Inclusion is the glue that holds society together. I saw an albino in a TV advert today and was pleasantly surprised. This, to me, is a very delightful rarity.
This is not because I have never seen an albino before, far from it. I actually have a few as friends and they are beautiful. But we must admit that in black Africa, on TV, they are the rarity.
The test of the sustainability of an enterprise is the cohesion amongst the people who work it. We are taught in school to see human resources as as the most important factor of production. But, what if the people do not work together? Can they still be productive?
You may have people but if they do not function as a team, harnessing the strengths of, they would hardly constitute a valuable force. So, the strength of the workforce comes from the quality of the collective mindset. “Two cannot work together except they agree” says the Bible.
This morning, while watching the news and listening to political views now gaining tempo as the nation strains towards 2022 elections, I was my usual unimpressed self. Discord is the common denominator in the opinions voiced by Nigerians and I usually maintain a detached mien for my own piece of mind.
Suddenly, something different struck me. It was time to ‘pay the bills’ as they say in media parlance and something different happened. It was the advert of a bank and I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise; adverts come and go these days, yawn.
This time the advert, apart from selling its wares, told a new story. An elegant albino lady wearing trendy long braids walking snazzily with other ladies in a moving picture. “Good” I said to myself. This story is good for Nigeria.
It will be nice to see more pictures of people who look different positively accommodated in our moving pictures and daily lives in Nigeria. This is a Nigerian story that many do not hear- in workplaces, in politics, media and other arena. Inclusion is the bane of a thriving Nigeria.
Society is a motley of people and Nigeria has them. In diverse colors, tongues, cultures and traditions, foods, physical and mental attributes, we are indeed rich. We get boring arching for homogeneity whereas our divergent hues can make us more fun.
The wealth of this vast nation can only be uncovered to the collective good by embedding the mindset of inclusion in our psyche. We can actually believe that there is room for everyone to make their contributions.
Vertically challenged or other physically different persons like albinos don’t always have to be portrayed as victims or people with negative powers in movies. They are not supernatural or abnormal. They are fraction in the whole.
A deliberate move to include people of difference in our newscasts and other activities will help us get used to seeing and including them in our lives. The inclusion of an albino in the TV advert in reference, has a unique appeal that distinguishes it from the lot.
Mutual acceptance of differences is a culture that should be intentionally sold and celebrated in the mass media, and for good reason. For me, seeing that attractive albino lady squinting seductively in that clip, rid the news bulletin of drone and boredom.
From growing in tolerance of the variegation in physical features and mental capacities, we probably will, someday, accommodate our diverse tribes and maximize our strengths. That is what will make for a strong and vibrant Nigeria. Simple ideas can work wonders.