What is cultural diplomacy? According to the Oxford dictionary, cultural diplomacy refers to the furthering of international relations by cultural exchange; the practice of publicizing and exhibiting examples of one’s national culture abroad.
Did you know that Yoruba is the largest ethnic group in Africa with a population estimated at 35 million people. They mainly occupy the southwestern parts of Nigeria as well as southern Benin. (That’s by the way).
When it comes to African entertainment, Nigeria stands as a colossus, thanks to her large market, favorable public policy in the sector and best of all her robust enterprising and creative youth. With her large population, one will easily understand why Nigerian music videos get the greatest share of the million views on YouTube.
Be it in comedy, music, and movie, Nigeria has dexterously exported her culture to be the most known African culture in the world. In this blog post, I am going to show you how Nigeria has tactically outplayed other African countries in this domain (cultural diplomacy). Our focus today is on:
I don’t know who teaches these folks how to do this shit when composing their songs and shooting their videos. You will notice that you can’t finish listening or watching Nigerian music without retaining “something Nigerian”, either a dance step, a contagious slang, dressing or just a tip of Lagos and Abuja lifestyle. I’m sure they don’t even know about this!.
Their comedians are so comic wise that they know how to force people to memorize their music slangs and dance steps. For instance, when a Nigerian comedian say Akpororo goes to another country like Kenya or Cameroon, climbs on stage and displays some Nigerian dance moves. He will turn to the audience and ask them to name the dance move, then the excited audience will shout out, skelewu, shoki, shakiti bobo, sekem, that is cultural diplomacy. (you reading, name five popular dance steps in your country
When a young talented artist like flavor successfully blend aspects of Igbo culture to come out with Africa hit songs (Ada Ada, Nnekata) showcasing Igbo language, dance moves, dressing style, classic traditional wedding and even food, that is cultural diplomacy.
When Psquare successfully unleashes a pure juju and highlife instrumental hit song “nobody ugly” to top Trace Africa and the management consciously ranks the zero hip-hop song in Trace Urban that is cultural diplomacy.
When Olamide skillfully puts a Lagos city council’s advertorial in a danceable hit song “I love Lagos” to be played all over the world, that is cultural diplomacy.
When the government decides to declare a dressing code for the peoples’ representatives “ware Nigerian” in all official gathering, that is cultural diplomacy. One can go on and on with examples.
The aim of this write up is to valorize African culture draw the people’s attention on some little cultural aspects that speak volume in diplomacy. This is the time for Africa to shine yes! This is the time, for the youths have risen to fall no more. I know such examples can be quoted from other African countries notably, South Africa, Ghana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo but I choose to talk about Nigeria because she is gradually putting herself as the America of Africa. Soon African youths will go like I want to dress, talk and behave like a Nigerian
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