Tuesday, 30 August 2011

419 Reasons to Like Nigeria and Nigerians

Rebranding Nigeria

An unfortunate article sullying the reputation of Nigeria and Nigerians as having a propensity for Internet Fraud, 419-related crimes [1] and email scams has set in motion an inspired campaign to convert the Internet search for “fraud” to results that will now paint Nigeria and Nigerians in better light.

Peter J. Reilly, writing for Forbes.com published an article three weeks ago titled Nigerians Switching From Greed to Fear [2] which he changed to Switching From Greed to Fear after a Nigerian took exception to his views in a comment; he then went on to write an apology Fraud Has No Nationality- Apology to Nigeria [3].

Writing for change

Meanwhile, Nigerian bloggers starting with Jidenma Nmachi suggested every Nigerian on the Internet should start a blog [4] to militate against the negative stereotypes of Nigeria with the hope that the deluge of blogs will take Nigeria out of fraud context related Internet searches.

Meanwhile, I felt before we all rushed to crowd out the Internet with blogs there was a fundamental issue with English education in Nigeria in a blog titled Nigeria: The need for improved English education [5] which was original posted on my blog.

It is interesting to note that a comment left at the NigeriansTalk blog suggests my writing as an example of the reason why this is needed, because in Peter Iredale’s opinion, I “lack the ability to write in clear, coherent, [and] grammatically correct sentences.

I will be the first to say I do not have formal English qualifications at graduate level and even though English is my mother tongue, I have never pretended to write for the illiterate or those whose comprehension of English is below a particular level of professional education. Mr. Iredale is however welcome to redline my copy, and I am willing to learn to express myself more effectively in English.

Concerted Positive Branding

Then Chika Uwazie uploaded a video response at the following site The Truth About Nigerian 419: Response to Peter J Reilly Article on Forbes [6] where she advocated “Nigerians need to do more positive branding in order to remove ourselves from this negative label of fraud” and email scams.

This lead to an innovative and inspired idea from Peter J. Reilly in 419 Reasons to Like Nigeria and Nigerians - Part 1 [7] where he suggested Nigerians make lists of 419 Reasons to Like Nigeria and Nigerians, in what I think is becoming a crusade that is beyond redeeming himself for an infraction to helping initiate a concerted effort to rid Nigeria of atrocious stereotypes.

I will suggest that all Nigerian bloggers write a blog titled 419 Reasons to Like Nigeria and Nigerians and basically use every opportunity to turn a negative slur into a positive and wholesome reclaiming of Nigerian pride.

The association of 419 and Nigeria should begin to yield positive commentary about Nigeria.

Sources

[1] Advance-fee fraud - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[2] Forbes.com | Switching From Greed to Fear

[3] Forbes.com | Fraud Has No Nationality- Apology to Nigeria

[4] Why every Nigerian on the Internet should start a blog

[5] Nigeria: The need for improved English education

[6] The Truth About Nigerian 419: Response to Peter J Reilly Article on Forbes

[7] 419 Reasons to Like Nigeria and Nigerians - Part 1

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