Yes, any Nigerian publicity is good publicity.
While Nigeria’s population might be in doubt, the Nigerian happiness is renowned. Tagged as the happiest people on earth, Nigerians let no one stand in the way of what they’re passionate for. Take football for example, all efforts by PHCN (and recently Multichoice) to put a damper on this favorite pastime has been rebuffed.
It is a sad thing that most non-Nigerians are scared away by the bad things they’ve heard about it. Most of it is exaggerated. But for the few who choose to embrace Nigeria or work with Nigerians, the rewards are a thousand times greater than the risk. Why is that? Given Nigeria’s population and the passion of its populace, any Nigerian publicity you get is good publicity.
During the end of 2014, BuzzFeed advertised an open position for Nigeria, my thoughts were: this is good, now Nigerians can avoid the danger of a single story. When the Lagos Street Style story broke, it was Nigerian content by Nigerians and I was excited. Nigerians have taken control of our own story in other areas like literature, entertainment and fashion, it was now time to take control of our image.
It is not that Nigerian stories haven’t been published before (Chimamanda is just a recent example of our stars), I was anxious to see interest in Nigeria for reasons other than some form of favour to the third world. I needed to see Nigeria (and Africa) put out there by a platform which knew the relationship was a symbiosis and not to fill the pro-bono quota or because a politician paid for it.
When the next story about Nigerian brides was published I knew I had been proven right. I could only assume Buzzfeed had gotten some validation from their earlier bet on Nigeria. And I was glad they gave credit (and hope they got permission too. I’m looking at you Linda).
Ask Kim Kardashian what changed after she visited Nigeria. Ask Amber Rose about changes in her social media metrics after she danced shoki. Ask Piers Morgan how many more followers he got after he tweeted in Yoruba. Ask that Chef who mangled jollof rice and suya recipes.
Publishing about Nigeria and Nigerians is not doing someone a favour. It is profitable! Elnathan’s article on Hazlitt became most read after 3 days:
The Simpsons follower count went from 562K to 563K after its recent The Princess Guide episode which showed some Nigerian literature: Chimamanda’s and Achebe’s:
ZOMIGAWD I missed Chimamanda on The Simpsons! pic.twitter.com/l5UircGqhA
— Miyanda Nehwati (@jacarandachick) March 21, 2015
Ask Kim Kardashian what changed after she visited Nigeria. Ask Amber Rose about changes in her social media metrics after she danced shoki. Ask Piers Morgan how many more followers he got after he tweeted in Yoruba:
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 13, 2014
Ask that Chef who mangled jollof rice and suya recipes. Are there other factors which contributed to that spike besides the Nigerian (and African by extension) factor? Maybe.
The fact there are so many Nigerians and that they are very passionate means that any Nigerian publicity is good publicity for you. Even if you say untruths, you will break the internet even if it is because we are talking about how wrong you are. Even Dame knows this.
So stop acting like you are doing Nigerians a favour. This goes for tech blogs (especially you Techcrunch), Venture Capitalists and, yes, even you Paypal. This is a mutual relationship. Sure, branching out into a new area is your choice to make. Just remember that you will miss out or come back to compete with our own budding solutions.
In once sentence, Embrace the Nigerian Content.
About the Author
Stephen Igwue. Student. Developer. And everything in between.