Nigerians tasked to be culture ambassadors
The President, Fertilizer Producers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Thomas Etuh, has hinged the economic growth of the country on the willingness of citizens to be ambassadors of change. Etuh, who spoke recently at the public presentation of a book, PITCH: Debunking Marketing’s Strongest Myths, written by brand analyst, Ikem Okuhu in Lagos, warned that the country might not achieve much at the various platforms of global exchange if the citizens do not make themselves available as ambassadors of everything the country stands for.
Mr. Ibrahim Shehu Birma, Etuh, who was represented by Chairman, Tak Agro Plc, described Nigerian writers as flag-carriers, whose works go a long way in moulding the perception the world has of Nigeria.“Writers, be they of fiction or management, are agents of culture and nationalism,” he said. “Their reflections of the country in their books form the pictures and impressions that readers, especially in other climes, have about our dear country.” He said contrary to widely held beliefs, Nigerians are still avid readers of books and called on those gifted with the skills of writing to continue to document events, trends and stories around them as means of preserving the history and heritage of the Nigerian people.
Also at the event, Vice President, Corporate Communications and CSR, Airtel Nigeria, Emeka Oparah, described the book as “table-shaking”, alluding to the author’s track record as a journalist, who approaches issues usually from a different perspective. He added that the book would stir a lot of debate in the Nigerian marketing and communications industry. Oparah, who went down memory lane in recalling previous encounters with the author, expressed delight that the fearless journalist in him has guided him to put together a book that will instigate further interrogation of a number of issues in the Nigerian marketing and communications environment.
“I recalled my first encounter with the author,” he said. “I have been an avid reader of Ikem’s column on marketing communication, especially when it was a pull-out in Vanguard newspapers well before he went solo. He was different, refreshing and cheeky with a somewhat diabolical sense of humour. It appeared he saw things differently all the time judging by the way he reported events.
“I thought he enjoyed controversy. It didn’t matter so much until he did a number on Airtel.”While recommending the book for both practitioners and intending practitioners and students of marketing and communications, he commended the author for raising some critical issues in many areas while at the same time proffering solutions rather than just complain.
Earlier in his welcome address, Okuhu said he was inspired by the paucity of engaging literature with particular focus on the Nigerian environment despite the compelling accomplishments of practitioners in the country. Okuhu, who is also the publisher of BRANDish, a marketing and communications magazine, highlighted the importance of knowledge sharing by players in the marketing and communications industry, insisting that Nigerian case studies are like export items that would help the world understand the Nigerian consumer better.He thanked the Nigerian advertising, public relations’ bodies and the wider marketing community for providing the rich resources that helped in faming his research efforts and invited practitioners to document their experiences for posterity.