New Telegraph

Artistes, the underestimated Nigerian ambassadors

What is the international world view of the country Nigeria? Without much research, Nigeria is readily known as the highest most populated black nation in the world. It is commonly believed that a few on the bad reputation list according to google search are, advanced fraud aka 419, a high level of crime, including armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom, home invasions, carjacking, violent assault and bad government.

Even the most upright Nigerians have had to cope with this status. Who is responsible for the reputation of a country then? Is it the government and or the citizens? A few entrepreneurs, scientists, economist and sportspersons have struggled to save face with some positive impact. In any case, the arts and culture sector has continued to immeasurably and relentlessly champion the restoration and rebranding of the Nation’s integrity. The endless list of shining and rising stars goes on with the likes of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a writer whose first two novels won literary awards.

Deola Sagoe,a two-time international award winner who redefines African Nigerian fashion in the 21 century. Tomi Adeyemi, a bestselling Nigerian-American novelist and creative writing coach. She is best known for her number-one New York Times bestselling book “Children of Blood and Bone”. With Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, Waterstones Book Prize, and the Hugo Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book. The Nigerians in the diaspora have maintained the music and Hollywood movie scene over the years with pride. Their efforts have been graced with several awards including Grammys.

The likes of Chiwetel Ejiofor the British Nigerian, David Oyelowo, famously known for his role as a Martin Luther King Jr in the biographical drama film. Hakeem Kae-Kazim, the Lagos born British Nigerian actor was popular for the role of Georges Rutaganda in the drama film Hotel Rwanda. Adetomiwa Edun, the Nigerian-born British Actor was best known for his role as Sir Elyan in the television show Merlin. The list goes on. This positive aura has attracted the international arts and entertainment industry to collaborate with our talented home-based Nigerian truly creative personalities.

No wonder Beyoncé brandishes African Nigerian music stars Tekno, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi and Tiwa Savage with Lion King Soundtrack. The direction of the Nigerian artists becomes even clearer when the singer Davido featured in the long-awaited sequel, Coming 2 America.

A 2021 premiered movie where he performs his song Assurance, in a wedding scene. These efforts were crowned with affirmations when Burna Boy and Wizkid upon several other medals, won the Grammy awards wrapped in the Nigerian flag.

An honour that was last received in 2010 by the British born Nigerian, Sade Adu among others like Sikiru Adepoju, Babatunde Olatunji, Olalekan Babalola aka Chamillionaire before her. It is indeed demoralizing to discover that the artists are not given all the necessary support to succeed.

The average artiste needs to struggle on their own to better their art. The artist becomes an illustrious property of Nigeria only when they succeed. The Nigerian artists have therefore shown how possible it is to progress the integrity of the country with excellence in our work. Let every sector from the government to the least profession apply dignity to their labour, and then it is sure that Nigeria, Africa, can nurture national and international pride. We can achieve a feeling of love, devotion, and a sense of attachment to a homeland. Nigeria has been recognized as the future most creative and prosperous superpower of the world, the platform for this wonder to happen should be sincerely created and endorsed by every stakeholder.

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