Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Citizens Bimbo, and Seun Somolu

I will attempt to marry some disparate, and seemingly unconnected issues, in this article! 

My four year old daughter told me suddenly the other day, "Daddy, the man said "Bobo ajah! I knew what she was talking about, it was the tourism advertisement on the virtues of an Indian holiday. 

There is a rash of promotional materials spreading on the airwaves, and in cyberspace! Every country is touting the benefits a holiday within their borders would bring!

The "bobo ajah" line is one of the things that was said to the fellow who had experienced the whole gamut what India is! At the end of the day, the only way he could describe his ongoing holiday to those back home was "Incredible India!

Because the tourism industry is a competitive one, promoters of tourist destinations are plumbing the depths of creativity to put themselves in the consciousness of the holidaying public!

South Africa has been promoting herself as a premium destination worth visiting for years.

The World Cup, put the country at the center, in the tourism universe! It was a masterful stroke of genius!

I had noticed before the World Cup, that Yvonne Chaka Chaka, a popular South African musician, was the face of the "My South Africa",which  later became "My South African Experience" promotion.

You could see that there was a method to the campaign. It was not some on the spur of the moment, off-the-cuff thing! Much thought had been given to the campaign! They started with an internationally identifiable face, one of theirs, to tell people south Africa was worth visiting.

Unknown to me, they were not satisfied to have one of theirs testify to their goodness.

So you can imagine my shock, when I saw citizens Bimbo, and Seun Somolu, a Nigerian couple that had holidayed in South Africa, promoting their South African Experience! 

I have no problem with them doing that, it is their choice! Even when they showed madam baring part of her bosom on the massage table, it was her body to bare! After all, it was not my wife that was there! 

I cannot be angry with them for going on enviable game viewing trips to see real animals, and dinning on exquisite cousine, I salivated, but held my peace. I was going to be eating pounded yam later!

You could see that everything was professionally packaged, to appeal to the discerning connoisseur!

That is something you do not see with tourism promotion in Nigeria! We seem to think that it is only when we put a picture of the governor, or the president, in our adverts, that people would believe us! It is counterproductive! People do not trust politicians!

Enough said about Nigeria; back to the Somolus; what I found most offensive, was what Bimbo said at the conclusion of the advert, she proudly declared, that South Africa, was the real giant of Africa! 

That was the last straw! We had always contented ourselves with the belief, that  we were the giant of Africa, albeit,  a sleeping one!  

Here was Citizen Bimbo Somolu, a Nigerian, declaring with perceptible glee, and gusto, that we were not, but that her South Africa, was the real giant! That must make us the fake giant of Africa! 

As she made her shocking declaration, I remembered a Yoruba proverb, that it is only a child that was not taught properly, that would point to his father's house with the left hand!

I only saw four left hands on show in the advert, the right hands had been left behind in Nigeria! 



  1. I was in SA last week and saw the advert on TV. I must admit I was quite uncomfortable with that last statement and I felt that was a real sell-out. Even if it was a professional job, there should be "honor amongst thieves" when it comes nationalism & patriotism (no puns intended).
    Ms Adeyemi -Lagos, Nigeria

  2. I found that statement about SA being the real giant of Africa very detestible. It was wrong of Bimbo to have pointed her finger towards her father's land with a left index finger.
    Watching the advert over and over again, i was greatly disappointed that Nigeria is being relegated to the background in the promotion of the potentials of SA, uisng Nigerian citizens.

    oludare mayowa
    lagos nigeria

  3. Is the advertisement the problem or the truth? How far have we fared in our elections, education, security, ethnic bigotry, religious intolerance, power supply and on and on.Whether they pointed with right hand, do you think in our WILDEST imagination that we are any where before South Africa Why are we like this?

  4. For you to know, Bimbo somolu is General David Jemibewon's daughter ( a former governor and minister in Nigeria). It's a shameful statement she made

  5. Personally what I would say without bias when watching the clip is that the lady much more than the gentleman (he portrayed a more mature composure though)was overwhelmed with what she saw in contrast to the limitations of her immediate environment. Its a homecall for us Nigerians to re-examine our values, to stop apportioning blame and to stop passing the buck!

  6. A couple of dumb, self depreciating fools! You will not find a south African to play such a despicable role in reverse. Awon omo oju o rolari..

  7. Every time I see that advert, it annoys me in a new way. I just decided to Google the sumolu's hoping the were not real. Like hey, maybe some south African's paid to pretend to be Nigerians.
    That being said, I think Nigeria should ban that advert. It is deliberately offensive. If they had said SA was the giant of Africa, that would be open for debate. Using the word "real" is my issue with it.
    Finally, it's about time we reorganise our home. Learn to see ourselves as we want others to see us.
    My humble opinion.

  8. It's just an advert and she clearly was doing her job. No matter how much we love our country we know that we have more problems that need fixing, more than SA. She didn't criticize our country, she simply praised SA after what seemed to be an enjoyable trip to SA.