Squid Game Lessons & Woes
– Personal rants by a Sterling Human
If you haven’t been living under Olumo rock for the past month, then you must have heard about Squid game, the dynamic South-Korean drama series (Netflix original) that is currently topping the charts in over 90 countries including Nigeria, worldwide.
Here’s the premise :- 456 debt-ridden contestants accept an invitation to compete in children’s games for a tempting cash prize, even though the stakes are deadly.
Aigoo aigoo! sounds brilliant right? If you haven’t seen it yet but loved Hunger games, there is a chance you might love this one too. But, I digress.
I have a lot to say; and whenever I prefix with this, my friends already know we are about to dive deep into the socio-economic and political dynamics of our society in general. So, friend… as a Nigerian living in Nigeria, I have questions!
Was it strange to find out that people living in presumably “Thriving economies where everything works” have the same problem/gbese as we do? Problem upon problem! Was the poverty, oppression of the masses by corrupt people in power and impending doom relatable enough for you? Could you see yourself rooting for the friendships and alliances that started off the same way most of yours have? Or did you watch mindlessly because boredom?
Whatever your take out was, it matters. Because you matter. You matter a lot.
But come to think of it shaa, I know that as Nigerians, we no come to this life to suffer. Person go fit use their last 5k to chop weller. Anything wey wan sup go sup. If you had the chance to win 45.6 billion won (over 15 trillion Naira) at the risk of your life, will you do it? This one no be BBN oh!!! What will you do?
For me, there was more to Squid Game than gamble and violence. That part was thrilling. I wouldn’t lie but then, think about how we got a first hand experience into Korean culture & history through children’s games although, enmasked by danger. When was the last time you played ten ten, abula, tinko tinko, police and thief or Ayo? Lemme just plug that you have access to a vast variety of Nigerian games and African literature while enjoying delicious coffee at Cafe One.
Next were the subtly loud social allegories of internalized misogyny, ableism & ageism, during the 3rd game- the tug of war. There’s so much on that to say but let’s first take a quick break to breathe in and out slowly, while I remind you that we at Sterling have created a community with a place for all- i can save, One woman, every nanny, one home, etc.
Lastly, poverty as a powerful weapon against the masses. Can yáll remember when news broke that our fellow brothers & sisters risked their lives to scavenge for palliatives. Palliatives! I couldn’t help but link it to the time during the movie that a fight broke out because there weren’t enough eggs and water to go round at the games arena, while the VIPs had feasts and personal servers to fulfil their every desire. Chai!!! That part pained me die but it’s always good to know that with Specta, everyone has an equal chance at living a good life. Afterall, you can borrow up to 5million Naira with no collateral needed.
In conclusion, squid game is a brutal show of social inequalities. I’m glad that it has opened up room for us to discuss what we as a community are doing wrong but at the same time, the ending kind of reinforces that there is somehow still good in this world. If watching the show wasn’t motivation enough for you to be kinder to those around you, then here’s another prompter. Be kind, but start with yourself.
I’d leave you with another question though, what else has this incredibly brilliant and divergent show, Squid Game taught you?