( ENSPIRE Lifestyle ) A Group Of Young Nigerians Form Naija Nation Dedicated To Changing The Landscape Of Nigerian Representation
ENSPIRE Contributor: Megan Grosfeld
Naija Nation is a curated digital community aimed at highlighting Nigerian people and their creative endeavors by spreading positive awareness of the vast cultural pillars of their community. Since launching in 2020, Naija Nation has gained 28,000 supporters on Instagram, has sold over $100,000 in merchandise, and is now even sharing the wealth by giving back to their engaged community through scholarships with their new Naija Nation Legacy Foundation.
Its mission is to offer Nigerian people a platform to support the community they so proudly represent. The Naija Nation team also provides experiences not only through their content but through their expanding merch and upcoming events to bridge the cultural gaps between African tribes and Africans and Black Americans. ENSPIRE was lucky enough to speak with the inspiring company to talk about specific ways they continuously create a safe and supported space to uplift Nigerian voices.
What type of events do you host to bring communities together?
We host events that unite African and Black communities by providing entertainment, learning opportunities, and an all-around quality experience for everyone that participates. Through Chop Life, our event production company, we’re putting on the first-ever AfroUnion this year, which is a one-day festival on June 4th in the heart of Los Angeles.
AfroUnion is a blend of musical performances, food, entertainment, and vendors that is centered on building knowledge of lost traditions. Everyone is welcome to this inclusive event that aims to celebrate the culture, creatives, and local businesses of our communities. As time goes on, we look forward to hosting many more in-person events for our community members to meet and develop connections.
What steps are taken to amplify voices within the Nigerian community?
We actively highlight what’s hot in the Nigerian community, from our Notable Nigerian series to our weekly Word of The Day. Through our social media and blog, we are constantly providing valuable content to our community that grows their pride in their Nigerian heritage.
Naija Nation actually came into existence when a group of Nigerian millennials came together to discuss what they wanted from their diaspora experience. We identified a need in the community for a platform like the one we’ve built today which supports Nigerians worldwide and gives all of us room to speak on what matters to us.
Please tell ENSPIRE more about working to build a connection between African and Black American cultures. Why is it important to you?
There has always been a “social distance” between African-Americans and African immigrants in the United States. Even though both groups came from similar backgrounds, they have distinctly different histories that have defined the ways they currently experience race, ethnicity, and Blackness, especially in the U.S. It is important for us at Naija Nation to strengthen the connections that already exist between African-Americans and African immigrants, because unity is vital for all of us to thrive and survive. Being knowledgeable about our differences and our similarities is for our common good—we’re better together!
What does this connection mean to Naija Nation?
To us, this connection means growing a stronger community that ALL of us can rely on. It means feeling more comfortable in any “Black” space we find ourselves in because we are well-informed about each other’s culture, arts, foods, traditions, stories, books, shows, and so on. This connection means that we feel helped and supported by each other, and we are able to be all we need to thrive.
What does it entail to create a safe space within the Nigerian community?
Creating a safe space within the Nigerian community means making people feel welcome, regardless of how much they feel they are connected to their heritage. Nigerians all over the world have their unique experiences and challenges, and Naija Nation provides a platform for all of us to connect on what we have in common and learn new things.
Naija Nation’s future is bright. They create a continually safe space for people to become comfortable and united with their heritage. Their founders chose to remain anonymous to highlight and promote the individuals they so proudly advocate for to allow these same individuals to represent the face of Naija Nation. The main goal is to combine all Nigerian voices to endorse a small corner of the world and create a bigger presence overall. Naija Nation continues to invest in surrounding communities by giving back whenever possible. Their team does this by beaming the spotlight onto Nigerian creatives by highlighting their art, music, and professional talents, as well as featuring community pillars who stand to celebrate our culture. Their goal is to continue to magnify the Nigerian community through those still learning to connect with their heritage and traditions.
Please visit Naija Nation’s website here.
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