If You Love Nigeria, Nigerians Love You (Alice In Naijaland)
Nigeria with its young population and internet-driven exposure to western culture is a market that American pop culture keeps failing to plug into.
Satellite television and internet penetration have ensured Nigerians can keep tabs and understand things happening elsewhere. The fact that American entertainment companies and celebrities are reluctant to tap from the economic possibilities leaves me with more questions.
Since the turn of the century and return to democratic governance in 1999, Nigeria has opened its shore to foreign investment. Especially in the entertainment sector.
Much of this progress has been lost since the present administration came to office.
We have witnessed policies that stifled growth. This in turn will discourage investment, as investors want to be sure their capital is as safe as the market can allow.
This present government’s somersaulting in and out of policies has negatively impacted almost every industry. This might be a major hindrance to big companies coming in.
We know how long it took for Spotify to come in. Same with Apple Music, Netflix, Tidal, and other services.
Considering how difficult it can be to return profits to their home countries, I can understand future hesitancy in investing in Nigeria.
The same can’t be said of individuals. Nigerians know who is popping and who isn’t on the international scene.
The population is so large and diverse that there are true fans of whatever art form you practice.
When J. Cole showed up in Nigeria and performed a less than a month-old album, he was greeted by a sold-out venue that rocked with him word for word.
The biggest hip-hop, R and B, Rockstars, and anyone else will show up in Nigeria and sell out a stadium of enthusiastic fans.
For acts that might not yet be as big as Jay-z, Rihanna, or The Beetles, the easiest way to break into the Nigerian market is to rock with Nigeria and Nigerians.
A lot of acts have done this and enjoyed the benefits. The latest of them being Enisa. She has gone so far as getting a Nigerian name.
Nigerians all over the world, no matter how angry they are with the country, still love its people. When they see anyone that shows any sort of respect, admiration, and love for the country, they begin to ride with you.
Learn about Nigeria. Take a look at one of our sports teams during competitions and show them love.
Support Nigerian athletes. Get friendly with one of our music or movie stars. Maybe do a feature or two with them.
Talk positively about the country. Visit if the opportunity ever arises (it is guaranteed you will love it. Ask Cardi B).
And if you have the guts to learn Nigerian pidgin English, you become a favorite.
It will also take you up a notch to enjoying the Instagram and Twitter conversations from Nigeria. Nothing beats that.
I understand that translating a Nigerian following into cash might be tricky though. But if you ever find a way to do it, it always proves to be a worthy investment of your time. Ask Akon. And Cardi B. Naomi Campbell too.
As much as Nigerian acts are trying to get into the American and European market, making the reverse move is a wise one for any of their colleagues across the pond.