Thursday, March 19, 2009

Naija 4 Life!

NIGERIA: Good People, Great Nation

For the last few years, there had been a palpable positive movement in Nigeria's image indicators and it was not started by the Nigerian government. In fact the Nigerian government came into it and derailed the efforts with its infamous 'Heart of Africa' shtick.

I really dont know how it started or who started it (though some people credit JJC & the 419 Squad crew) but the 'NAIJA-4-LIFE' slogan was/is still the most successful effort at nation rebirth and national pride.

To me, it was so successful when my cousins who were born in Scotland and had never been to Nigeria before actually started calling themselves '9JA-4-LAIF'. They finally came to Lagos and in spite of all our deprivations, (NEPA, Water, Roads etc) they still enjoyed themselves and would not stop talking about Nigeria.

There were so many variations of the slogan but in all, there was this palpable pride in Nigeria and things Nigerian. Even on Blogville, more and more bloggers identified with Nigeria and were proud to share their stories, even the not-so-palatable ones. Yes, all the problems were still there but we ARE Nigerians and we WILL solve our problems. No be today yansh dey back.

Along the line, the Nigerian government tried to take over the driver's seat of the movement rather than just ride the wave. The result was the disaster called 'Heart of Africa'. I believe that in itself, the 'Heart of Africa' Project was a good idea but the moment it was passed to the clueless bootlickers at the MoI, it was doomed to failure.

Ironically, several African countries have successfully carried out some image laundering in the last few years in efforts that included Nigerians. Botswana, Rwanda, Kenya and South Africa have ran successful campaigns in the past and it even appears South Africa is on a perpetual campaign but its messages change depending on their challenges. You would probably have seen their 'This is my South Africa, tell me about yours' campaign featuring Yvone Chaka Chaka and others on CNN.

Their efforts are geared towards hosting a successful World Cup come 2010. I doubt if they are thinking of winning the cup. They know they can win in many more ways than on the field. They obviously know how to run a good campaign.

I am not one to predict doom but for this Akuyili's campaign, I am just wondering; how long will one million dollars last?


JustDB said...

Guess the rebranding thing needs to be attacked on two levels -- govermentally ( all those potbellied dudes need to rebrand themsleves from stealing and inspire confidence in the populace) and the populationn needs to be made to believe in Nigeria again...

Kafo said...

naija for life

never thought that the slogan could be used for the whole world cup ambitions or that pride for one's country can be exploited

but then we do still live on this earth

Anonymous said...

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N.I.M.M.O said...

@JustDB: They obviously forgot that Charity begins at home - with yourself! We need to address the issues with the brand before we can attempt to 're-brand'. We hope that one day, we will get it. Many thanx for your comment.
@Kafo: My point is that it not for the government to go about 'planning' or trying to instill patriotism in its people by SMS. Exploit is what governments do. Many thanx for your comment.
@Anon: Many thanx.

Nigerian Entrepreneur said...

The leaders need to be re-branded first. They ought to lead by example. Talk is cheap. Let all the thieves who looted the treasury in the past be re-branded with prison clothes so that the current thieves will be scared to continue looting the treasury. Then I promise you, we will without doubt have a Great NATION!! Here is my opinion Good People, Great Nation
Nice post. I got here from Nigerian Curiousity.

N.I.M.M.O said...

@NE: LOL at re-branding former looters in prison uniform. Many thanx for your comments.

Anonymous said...

"When you put 'too' much effort to toast a babe, the original 'likeness' might just lose 'tis appeal."

...a wonderful job she (Akunyuli) did at NAFDAC, and if the 'modus operandi' she used at NAFDAC is same she wants to use in laundering Nigeria's image (Re-brand Nigeria), then, i daresay, she has just put the wrong foot forward.

No, you do not sound abroad (make it a mission) that you want to launder Nigeria (in this case) you simply act. Remember what Margaret Thatcher said, "If you have to tell people you are a lady, then, you are not."

In my opinion (we all are entitled to ours) she should have called a closed-door meeting with her fellow ministers....discussed it; then, let each one get back to his/her ministry and start the 're-brand' on themselves. 'tis just a matter of time, 'twill cause a ripple effect and the public will see a 're-branded Nigeria'.

Pray tell, what common sense is there to be (FGN) sending me (& other people) text messages that reads "Good People, Great Nation." it changes nothing. It only makes another avenue for a new set of people to loot their share of the 'national-cake' through text message contract.

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