Nigeria "Offended" By District 9 [BBC News]

Nigeria ‘offended’ by sci-fi film

If Nigeria wants to improve the image of the country as a den of thieves and gangsters, perhaps step one should be to do something about the thieves and gangsters. All this does is cement the Nigerian government’s image as a bunch of inept ninnies.

I wonder where ordering their censors board to confiscate the movie fits in with their “rebranding”. Perhaps next they’ll demand an apology from themselves for casting their country in an Orwellian light.

I’ll admit that the Nigerians present in the movie were not nice characters, but then for the most part neither was anyone else. But the real-life Nigerian government’s reaction, indicating that they are quick to abandon even the pretense of a free society whenever they feel slightly insulted, does a lot more in my mind to put the country in a negative light. Far more than the behavior of fictional characters in a made-up movie, that’s for sure.

Pop quiz, Nigerian government: A business is looking to set up shop in your country. Which of the following would concern them more?

[li]The behavior of fictional Nigerian characters in a movie where pretty much everyone is evil in some way?[/li][li]The real-life knowledge that if you say something that upsets the delicate sensitivities of Nigerian politicians they will take action to shut you down?[/li][/ol]

For some more background, they’re also demanding an apology from Sony because their ad makes reference to the Nigerian e-mail scams.

Somewhat off-topic, but this is still in CS.

I noticed that it’s not just one movie, but several recent ones in which Nigerians are mentioned unfavorably.

The Goods
The “Nigerian Buyback”, in which someone brings in their used car, and has it sold back to them at a higher price the same day.

The Informant!

Nigerian 419 scams are brought up. Also, in reference to one of the fake account names, someone laughs and says, “What is that, Nigerian?” (Although I think it’s supposed to be a (fake) German company name).

Silly me, I thought it was about South Africa.

How dare you accuse us of harboring crooks and swindlers?! Filthy colonialist dogs! By the way, my name is GABRIEL ACKOKO and I need urgently you’re assistance in transferring 400,000 USD.

Was this the email they sent to Sony?

Thing is, in South Africa, a lot of the harder drugs (coke, heroin) are dealt by Nigerians, and they have a rep for violence, so the portrayal jibes with the South African stereotype of Nigerians. The whole muti thing is not that weird to us, either. It’s something many black South Africans believe, too, so projecting it onto West Africans (where cannibalism is not unknow, anyway) is not that strange.


Are they absolutely sure that’s the word they want to use? “Denigrates Nigeria?” :stuck_out_tongue:

I was trying so hard not to laugh at “denigrates.” Not that there’s anything wrong with the word, but sometimes there are better words out there…

“Now look what’ you’ve done! You’ve completely blackened the black place!”


Well, it is set in Johannesburg. And the “bad Nigerians” are only minor players in the plot.

Right. I was just trying to figure out of dropzone had seen the movie and knew what was being talked about.

You know, I was all set to take the family on a nice week long vacation to Nigeria. But then this movie came along and changed my perception.

Well, thank God they didnt just white wash this issue !