlian is a Naira Marley Stan — It is often said that a true Marlian follow and obey the lifestyle and tenets of Naira Marley.
So who is this Marley? Well we know who Bob Marley is…He is the Original Marley. He was a Jamaican raised singer and songwriter born on (6 February 1945-11 May 1981). Bob Marley was a fighter and a lover of freedom. He joined the Rastafarian movement which emerged in Jamaica in the 1930s. Rastafari, also known as Rastafarianism, is an Abrahamic religion that developed in Jamaica during the 1930s. It is classified as both a new religious movement and a social movement by scholars of religion. Bob Marley joined the movement in regards to using “wisdom weed” that had grown on the grave of Solomon. Bob Marley believed in positivity and oneness and he’s known for many of his wisdom filled quotes like “Who are you to judge the life I live?” Some may say Bob Marley was the first true Marlian based on his lifestyle and beliefs.
So, who then is Naira Marley? In 2019, in the mist of the economic and political tension across the country, came a certain Azeez Fashola who swam into the spotlight with his hit single “Am I a yahoo boy” and his fight with the EFCC (Economic Financial Crime Commission). The track which had a lot to say about the societal expectations in this age and practices of the federal government, and which was solidified by his Marlians ideals and views. The “Marlian” term was first coined after he release another hit song” Opotoyi” (Marlian) which was dedicated to his fans.
So, at this point, the fight against him and the cancel culture was taking root. Public opinion was against him and his ideals as he was seen as a misfit. The last controversy came after the song “Soapy” which also spoke against his arrest and fraud-life. With the phrase “inside life” he talked about what he saw and experienced in prison but none of this was what caused the controversy. The songs lewd dance which depicting male masturbation was the point of this controversy. Now the surprising thing is that as people spoke against “Soapy” the more accepted it became. It was all the streets was talking about and then, the unthinkable happened. We (society) finally accepted the Marlians and Naira Marley. The movement had come to stay.
Are Marlians Cultist?
So, what could go wrong? Following Naira Marley’s acceptance, several people started to identify as Marlians, this was almost like a new trend and it became difficult to tell what being a Marlian meant. Marlians have always existed in society, as the outliers and marginalized people for their choices and lifestyle, a misunderstood group of people without social approval. Naira Marley didn’t create Marlians, he simply gave Marlians a voice and brought them into the spotlight, in this regard, Naira Marley is the true President of the Marlians.