Nigeria is much more than what most critics, especially “my own people” in the diaspora think. I tell you. It is much more than fanciful words. I am almost tempted to say that, anyone who has not lived, never lived, currently does not live in Nigeria has NO RIGHT to write about its challenges.
Come to think of it, I am in fact saying that. How can I justify how much pain you are going through from wearing your tight shoes? Do I even know those beautiful “pass-me-down” Churchill’s shoes or Barley Shoes or Russell and Bromley shoes are new? No. I have no way of knowing unless you tell me. So I have no right in casting any assertion at the way you walk as a result of those tight shoes. I may wonder. I may go further to ask. However, I ought not to condemn and this is where I have difficulties with a lot of “pen assassins” out there.
This is what Claude M Bristol wrote in his classic book “The Magic of Believing” had to say;
“As individuals think and believe, so they are. As a whole city of them thinks, so it is; and as a nation of them think, so it is. This is an inescapable conclusion.” He went on to add that “every person is the creation of himself, the image of his own thinking and believing. As King Solomon put it, for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
I say it with all boldness that not until the belief system of Africans in General and Nigerians in particular change, all that we would engage in his painting over the cracks. Branding or no branding. Scholars of branding will tell you that in other to have a successful brand; it must have a brand identity or image. A brand attitude is equally important. There is also the brand recognition, and then a brand statement before the all important brand management.
The rebranding in Nigeria is much more than the tagline “Good People. Great Nation.” It goes beyond that. The people it represents must believe it. The Germans under Hitler believed they were the most superior of all humans hence the attempt to conquer the world. And all that was led by one person who succeeded in transferring that belief to the Germans at the time.
My point is, the government of Nigeria cannot enforce a statement unto its citizens if they they are not carried along. Governor Babatunde Fashola with his successful “Eko o ni Baje o” tagline is slowing and visibly carrying the people in Lagos State along, hence the success of the slogan that “Lagos will not spoil” and true to its slogan, Lagos, one of the most populous cities in the world with a potential to match its population is slowing getting better. Top countries are now attracted to come to Lagos to invest. Companies are not sad to pay tax because they can see how the Governor’s team are spending the money. Things are improving, it has gone beyond “lip service”.
Let me share with you an example of how the image of Nigeria is perceived by people who may have never visited this side of the planet.
One of Nigeria’s musical talents, D’Banj will front a reality TV show, a version of the successful American VH1′s hit reality series ”Flavor Of Love”, starring Public Enemy member Flavor Flav.
This was how it was announced on Huffingtonpost.com;
spirit of VH1′s hit reality series “Flavor Of Love”, starring Public Enemy member Flavor Flav, Nigeria’s satellite television station HiTV is launching its own version. “Koko Mansion” will star Nigerian pop star D’banj (Dapo Oyebanji) and twelve admiring women who will compete for his affection over the course of 8 weeks in Lagos City residence, allAfrica.com reports. However, unlike “Flavor Of Love”, the creators of “Koko Mansion” are insisting that the show will not focus purely on D’banj at the expense of the contestants’ dignity. According to allAfrica:
Aka-Bashorun corrected the impression that the show is all about D’Banj, stating that it is about highlighting the virtues of a true African woman any man would want for a wife.
“The show is not about D’Banj, but about the Kokolette (women). We are showing the virtues of a true woman that will appeal to an average man to marry. Though, D’Banj is single, young and rich who represents most eligible bachelors in Nigeria, his role would be to help viewers determine the right kind of woman a man like him craves for,” she submitted.
Now here come a couple of comments from the readers;
FROM aAbby; I wonder if this is the same guy that I sent a check to so he can retrieve his millions? Where”s my share, buddy?
FROM gavroche: 5,000,000 Naira = $34,000
Until we start to sing from the same hymn sheet, government or no government, it will continue to be a struggle to change things. I rest my case.
Still on the theme of change and mind set, I stumbled across a site I would simply describe as one of the best inventions that have ever hit the internet.
Simply titled “ChangeThis”. A click will reveal more than I can write.
I have signed on and also posted a Manifesto proposal as outlined below;
My name is Babajide Salu, you would have guessed that I am of African descent. You may or may not have observed that the last three words in Spelling “African” is C.A.N. Putting these three alphabets together conjure a powerful statement. An American was born with the belief that he or she can. Unfortunately an African isn’t. Why is this so? The honest truth is that Africa as a continent is probably the richest of the seven continental children of mother earth, yet it is the poorest. What image does the world have of Africa? Pictures of babies infested with hungry flies, war torn Dafur, famine stricken Ethiopia and corrupt Nigerians. The world media have made it a duty to believe that any good news emanating from Africa is bad news. How else will it sell the idea of a big appeal party to raise money to buy wheat and rice, to dig wells in villages, plaster more huts and subsidise HIV drugs. The world is yet to discover the true beauty of Africa. I am an Afri-CAN and YES WE CAN.
I was born in England in the 60s by African parents who migrated for economic reasons. In the 80s I also migrated for exactly the same reasons. After almost 20 years in the UK I returned to Africa where I intend to influence the global view of this slated continent. I am a passionate African.
I will encourage you to spend time going through this site.
Lastly Mercy( our house maid) and Clement (my driver) are in a world of their own. By their actions and attitude, you could tell that they are a product of the modern Nigeria and to me this is scary. As young as they are, they have found it an arduous ask to think and apply a little bit of initiative to get things done. I will find time to tell you more about these two characters.
God bless you all. Oh before you forget, if you have not visited my poll located on the top right side, please do. Thank you.
“What you eat, you excrete”