[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!