That’s the actual headline on Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani’s piece about everyone’s favorite email spam origin.
Some years ago, a British filmmaker discovered an exotic site in Nigeria: An entire community of human beings subsisting on mountains of refuse.
No surprise. Go on…
Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the UK Dalhatu Tafida described it as “a calculated attempt to bring Nigeria and its hard-working people to international odium and scorn”.
Online forums also went ablaze. “They are giving us a bad image,” many Nigerians fumed.
How about fixing the problem? Nope.
The Lagos State government submitted a formal complaint to the BBC, calling on the organisation to commission an alternative series to “repair the damage we believe this series has caused to our image”.
Instead of cleaning up the problem areas, the government and citizens were outraged at BBC for exposing their country’s problem.
They did not rally with cries of: “There are people in our country living like this? What shall we do? How fast can we act?”
No, no, no.
The majority of voices were harmonised in one tune: Anxiety over their country’s image.
Nigeria has problems which go beyond the country’s image.