(By Linus Aleke)
“The reality show is all about reviving our cultural heritage. We are a team of young Nigerians who see the need to harness our cultural heritage that is almost going extinct due to exposure of the youths of our generation to Western culture and we decided to come together to organise a reality show that has to reflect our culture and tradition. To showcase those norms that distinguish Nigeria and the entire African continent from the rest of the world.“
IT is no longer news that the younger generation of Africans are losing grip of their culture to alien way of life due to the effect of globalisation or what African communication scholars may describe as media imperialism of the Western powers on third world nations.
However, what constitute news as far as culture is concern in Nigeria are pockets of effort being made by the government, critical stakeholders in the cultural sector and custom enthusiast to revive the dying cultural values of Africans.
To better appreciate the benefit of culture and cultural values to any giving society, it is important for us to attempt a definition of the terms or concept ‘culture’ before delving into its imperatives.
In the words of Gustav Klamn, culture can best be defined as “The customs, information and skill, domestic and public life in peace and war, religion, science and art, manifest in the transition of past experience to the new generation.”
To the Polish-American educationist and anthropologist, Prof. Bronislaw Malinowski, “Culture is a vast apparatus, partly material and partly human, by which human societies are organised into permanent and recognisable groupings.”
According to Vincenso Cappalleti as captured in UNESCO publication on cultural policy in Italy in 1971, culture is seen as “The awareness possessed by human community of its own historical evolution by reference of which it tends to assert continuity of its own being, and to ensure its development.”
To Hunter and Whitten, “Culture is the patterned behaviour learned by each individual from the day of birth as he or she is educated (socialised and acculturated) by parents and peers to become, and remain a member of the particular group into which he or she was born or joined.”
While the cultural policy for Nigeria 1988, defines culture as “The totality of the way life evolved by a people in their attempts to meet the challenges of living in their environment, which gives order and meaning to their social, political, economic, aesthetic and religious norms and modes of organisation thus distinguishing a people from their neighbours.”
Having explored multiple of these definitions, it is pertinent nonetheless to note that the importance of culture to any giving society cannot be overemphasised and it is in line with that conviction that a group of young Nigerians under the aegis of Eagle Nest Naija Cultural Heritage Reality Show has vowed to revive African cultural values amongst the younger generation in the country.
This desire to rejuvenate the dying cultural values of Africans particularly among younger generation of Nigerians had mid-wifed a reality show aimed at reversing the ugly trend where 21 century African youngsters are thinking, behaving and dressing like European thereby alienating their own culture in the name of modernity.
Speaking exclusively to our correspondent, the national coordinator of Eagle Nest Naija Cultural Heritage Reality Show, Mr. Christian Ekolibor noted that arrangement to unveil the reality show which is aimed at rejuvenating cultural norms among the youths of this country is at an advanced stage.
He also explained the rationale behind the show when he noted that it is aimed at showcasing in an exciting and exhilarating manner, the diverse, colourful cultures and dynamic traditions of Nigerians.
The national coordinator also said that in addition to cultural reorientation, the reality show will equally generate employment for youths as well as serve as a vehicle for national integration.
His words: “The reality show is all about reviving our cultural heritage. We are a team of young Nigerians who see the need to harness our cultural heritage that is almost going extinct due to exposure of the youths of our generation to Western culture and we decided to come together to organise a reality show that has to reflect our culture and tradition. To showcase those norms that distinguish Nigeria and the entire African continent from the rest of the world. We are partnering with the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation. We are also in support of Abuja carnival because we discovered that the Abuja national carnival has so much cultural input compared to a lot of others. That is why we have to identify directly with the carnival and the ministry of culture because you know the government, if you allow them alone, a lot of things will not happen. So we decided to come in to assist the government to save our culture from total collapse. As you can see the youths of this generation are going the way of the white man and that portends a lot of danger to the continuing survival of our culture.
“Nigeria as a nation is blessed with diverse cultures, traditions, festivals, talents, historical and beautiful tourism sites. These endowments, when properly harnessed, will reposition and preserve Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage and uniqueness thereby strengthening the bond of unity amongst us, as well as creating employment and wealth for our people, thus reducing poverty in the country. The show is targeted at millions of young and vibrant Nigerians who are proud of their heritage and want to showcase same to the world, knowing that they will be fully appreciated by a global audience. They will also be lured by the opportunity of winning the star prize and chance of global celebrity status, fame and fortune. This event intends to take the deviant child out of the street by providing him with a future.”
Ekolibor further noted that the show would serve as a vehicle for national integration as participants in the TV reality show would be drawn from all the geopolitical zones to represent the different ethnic interests that make up the country.
According to him, “contestants from across the six geo-political zones in the country would be taken to a remote novelty village, built in a rural community within Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and which will reflect the original architectural designs of Nigerian buildings. There, they will interact with the indigenes and learn the cultures of the host community. Contestants will be given tasks based on what they have learnt from the host community concerning their cultures and traditions. The contestants will also have to show how well they can get the viewing public and judges to appreciate their own cultures and traditions.”
• To be continued.
• Aleke is an Abuja-based journalist. gov4live@yahoo.