Usually people term the word “bandwagon” to mean something as negative as following bad ideals or wrong norms. You might have heard our African folks say, especially when you are leaving your locality, “Don’t follow the bandwagon o; remember the child of whom you are.” Yeah, I was told that when I was leaving home for higher institution in year 2000. But really, not following the bandwagon in school for me was not because of the advice, but because I know where I am going and didn’t want to get lost on the way.
After checking my Oxford advanced learners dictionary (and seeing it means 'an activity that more and more people are becoming involved in') I realized following a bandwagon may actually be a good thing after all, it’s just a matter of what kind of bandwagon you are following. Take King David for instance, the Bible records that when he sought refuge at the cave of Adullam, some other vagabonds joined him. These people eventually became his army. But the first point to note is that they had something in common with him. At first they were vagabonds, but secondly they all became extra-ordinary fighters. Survival was a thing they crave for and they grew to survive even at war fronts. Do you remember the account of the mighty men who worked with David? Check it out:
1. Adino the Eznite; a man like you and me, who lifted up his spear against 800 men and slew them at one time. (1 Samuel 23:8)
2. Eleazar the son of Dodo; who stood to fight when all Israel ran away at the face of the Philistines, only for them to come back and meet his spoils. (1 Samuel 23:9-10)
3. You will also find Shammah; who stood his ground, when all Israel fled at the point when Philistine was about taking a ground over from them. (1 Samuel 23:11-12)
These are David’s 3 mighty men, but there are so many others (2 Samuel 23)… I have come to understand just like the Bible says (Iron sharpens iron) that it’s either you influence your friends or your friends influence you. Remember David killed Goliath (1 Samuel 17)? If he had moved with people who didn’t share the hope of survival with him, even when he was promised the throne and after he got it, I bet he may not have lasted so long. Have you read Proverbs 13:20? (He that walks with the wise shall be wise: but the companion of fools shall be destroyed.) Hahaha! Show me your friend and I will show you who you are!
You can’t keep following the wrong wagon and expect the right result. If your vision is to be a singer (or whatever your vision is) and you join the bandwagon of those who want to be lawyers or something else (extremely different from your vision) you may just find yourself at the wrong end of the corner someday. A Yoruba proverbs says, “Aguntan toba ba aja rin a je igbe” (If a ram walks with the dog she will eat dung.) What would you expect of a singer who joins the bandwagon of lawyers? Arguing his talent away of course!
Nevertheless, it’s never too late: Assess yourself to see if you have been moving with the right people (in relation to your dream). If not… What are you waiting for? I’m not saying you should stop being friends with them, but I will advice you jump down from their “bus” and board the next available “bus” of those who share your dream.
To Samuel Ekundayo LDP and Jennifer Erere Abayowa, Thanks for (indirectly) charging me up!