Cardi B landed in Nigeria on the 6th of December for the Livespot Concert and from the moment of her touchdown at the Ikeja Airport, the entire fabrics of the nation felt her presence. She did bring a good vibe with her, no doubt, and she seemingly made herself comfortable without anyone having to tell her that. The 27 year old rapper felt the contagious existentiality of Nigeria which Lagos represents and from her radio interviews to her show and her visits to clubs, it was all one affectionate movement for Cardi who preferred to be called Chioma B as she relished original Nigeria delicacies.
Lessons & Wins for Nigeria
One big lesson one can learn from Cardi B’s visit to Nigeria is that despite our socio-political challenges and dystopia, Nigeria is still a lovable place with a high potential of being the world’s most sought after tourism destination. One may argue, and rightly so, that Cardi B is not a Nigerian and does not understand our real challenges here, but the major win in her coming is that she seems to have put Nigeria back on the world map with a reasonable uplifting of the nation’s image on the global respect ladder. She practically became Nigeria’s brand ambassador, from her hairdo, to her wears, to her choice of food and drinks and songs she sang and danced to. Yes, she was paid to come and perform but I think she added excess jara with the PR job she did. Aside her over 55 million followers seeing Nigerian hospitality through her Instagram account, the American media followed her down here and saw same with her and coupled with the groundbreaking achievements of Nigerian musicians in the international scene recently, the nation’s image could be said to have achieved a major facelift and patchwork.
What Could We Have Done Better
It is my conviction that a nation like ours should not leave anything to chance when the opportunity for image making and international diplomacy arises, hence, I feel the federal government of Nigeria, through the ministry of information and culture in collaboration with the office of Nigeria’s ambassador to the United States should have used the opportunity of Cardi B’s visit to honour the American rapper with a Nigerian citizenship. This would her boosted the nation’s diplomatic scorecard because whether the world likes it or not, Cardi B is now a Nigerian citizen by conferment and she too would have been proud of it. A lot of nation’s do this all the time to attract international attention and, in turn, leverage on the attention to win some advantages and respite for her citizens in the honourees nation and strengthen the diplomatic ties therein while opening more diplomatic doors with that nation’s allies.
Ghana did it in the late 60s and early 70s/80s when she opened her doors for some reputable African American writers and artists like W.E.B Du Bois, Maya Angelou etc. the country granted them diplomatic citizenship and that was a major masterstroke for the nation as it boosted her image internationally, a credit the country enjoys till date because the honourees took it upon themselves to project Ghana to the world.
And … Some Yarn
The friendly feud between Nigerian Jollof and Ghana Jollof may have come to a decisive end as an unbiased umpire from America may have passed her judgment to Nigeria’s favour. Chioma B says the Ghanaian Jollof caused her dysentery to the pitiable extent that she nearly pooed on herself when she went there for her show after her Nigerian visit.
Dear Ghanaians, please let’s no go down this road again. Naija sabi cook abeg.
This article was written by Ifesinachi Nwadike