naija blues

In Nigeria Hergestellt Und Ein Bisschen Mehr

Can't resist the goodness of the street food!

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] while ago, I read Benyl’s blog post about a Nigerian website that put up pictures of Asian youths while talking about something that could be beneficial to Nigerians.

Now I get that may not sound as bad as it really is but picture this….you are in nigeria, PHCN decide to take out the electricity. You turn on your generator and get out your ipad, open say a bank website and they have a commercial about getting good deals for your kids and the pictures you see are of random Caucasian kids. Ask me how that is supposed to make you feel. Our dark skinned Nigerian kids are not good enough to grace the websites of Nigerian banks? Is the first question that would mos def pop into my head.

Not that I know any bank that did this, I’m just saying. A few years ago, I was at a hair salon and met a street hawker who was trying to convince me to buy her Nigerian made hair cream. I was eager to buy from her because I get totally proud when I see made in Nigeria products, especially if they are cutely packaged. So I let her swoon me with all her tales of how the cream was made in the north by the finest and how its good for my Nigerian hair(whatever this means). I pick up a jar and what do I see? A Caucasian woman showing off her long flowy shiny mountain high hair and I’m like…..was the hair cream made for me, a Nigerian woman living in Nigeria, or was it locally produced for a group of Caucasian women living in Nigeria? That doesn’t make a lot of sense now does it? Errr no!

You want me to purchase a product targeted for Nigerian women but you have the pic of a random white woman on the jar? Are you seriously gaming me?

Clothing stores, salons, even car wash centres would spend money putting up signs to entice the public for patronage but what do you see on the billboards? Asian or Caucasian people advertising stuff meant for Nigerians. My gob of course is almost always constantly smacked.

Now some people might think it’s very ok or not even be bothered by it, but for me it’s a clear sign that you think it’s not ok to be Nigerian. You are basically saying being dark and Nigerian isn’t a good thing but you want to chop our dark skin naija money? For wetin na?

The last time I was in Texas, I saw a T-shirt made in Kenya in a store(Ross I think) and I kept thinking how cool that was. Back home, I see things made in Nigeria but of course they lie and write made in China or something as if that’s supposed to make the merchandise better.

For me, it shows we aren’t proud of who we are and what we can do. This is why I love Lagos tho. The innovation is off the charts and they are so bloody proud it can be annoying but I love it. One time a very close family friend brought home a box of snacks. Any Nigerian knows about the peanut and corn mix snack and someone in Lagos decided to turn this street snack into something you can easily get in the big stores. Now I don’t know if he was successful with it but that’s not the point. The way he boxed it was just amazing and it said “made in Nigeria” and I remember being so psyched about it. Sadly I do not have a photo (hey it was a long time ago).

I want to walk down the streets and see stores having Nigerians on their billboards, I want to see made in Nigeria products with actual Nigerian people on it. Doesn’t matter how small your store is. You must know one or two Nigerian women, how hard can it be to get them to model for you? Not very.

Things have probably changed but I’m betting not with the roadside stores that would blow up a photo of Beyonce and Rihanna to entice ppl into their salons(gobsmacked again). This one time, I was on the Mango (I think it was or maybe it was Forever21 I don’t recall what shop exactly) site that opened a store in Lagos and I remember getting upset because all the people modelling the clothes were Caucasian women. And I kept thinking, you opened up a shop in Lagos and it’s hard to get actual Nigerian models for the clothes? Really? Of course I sent an email asking why it was so and I got blocked from the site. It may be a branch or just a franchise doesn’t matter. The fact is you are selling to Nigerians, can you please use Nigerian models? Is that so hard?

By the way, the weather has been going really good the past week and I’m determined to try a beauty blog post. Yes yes yes it’s so clichéd with bloggers and all, but I’m seriously loving the new me. Sure I still miss the tom boy days and I’m quite certain I may not totally loose it! So keep eyes peeled for the next 15 for 15 challenge post!



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  • Clara

    This is silliness at it’s most extreme. The sad thing is the people in charge don’t even think that far, they just don’t think at all about the ramifications of putting non-nigerians in nigerian adverts all the time!

