Are you a football afficionado? Then this has probably gotten to you. Or you’re a die-hard fashionista/shopaholic? Probably got to you even before the football guy. Or maybe youre just an admiring, window-shopper kind of person? Still, sorry man.
Because Aba never smiles.
This has to be the most disgusting aspect of industrial/enterprising Nigeria. You know what I’m talking about, the inferior-quality objects of utter disgust manufactured in West Africa’s largest industrial hub; Aba, Nigeria. The stuff from here spoil within two days of purchase, can be priced mercilessly and worst of all, are branded horribly. For Tafawa’s sake, how does Gucci become ‘Guggi’ or Louis Vuitton, ‘Lousy Vuitton’?? The funny thing about Aba is that it’s patronage is unprecedentedly high. There are a lot of Nigerians who fall victim to this commercial mishap either due to their ignorance of the market or their financial statuses. After all, na condition wey bend creyfish.
The thing that pains me most about Aba is that in everyone of those fake goods, those despicable insults to people who love fine tin (excuse me), I see potential, and an acute marginalization of skill. I see something good as a foregone alternative, something that if the manufacturer had put more time and more effort into, and ignored his desire for immediate popularity and patronage (because to me, that’s the only reason why someone would go ahead and call his hand-made boxers Hilfiger) would have resulted in not only a fine consumer good, but in a stellar new, ‘Proudly Nigerian’ outfit. Our brothers in Aba have the manufacturing skills, the marketing prowess and everything else but just like Mojojojo, the main antagonist from the hit Cartoon Network series ‘The Powerpuff girls’, they choose to use it for EVIL!!!
I think it would be lovely if we had some crazy ‘Made in Nigeria’, stuff that would trend worldwide and would be admired by all, wouldn’t it? The Deola Sagoes, Lanre Da Silvas, Bridgdet Awosikas, the Coscharises (who want to manufacture the first made in Nigeria automobile) and all other creative, enterprising Nigerians are already blazing the trail in this department. Now all we need is for Aba in its entirety to stop copy-cating, and follow suit.
And can someone please explain to me what Arno is?
NOTE: It is to be noted that not everything made in Aba is fake. I repeat, not everything made in Aba is fake. (that being said I hoped you liked this article).
When Faze, the last of the now disbanded Plantaishun Boiz , dropped his hit single ‘Originality’ in 2008, the song received so much airplay largely due to its , well , originality and its apparent distinction from mainstream pop.
Maybe that’s what we need now in this country. Some originality.
I think it would be apt if we took telling our Nigerian story to the next level. I think Nigerians should advance significantly in making full-fledged, gripping, hard-hitting and obviously interesting cartoons that leave viewers coming back for more. Yup. That way we’d be killing two birds with one stone; we’d be consolidating our culture and having fun doing it. What else could you ask for? Cartoons – the really good, timeless ones like Tom and Jerry- have a way of appealing to the young and old alike. I think the creation of Nigerian cartoons will not only serve as a good alternative source of entertainment but will also foster the relatively young neo-nationalist spirit in all of us.
The few Nigerian cartoons that do exist, like Bino and Fino (see picture above) , should become more mainstream however. I didn’t know about Bino and Fino until I ran a google search when writing this post. You see, African kids import a lot of culture from abroad, a situation which is fast drowning African culture (gist for another post). The average African child now speaks English or French as his/her first language , etc .The creation of more engaging African cartoons will be an effective method to nip this problem in the bud because if something isn’t done about the situation, then Africa would finally morph into Europe come 2042. And we definitely don’t want that to happen.
Learn more about Bino and Fino at www.binoandfino.com