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Monday, February 15, 2010

The adventures of Sugabelly and her internationalbusinessmarketingorsomethingclass Pt. 3

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, I know I did.

Anyway here's the followup to the last post. Note that these stories have been published before on Sugabelly's blog but I felt they were too good not to be posted here. Long story short, these are not my experiences but Sugabelly's.

One more thing, don't forget to follow us on twitter @SNLoveHate.We are dabbling in micro-blogging too.

have homework. Not a lot, but I have to do a cultural analysis on Nigeria in order to develop a marketing report between Nigeria and the United States (I mentioned this before in the International Business posts). My group members are doing other parts of the cultural analysis, but I chose to handle Living Conditions, Diet and Nutrition, Housing, Clothing, and Language.

In other words, I did oversabi and deliberately picked the most voluminous parts of the project. To be honest it wasn't all nobility on my part. I picked those ones because I was very afraid that my group members would botch them and come up with something like this:

Living Conditions - Nigerians live on less than $1 a day

Diet and Nutrition - Nigerians eat African food

Housing - Nigerians live in round huts

Clothing - Nigerians wear dashiki

Language - Nigerians speak Africanese (yes, a coworker actually said this to me. He's lucky I didn't break his teeth with my keyboard. Oloshi.)

So maybe I'm just a paranoid control freak, but while this is a school project, I desperately want my country to be represented in the best possible and most informative light. In doing this project I have quickly discovered that there is almost NO reliable FORMAL/OFFICIAL information about Nigeria out there. All the most accurate and reliable in-depth information on life, demographics, and culture in Nigeria are found in the form of personal accounts - Nigerian blogs. Unfortunately, students aren't encouraged to cite blogs, but maybe they should start considering that because a lot of the so-called academic/official information on Nigeria out there is a crock of bullshit and differs mightily from the reality of life in Nigeria.

I'm not writing this to gripe about my group members, just to report what's going on so far. One of them sent me his part on social security in Nigeria and I noticed that he was citing only US sources. There wasn't a single Nigerian source in his document. Also, he hadn't even bothered to find out what social security is called in Nigeria, he just referred to it with the United States title 'Social Security'. I sent it back to him and told him to go look up National Social Insurance Trust Fund. I don't want to sound mean, but I feel like I might end up doing double work because I am basically having to spoon feed all of them information and point them in the right direction. I mean, come on, you CANNOT base an in-depth report on Nigeria on US government sources. The CIA lists the life-expectancy for Nigerians as 45 yet the Nigerian age of retirement is 65. Does that not tell you something????? How can the Nigerian age of retirement be 65 if by that time the average Nigerian is supposed to be dead for twenty years already?!?

I mean, come on. It's like they have no clue. Anyway, so I sent them some helpful Nigerian websites to start them off. I don't want it to feel like I did the entire project on my own so I just gave them a few blogs and things that would quickly familiarize them with Nigeria socially/culturally/politically e.g. 234NEXT (Shout out to Solomon Sydelle: Nigerian Curiosity is another of them!! =D - Fear not! We are college students therefore we are honour bound to cite you fairly and completely for any and all of your amazing political quotes!!)

So yeah, right now I'm writing about meat and vegetable consumption rates in Nigeria, typical meals in Nigeria, malnutrition rates, and foods available. I plan to break this section down by ethnic group and then further break it down by Urban or Rural dwellers. (i.e. for instance, Igbos who live in cities tend to eat foreign/imported breakfast foods - breakfast cereals, quaker oats, etc, while Igbos who live in villages tend to eat traditional breakfast foods - gari and groundnuts, etc)

I will then further break it down, so please everyone I need your help. I'm confident about writing about Igbo habits and general habits of everyone one else, but I need some more details. Could you please tell me:

Three typical traditional Yoruba meals (breakfast lunch and dinner) that would be eaten by a Yoruba family living in a very rural part of the country

Three typical meals that would be eaten by a Yoruba family living in Lagos (it doesn't have to be all strictly Yoruba food - see my example about Igbos above)

I know a lot of Yoruba foods, I just don't know the necessary ORDER in which they might be eaten. I'm a big fan of amala, gbegiri and ewedu, ewa and stew, dodo, moi-moi, etc. (FYI: Yoruba moi-moi with egg inside made with banana leaves is THE BEST moi-moi on Earth - Igbo people eat your hearts out. They beat us on this one, hands down)

Same thing for Hausa, Edo, Fulani, Igala, Ijaw, Efik, Ibibio, Berom, Tiv, Nupe, etc.

You don't have to answer them all, just supply me with what you know, I'll find out anything else by calling my friends and doing research.

I also need to know the names of Nigerian vegetables (as many as you know and their English names if available)

I also need to know the names of Nigerian foods (again as many as you know). For the foods please list them in this format:

Amala - Yoruba, Jimmanu - Igbo, and so on.

This project is CRAZY. There is so much information that needs to be put down. Nigeria is a big country y'all! =D

Apart from food I'm also doing types of housing available in Nigeria (I don't really get this one. What do they mean TYPES?), whether most Nigerians own their houses or rent (I'll have to break this down by socio-economic class, by region, AND by urban or rural dwelling, as well as by tribe - Fulani bororoje anyone? They don't live in houses [they're nomadic] so this doesn't apply to them). I also have to say whether most Nigerians live in one-family dwellings or with other families. - I personally think this one is tricky because "family" in Nigeria can mean a mini-nation by itself. I don't know what they count as "one family". Oh well.

The other fun category I'm doing is Clothing. I am going to have a field day with this one. I have to write about Nigeria's National Dress (LMAO!!!! - There is none. There are like 1000 types of "national dress" in Naij) as well as the types of clothing worn to work - this one is simple, Nigerians wear both western and traditional attire to work. However, I've noticed that most civil servants in Abuja wear traditional clothes to work (at least they do at my Aunt's office) which I think is GREAT!!!!!! =D

Finally, I am covering Language. The big one. The colossus. I am going to list the official languages, then I will list my languages in order of the number of speakers and pervasiveness of use (I personally think it is wrong to speak only English in Nigerian businesses) and then I am going to list any main dialects that fall under the individual languages.

And after all this stuff, I will be cross-checking the work of my group members for any errors or falsities about Nigeria the Beloved and making changes to their work. I will also do the final proof-reading before we submit. (Why do I feel like a Communist Chinese Dictator for ensuring this report doesn't go out painting my country in a bad light? I guess Americans would call it censorship but it isn't really. I'm just going to make sure they aren't being lazy and throwing out ridiculous "facts" like 90% of Nigerians live on $1 a day and there is no middle class *side eye CIA, seriously yo, side eye*)

The whole thing is due on Wednesday, so wish me luck!!! =D

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