    • I agree Clara. To them, it’s just all about selling. Who cares how it’s advertised right? After all, in Nigeria, the fairer the better anyways so hey…

  • Duru John de Beloved

    heheheheheh @ “My gob of course is almost always constantly smacked…” mehn eez not a joking Sturvzz oh!!.. **Slides out from young mode and jejely enters crazy mode.. **Sits up on Jangolova Chair.. Turn uP! Turn uP! ladies and Gentlemen… Y’all just gotta love the emotion that flows from Ausserehl’s wrting.. Most times yeah.. You could literally here are words speaking… She is ghen ghen like that biko.. **Shines teeth…

    Okayyyyy! So 1st off yeah.. Egbon the thing e haf taya me oh! i mean its like we fear that if we Put the “MADE IN NIGERIA” stamp on our end products ba, the sales would be on the low low.. But do i blame the marketers who ItalianISE and LondonISE or even TurkishISE and LEbaniISE their products all in an aim to make sales?! nnnnaaaahhhh!!! International products are in demand much more than local ones… and thats just a bloody sad reality.. I mean Bubba… How are we to grow as a nation if we dont encourage our industries to grow?! Come on Ausserehl.. I mean even our Petrol is REFINED and almost branded as an IMPORTED product.. Its sad.. Oh well.. It is what it is.. Late Dora Akunyili (R.I.P) tried to RE-BRAND the nation, and this was part of her dream.. A country proud of its creation… but she couldnt.. Life didnt let it happen… Lets just hope that we can do it in our own time (Which is now now by the way)… Wait they blocked you from a site just cause you asked a kind kweshion! SomeboRRy please gimme the site details.. Then another someboRRiessssss.. should please hold me down oh! Or amma smack the hell outta the handlers of that site.. How confused could they get?! Inshort i dey vex.. And the crowd goes Cooolu coolu coolu Temper.. hehehehe Cheers Egbon..

    P.S: We shall be on the eagle eyes ghen ghen look out for the next challenge post eh! **Rubs Palms togeRRa.. we ya disciples soooo cant wait.. 🙂 and teh crowd goes.. Yyyeeeaaahh mehn!

    • From their social site yep cos I wasn’t able to comment on any photos after that! Lol but that’s OK. I was done with them anyways but yeah its really disturbing about the fuel thing.
      Thank you Duru for the constant support!!! You are indeed a blessing

    • Duru John de Beloved

      Oshey! See how Egbon Ausserehl e haf wash me with Ariel in her reply… You can shaaa know how to make someboRRies head to swell for state shaaa.. **Ties head with rubber band to prevent it from swelling.. hehehe… kai iBlushLikeTomato.. 🙂

  • We have the same problems here with black people (specificially women) in advertising or the fashion industry. Especially in the plus size industry.

    1. I have the same issue with stock photos for the blog. For instance, there are issues or topics I would like to blog about; however, I don’t have that many good quality pictures of myself that I can use them for every blog post not relating to an outfit, makeup etc. Do you know how hard it is to find plus size, not to mention BLACK WOMEN stock photos?! I feel kind of disloyal when I make a blog post that says “love your body” and only 3 white women of size 8-10-12 stature are the focus of the head picture. I mean stock photos are expensive! I spend enough on makeup and outfits. The fact that I couldn’t really find any “love your body” picture that was mixed white and black women or just black women is astounding to me considering the media we have (essence and ebony magazine, black enterprise, o magazine, etc). I did recently find out there is a woman who has created a black woman stock photo website. I don’t have it here but once I go through it I will share with you (I’m not publishing a link I haven’t reviewed to my satisfaction).

    2. When they sell plus size clothing, they usually have women that look nothing like me. I’m sorry but the majority of plus size women do not look like size 8-10-12 hour glass figures ok. I have more of an apple/strawberry shape. So you seriously mean to tell me you are marketing plus size clothing but it’s so hard to find a woman that actually looks like me (second chin, gut, cellulite, arm fat, etc.)???? In you words, “are you seriously gaming me”?

    But anyway I totally understand how you feel. It really conveys the message that you aren’t good enough, so much so that they aren’t even willing to try to appeal to you on your own terms, but sell you a product by reinforcing an insecurity that shouldn’t even exist, and profiting on it. Just blatant disrespect if you ask me. We just gotta stop buying it.


    La Deutsche Diva — The Denglisch Blog
    German on top | English on the bottom

  • Everything you are saying…. they all happen in Ghana too. 🙁

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