Tuesday, March 6, 2007

A recurring theme at this blog is the image of Nigeria in the global media. (See NIGERIA IS UNDER ATTACK for example). I continue to be dismayed by the way that my country and its people are characterized. Today, like many other days, was just a bit more of the same.

The newest case in point is a recent BBC article titled 'Dog's dinners prove popular in Nigeria.' In the article, the author discuses the alleged gastronomical trend of dog meat in Abuja. Apparently, dogs are becoming scarce because they are now a cure-inducing, sex-life improving, juju-protecting delicacy.

I know that Nigerians tend to joke around that Calabar people regularly eat dog meat. In fact, my cousin from Calabar claimed to have eaten dog meat at a neighbors house. My Uncle in Lagos, AKA The Hitman, used to threaten to 'dash' the children's dog to Calabar people to eat, just to get the kids to keep the doggie in check. We can all think of stories about dog meat and Calabar people. Despite this, I was close to enraged when I discovered the BBC article.

I guess it had to do with a description of a dog meat-eater "tugging his chunk of dog meat." Or, no, maybe it was the picture of a man gnawing on what I assume was a dog's rib. Whatever the case, the article brought to mind repulsive images of someone killing and cooking the local Bingo. As much as I respect a person's decision to eat what they want, as long as the food is not stolen or human flesh, this article just reinforced for me the lack of control Nigeria has over its image in the Western media.

Nigeria is the laughing stock of the world and it is a shame. Now we are being described as dog eaters. What next? I can't wait to read or hear the next scandalous portrayal of Nigerians that will plastered all over TV screens, computer screens and newspaper pages. Although Nigeria gets a bad rap, I think it is important to note a few things. Did you know that there was a time when Mark's and Spencer's had the word 'Ekabo' at its entrance? For those that are not aware, 'Ekabo' is the Yoruba word for 'welcome'. Did you also know that Nigeria was influential in assisting several African countries in achieving independence? Some countries even wanted to be included in our territory. And, did you know that at one point, Nigerians were given 5 year multiple entry visas to visit various European countries? If you are reading this and are not aware of such information, you probably think I am making it up. But, call your folks and ask them, they will tell you of the glory days when Nigerians only thought about hope and progress. Nigerians were respected for their incredible intellect, business acumen, artistic capabilities and incredible culture. Nowadays, like the late Rodney Dangerfield used to say, we can't get any respect.

These days, average Nigerians are worried about how to get through the day. They can't be bothered about anything other than self-preservation. Nevertheless, there are those of us that must and do worry about our image, which as the title of this post points out, has gone to the dogs. As I noted before, we better get a handle on this situation before it gets too late "to do effective and efficient damage control in the future".

P.S. "We need a new P.R. agent!"

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Anonymous said...

Ha! You beat me to it! I had something bubbling for this. You seem to have covered my points.


Mr. Abbey! You should still do a write up. It seems that a lot of blogs have not discussed the issue yet. The more points on the matter the better to educate your readers.

Anyway. Thanks for stopping by, you know we love your comments.

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