With all the doom and gloom in Nigeria it’s easy to forget that there are a few people who are doing their best to bring out innovations that benefit not just Nigerians but beyond.
Andela an IT company that trains people practically (for free) and pays them as well as provide working experience is one of such. Addide supermarket which has more than 25 branches of their supermarket brand in Lagos and Sporedust, a Nigerian based animation house who do animation jobs for American companies like Disney are another. There are many others like them in Nigeria but do you know the common denominator? You never hear of them in Nigeria media and for those of us who have heard of them it was on foreign media, the same foreign media that some so called patriots enjoy lampooning for reporting Nigeria as backward.
The media is supposed to educate and inform as well as Entertain but for the Nigerian media if its not Home videos, music, comedy or politics forget it. It’s so bad that we complain everyday about the failings of the country and yet we don’t celebrate organizations and people that make life easier for us.
The lack of passion among media practitioners is even more evident among bloggers where all they do is cut and paste news from one blog or the other. Its so bad that one has to pay for media houses to cover a press conference! Thank God for the internet which has allowed non common subjects to be spotlighted. Its the same reason there is so much rubbish on Nigerian TV and radio where as long as you can pay any shit can go on air.
Effective change occurs at grassroots levels. You should see the number of IT programmers being churned out by Andela or the Nigerian films Iroko TV (another company which is ignored by the Nigerian media) buys to see the effect they make, same thing for many companies/individuals like ginger box a fruit delivery company, Innoson an indigenous vehicle maker and CCHub which helps incubate many IT businesses. These organizations make more of an effective contribution to our society rather than the boastful politicians and entertainers that hug all the space.
It’s a shame that I have to watch Al Jazeera or CNN to see the latest Nigerian innovations because the media is chasing a celebrity or politician. Stories like these have the power to inspire individuals to chase their dreams knowing that everybody isn’t stealing all over the place but the lack of these stories have made many people lose faith in this society. Have anybody wondered why Nigerian companies will rather advertise on foreign media than the local media which has been losing followers for years now?
We need our media to celebrate our successes like Brand South Africa www.southafrica.info does for South Africa despite its many challenges. (Shout out to the IT blogs like techcabal and techloy for updating us and letting us know that the Nigerian IT space is much more than knowing of the latest phone brands). They can continue with their selling airtime and publicity for money but at least provide some spaces for the success stories dotted all over the place. Life is much more than money.