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.
Article Tags: bad image · Culture · district 9 · Naija · nigeria · rebranding · Social Issues · South Africa · stereotype