The Nigerian House in New York became a house of inspiration as Nigerian-American youth, under the aegis of the Nigerian Youth in the Diaspora Engagement Forum (NYDEF), gathered to discuss the Nigerian brand as the nation celebrated its 59th anniversary of independence.
The consular hall was filled with young Nigerians living in the United State, and others from Nigeria, discussing solution to the Nigerian image challenges in the Diaspora. This was a marked departure from discussions in other forum centering largely on the problem.
All the speakers agreed it is not enough to grumble and complain about the problems.
“Complaints have never helped,’ said Bankole Omisore, an aide to a former Senate president in Nigeria.
“We must away from a complaint standpoint to a solutions standpoint,” Chocolate Music boss told Being Nigerian at the end of the event. “We can’t keep complaining about everything, about our government. We are a reflection of those who rule us in Nigeria.”
He advised young Nigerians to change their orientation and begin to see what they can do to change the situations they don’t like, the government they don’t like.
“With this change of mind, slowly but surely, things will start to fall in perspectives,” he added.
There’s no doubting the seriousness of the challenges in Nigeria—unemployment, insecurity, economy and others.
Chocolate City Music boss Audu Maikori agreed that the youth are already frustrated, and forums like NYDEF are taking the situation seriously now. The means to the end are there, after all.
“In every four Africans you will find a Nigerian, meaning we are stronger together. We also have the potential to empower one another, educate ourselves so we can be better informed to serve society,” Maikori said.
According to him, whatever the challenges are, the solutions lie with Nigerians as long as they get informed.
“If you are not happy with your leaders, get involved in politics; if you are not happy with the economy, start your own business; religious crisis—get to know other religions so you can live in peace.”
Amongst the means—solutions—available to change the Nigerian narrative is entertainment.
Stella Damasus, Nollywood star and one of the speakers, explained how music can easily make impacts by reaching the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time..
She cited one of Beyonce’s songs—Brown Skin Girl—which has greatly discouraged bleaching among black ladies dissatisfied with their skin color.
“This shows music alone can change the mindset of a generation,” she said. “If we can dedicate 30 percent of our entertainment content to positive issues like these, we will change a lot of minds.”
Apparently, the forum was about re-engineering and changing of mindsets—from complaints to solution, negative to positive, selfishness to public-spiritedness.
“If there’s only one thing you must remember later about this event, let it be about our change from ‘meism to weism’” said another speaker and music star Lamboginny.
But from what the NYDEF convener Bola Afeez Alao observed, there was plenty of things to remember about the event.
According to him, Nigerian youth in the Diaspora had been yearning for an outlet to articulate their views and pool up their expertise to help solve the problems Nigerians face back home.
“As you can see, a lot of people are inspired. They have been looking for an avenue like this. They didn’t see any one they could join. Now they have found one, they are ready to work with us,” said Alao.
Nigeria’s Consulate-General Ben Okoyen, who spoke on rebranding Nigeria, the theme of the event, said the consulate supports the NYDEF initiative and others like it since that is he only asset Nigeria can take to the marketplace of the world.
He said the consulate is also looking i the direction of empowering Nigerian youth, especially those in the diaspora, to contribute to development back home.
“As a program of the consulate, we are going to honor those contributing positively to Nigeria’s image and development back at home,” Okoyen said.
NYDEF is a platform Alao founded to bring together initiatives and projects Nigeria youth breaking trails abroad can undertake, using their expertise and global exposure, to help development back in Nigeria.
Trump applauds Nigerian artist for painting his portrait
A Nigerian Ballpoint artist has gotten the attention of United States President Donald Trump.
The picture of the painting went viral after Creative_Doks went on his Twitter handle @Doks_Arts to share the image explaining that it took him about 70 Hours to work on and achieve the final result.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2019
He also tagged the US President and asked for followers to retweet till the US President sees it.
Luckily, Creative_Doks’ painting got the attention of Trump who retweeted the tweet containing the image and described him as a ‘Wonderful Artist!.’ He also advised the Nigerian artist not to give up on his dreams.
“Not only did I see it @Doks_Art, I think it is fantastic. You are a wonderful artist, never give up your dream!,” Trump tweeted.
John Boyega narrates terrifying moment he lost ‘Star Wars’ script
‘Star Wars’ actor John Boyega has narrated the terrifying moment he discovered the script for the next installment of the space opera Rise of the Skywalker that he had misplaced was being sold on eBay as reported in HuffPost.
John who plays Finn in the sci-fi saga revealed how he had left the script for the ninth and final installment, Rise Of The Skywalker, under his bed and forgot to take it with him when he moved out of his apartment.
His agent called him after he heard from Disney CEO Bob Iger and Lucasfilm President Kathy Kennedy about how he lost the most powerful script in Hollywood right now.
However, Disney managed to buy back the script back for “something like $85” because the vendor hadn’t realised what he had on his hands, John added.
Rise of The Skywalker debuts in UK cinemas on 19 December and will see John reunited with his cast mates Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Kelly Marie Tran, and Oscar Isaac who all joined the Star Wars franchise in the first two films in the sequel trilogy.
John Adedayo B. Adegboyega known professionally as John Boyega is an English actor known for playing Finn in the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens and its 2017 sequel Star Wars: The Last Jedi, respectively the seventh and eighth films of the Star Wars series.
Boyega rose to prominence in his native United Kingdom for his role as Moses in the 2011 sci-fi comedy film Attack the Block.
Boyega’s other credits include historical drama film Detroit (2017), the science fiction film Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018), four episodes of the television series 24: Live Another Day and the drama Imperial Dreams (2014). Boyega received the BAFTA Rising Star Award in 2016.
Listen to Davido’s new album, ‘A Good Time’
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