Yesterday at Glasgow city centre, a candlelight procession took place to pay tribute to a Nigerian artiste who had recently passed away. As a presenter for a local radio station, I found myself in the unique position of covering the event. Little did I know that an unexpected encounter with a stranger would lead me to contemplate the profound concepts of love spreading and the influence of collective admiration.
During the event, I had the opportunity to interview a stranger, Muhammad Ali, an individual from Uganda who, surprisingly, had no connection with the Nigerian music culture and was unfamiliar with the deceased singer. Our conversation took an unexpected turn as Muhammad shared his perspective on love and admiration, shedding light on a remarkable human phenomenon.
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Finding the picture of the Nigerian artiste, Mohbad, on Muhammad's scooter, I enquired about his association with the late musician. Muhammad's response was simple yet profound. He explained that despite not knowing Mohbad's story, he felt compelled to love him because the majority of people around him loved him. In Muhammad's eyes, their shared racial background was enough for him to feel a deep connection with the artiste.
Muhammad's words resonated with a powerful truth — the ability of love to spread based on how a majority perceives an individual. His genuine affection for Mohbad stemmed from the overwhelming love he witnessed from others. He acknowledged that although Mohbad was no longer alive to witness the outpouring of support, the collective love and admiration demonstrated by the crowd was a testament to the impact the artiste had on countless lives.
In Muhammad's view, he didn't have a choice but to love Mobad. This makes me realize that when we encounter a person who is widely adored, the love they receive becomes contagious. It transcends personal preferences or individual knowledge of their story. It is almost like an involuntary response, driven by the realization that when so many people love someone, there must be something remarkable about them, and this makes me realise how possible it is for us as humans to love somebody we don't know.