Nigerian Brands First
Hey guys! it’s your favorite blogger here. Been a while and I am totally sorry for keeping everyone waiting. So today I am writing on something we all talk or think about. Why do Nigerians not patronize Nigerians?Some time earlier this week, I was scrolling down Instagram and saw a sponsored ad on a sporting company. Being your number one sports girl, I clicked to check their page out and within 10 seconds I said to myself “this ain’t Gymshark, I’m out”. For us who do not know, Gymshark is one of the biggest gym brands in the UK and US right now. Then I had a second “corrective” thought; “Shouldn’t you be supporting Nigerian brands as a Nigerian”, “what if you wore these home brands proudly as you did these foreign brands”? The answer to this question, if I and a lot of people like me thought different, would be that we would grow our home businesses and create jobs for people here in Nigeria.
This is a big and important topic to me because I see how much potential we could have as a country. and how much we ignorantly let slide away. First of all, there’s tourism. We are such a culturally diverse country that travelling to the other side of the country is enough tourism. A lot of us have not heard of the Kaduna castle, Yankari game reserves, Nok settlement, … I mean, if we spend as much time promoting sites and reserves in Nigeria as we do Dubai, the world would be visiting by now and our businesses would definitely profit from it. I am not saying I am totally innocent of this. We definitely still need to cross Nigerian borders to see the world and broaden our horizons but we need to recognize Nigeria is also a world of its own waiting to be explored. Lets visit places in Nigeria, share it on social media and encourage others to explore. Not only would the local businesses around such places benefit from those visiting, Nigeria’s economy would as word of mouth will encourage even foreigners to visit.
Secondly, we need to patronise our home businesses! even though they may be slightly more expensive. I spent a year in France as part of my degree and one thing I noticed about the French is their commitment to home grown products. Even in their supermarkets, home grown products are labeled as such and people buy them instead of other foreign products as much as they can. In today’s ‘Americanized’ world, countries need to stand tall and strong and find their identity. I mean, in Nigeria, it is almost as if we are brought up to look at people who use ‘foreign things’ as better. That’s a messed up mindset. We dream of a better Nigeria but we must encourage Nigerians to invest in Nigeria. No one wants to go on producing Nigerian goods when everyone believes it is better to have foreign things. Lets encourage home brands and let those with ideas to manufacture home brands be encouraged to go on.
I remember a point in my secondary school too when you were even thought to be cooler when you knew more foreign songs than Nigerian songs. On the other hand however, those of us in businesses should do our best possible. Take your competition out of Nigeria. Check out how things are done outside Nigeria and figure out a way to improve your business back at home. I mean, I love to take cookies every now and then and would love to patronise Nigerian industries but Noreos wouldn’t let me look away from Oreos. So yeah, Nigeria is a beautiful country with so much diversity and wealth that is left to be harvested. So from today, I am officially team #Nigerianbrandsfirst and implore you guys to join me.