District 9 Poster
District 9 Poster

Arise compatriots; Nigeria is calling, so obey. Gather a million men, let the women come with their cries and the children express their ability. Let them march against the disgust, let them yell, holler, curse, shout and scream at the top of their voices. Let them protest against the misrepresentation of their people while holding up made up banners which bear the inscriptions, “WE ARE GOOD PEOPLE”. Let them hop into the newly unveiled Nigerian Eagle Airline airbus, fly to the city of Johannesburg and fight against the misrepresentation of Nigerians in the movie DISTRICT 9.

Wait a minute, before you hold up that banner, before you raise your voices, before you get on that airbus, and before you express any sort of hateful emotions; it might be worth thinking about the representation of Nigerians in the said movie, and maybe ask questions as to the reason we were labelled in such derogatory manner.

I also watched the movie, and my first impressions were leaning towards anger. I watched in disagreement as Nigerians were labelled thugs, bullies and crime lords. To add some more insult, the name of the leader of the so called Nigerians is OBASANJO. The makers of the movie did nothing to hide this ridicule; the Nigerians were portrayed in the most absurd way. I thought the movie could still have flowed along nicely without including Nigerians; they could have named the thugs something else.
However, I had some time to gather my thoughts. It was clear why the makers of DISTRICT 9 labelled Nigerians in that manner. The movie was shot in an area in South Africa with slum like conditions. Most people living in areas with these conditions are very deprived. They are exposed to crime every day; they do what they can to survive. One of the factors that add to their constant deprivation is the presences and abuse of hard drugs. This is a huge factor contributing a huge percentage to criminal deeds.

In South Africa today, within the walls of the high rises and the developing communities resides criminals. These criminals control the so called towers, they sell and distribute hard drugs, they are involved with pimping and prostitution, and they constantly tarnish the goodwill of the African man. They usually have a different accent from the indigenes, yes they are almost always Nigerians.
I have seen countless documentaries modelled around crime in South Africa. The head criminal in charge is almost always from Nigeria. They leave Nigeria, go to South Africa and build their bogus empire. This could be a motive for the labelling of Nigerians in DISTRICT 9.

Don’t get me wrong, I stated earlier the movie could have flowed without labelling, so I have made it clear I do not agree with it in any way, shape or form; however attention needs to be paid to the motivation behind the labelling. The only motivation is clear in everyday South Africa. All the makers had to do was look round, focus on the slums and the so called ghettos, and conclude.
Nigerians are beautiful people, however, the small percentage of its people give Nigeria bad names and also a platform for others to stereotype us. Nigeria is one of the most corrupt countries in the whole of the world; our government corrupts its own people. Nigeria is also one of the most successful countries in the world. We constantly produce wealth and resources.

Three in five Africans have Nigerian origins; we are everywhere, from America to Afghanistan, London to Libya, we fill the globe. We are also intelligent people, I guess that is the reason some of us scam easily. We have the ability to be the best in the world but we always settle for quick wins, no long term gains and therefore we settle for less.

DISTRICT 9 has catapulted our incompetence on the world’s stage, however we are so quick to attack and ban the movie from our shores. It is a case of dealing with the rats on a sinking ship instead of dealing with the hole that made the ship sink in the first place. If we stay away from criminal ways, it will be hard for anyone to label us criminal. It will be hard for anyone to insult the name of our previous leader if the leader was not corrupt.

I hear Nigeria is rebranding, we cannot rebrand a nation unless we rebrand ourselves. It is not rocket science. If we continue to enjoy our criminal deeds, we as a nation will continue to fall. Our Government have so much to do in order to rebrand appropriately, a nation without welfare is like a nation without walls. I hope they truly understand this statement one day; however we can start from within us. We can change our mentality and become one people. We can educate our minds and teach ourselves to be honest citizens.

Arise compatriots; Nigeria is calling, so obey. Gather a million men, let the women come with their cries and the children express their ability. Let them march against the disgust, let them yell, holler, curse, shout and scream at the top of their voices. Let them protest against its own people, those that cause the rest of the world to insult its own people.

So before you hold up that banner, before you raise your voices, before you get on that airbus, and before you express any sort of hateful emotions. Be aware of your actions. What have you done to be a better person, what have you done to be better NIGERIAN.

eniola alakija

  • Myne White Sep 24, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    No matter what the movie could have flowed as well without labelling Nigerians. Kudos to Dora.

  • Nice Sep 24, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    That is a well written piece, but they could have made their point without having to single out an entire nation, and the fact that they used an ex president's name shows lack of respect for our people.

    Every country has their issues and problems. No country is perfect. I do agree that it is very important to look within ourselves, at the same time it is even more important to speak agains stereotypes. If we let them get away with this as trivial as it may seem for some, they will feel the need to try something worse.

  • akaBaGucci Sep 25, 2009 at 12:28 am

    i like the way you ended it though. what have we as individuals done to be a better person., a better NIGERIAN.

    If we focused as much time and energy on righting the gross incompetence displayed at almost all levels of government in the country, perhaps there would be no basis for the sort of stereotypinbg that district 9 attempts.

  • Beny Boom Sep 25, 2009 at 1:05 am

    Even though am not agreeing with the portrayal of us Nigerians in the movie, I feel like it is needed because it's time for us to start thinking about our actions in the community and become better Nigerians.

    Nicely written piece……

  • N.I.M.M.O Sep 25, 2009 at 1:40 am

    I sincerely do not see the why for all the hues and cries about this film. Its just helping it sell more because more and more Nigerians keep trying to watch it for themselves to see where the insults are and at the end of the day, the producers make more and more money.

    Banning the movie in Naija only gives the pirates good business.

    If we don't like it then don't watch it.

  • Evans Sep 25, 2009 at 2:49 am

    How long are going to continue to ban films and adverts? Just hope the government and the citizens will transfer all these efforts to make sure that our university students are back to uni to continue their studies. Students have been at home for some time now and no one is doing anything about it but when a film/advert comes out tomorrow showing the bad state of the educational system in Nigeria, then the government will react.

    In order to stop future reoccurence of films like District 9 or the sony advert, the government should care more about the welfare of its citizens.

  • godson Sep 26, 2009 at 7:53 am

    actually d way 9jas r potryed is too bad, but come 2 think of it, our govt no send us atall, that is the problem. do any one know wat is happening 2 9jerians outside our shores? no, they don't treat us good outside and if u touch or talk about them they start bragging. in a knot shell our leaders knw care about that na y they see us finish. let start by treating our own leaders fuck up b4 we start d cryin' n shoutin' stuff huh.

  • Michael Ola Sep 28, 2009 at 5:48 am

    Shout To eniola Grate Post doint a grate job gurl…………….

  • Briggs27HOLLIE May 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Don't have enough money to buy a house? Don't worry, because it's achievable to receive the loan to work out all the problems. Hence take a student loan to buy everything you want.

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