Nigeria’s Rebranding Campaign Hits a Hollywood Road Block

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  09.28.09 | 11:43 AM ET

Poor Nigeria. The government there launched a major rebranding campaign back in March, attempting to improve its reputation for corruption and annoying email scams, but so far cooperation from outside the country has been hard to come by. Two of the latest obstacles? A Sony PlayStation commercial that made a crack about those aforementioned email scams, and the sci-fi movie “District 9,” which apparently portrays its Nigerian characters as “gangsters, cannibals, pimps and prostitutes.” Ouch.

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

3 Comments for Nigeria’s Rebranding Campaign Hits a Hollywood Road Block

Lola 09.28.09 | 4:12 PM ET

Yeh. Double ouch.

The country has banned District 9.  District 9 takes it to a new level, calling its lead Nigerian character “Obasanjo” - the name of the country’s most recent former president.

I now understand how Russians must feel about their constant portrayal as evil warlords in every Bond movie.

Nigerialist 10.02.09 | 10:29 AM ET

This is really an unfair image of Nigeria. Nigeria has lots of issues of corruption and fraud, its ranked close to on the CPI ( corruption perception idnex)  but there are other countries that have similar issues and do not have this image.

steve adams,author of MORGAN V 10.19.09 | 8:24 PM ET

The stock character of Nigerians and our Nigeria as a land of fraud,corruption and scam is likely to be even reinforced and crystalized into an indelible national stigma of inalterable enormity,if we allow our inept,necoleptic and corrupt rulers to lull us into the pseudo patriotism of glib rebrand without our ever trying to find out what went wrong down the timeline.I could say with some hindsight that corruption in Nigeria might have predated the regimes of Obasanjo[‘obesanjo’]Babangida and Abacha-Abdulsalam,not ruler in the world of Africa,except,perhap,the legendary Mobutu Seseko of Zaire[Congo democratique]could boast of more credentials of kleptomania than those Nigerian rulers,each one of the triad.Obasenjo acquired the manorial Ota farm with funds looted from government between 1976-17.Babangida,alone,had introduced into this clime the bogie of universal corruption which he liberalized and presided over for eight years and perfected the tool of laudering state funds most of which could not be traced by slueth agencies.In one instace over $4billion evaporated during the Gulf War.Obasanjo was rigged to power to keep the arse of this man from being sniffed in1999,only to perpetrate a more staggering corruption that is even midboggling-trillions looted from the energy sector.As if that were not enough,right under the noses of Nigerians Mr Yar Adu’a was rigged to power in a gambit that is meant to secure the liberty of the pasts rulers and shield them from scrutiny.Yet,Nigerians did not revolt.It is our docile acceptance of our rulers’ impunities that make us criminals and conspirators in the sins of this clime.Is any Nigeria confident enough to state before the whole world that our rulers are not fraudulent,corrupt and dishonorable?
    What we need to do is to wear sack clothes and find solitary spots and weep for our land or rise up as one man to change our destiny,by collective protest against imposition of inept,necoleptic and corrupt rulers-only then can we be right in rising our voices in protest against our characterization as mere criminals.

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