Writings of the general word's body

Monday, January 08, 2007

Selling Nigeria

I had to do a double take when i first saw this series of London Underground adverts promoting Nigeria. As a tourist destination! I took another ride up and down the escalators just to be sure I wasn't seeing things. When I saw them at another Central London station, it became clear this is to be a regular sight now. Proud as one is at being Nigerian in spite of the infamy that often accompanies such identification, I still had to wonder why the adverts. What's the use? They won't do much to counter the avalance of negative press and perception in the outside world. Besides, hell will nearly freeze over before the rest of the travelling world begins to see Nigeria as an attractive holiday destination. But a friend of mine who saw these ads with me the second time, is more positive. A little goes a long way, he says.

Update 8 January pm
Thanks to Imnakoya who provided the link to the 'Heart of Africa' website where all the bright ideas to whitewash (or will it be a blackwash) Nigeria's image are set out. Lots of pictures of smiling beauties, men in traditional costumes, a waterfall, the coat-of-arms and our National Theatre.

The project seems to be coordinated from the US. The only flag I see on the page on this day is not the green-white-green, but the American stars and stripes. How depressing.


imnakoya said...

The ads are one the end products of the federal government-funded public relations initiative called the "Heart of Africa". I doubt if this will go far in whitewashing our image.


Enilolobo said...

I have seen some of the adverts on CNN and I think they are ridiculous. There is no logic to doing commercials when the politicians are doing nothing on the ground to combat the ills that give us the terrible image.

Anonymous said...

But is out image that terrible really? Yes there is corruption and the 419ers keep disgracing us all over the place. But most Nigerians are doing good stuff. No harm in highlighting this. I side with wordsbody's friend. You have to start from somewhere.

Enilolobo said...

American flag on a site set up to 'sell' Nigeria's image?