With a taste of Nigeria, arispop rebrands country’s image in America
Popsira Kpegekie Lemon-Simons has vowed to contribute to giving her country a positive image by initiating a programme tagged A Taste Of Nigeria. The show, which is in its fourth season, showcases Nigerian fashion, food, music, movies, arts, drama skits, poetry, comedy and everything uniquely Nigerian.
The show has surpassed the expectations of its aims. According to Lemon-Simons, “We have had a huge response because we do a lot of things that people do not know about Nigeria. Most of them only know what they see and hear on the news, but when they come to the event, they see things for themselves and the opinion of most of them is more positive.
“We dominate and stand out anywhere we find ourselves. Our food is great; our fashion is one of the best in the world, and our culture is simply great and that is why I think we should sell these aspects to the world so that they do not know us for bad only. The event has gone a long way to re-creating Nigeria’s image. Our first show was incredible; we had a lot of newspapers coming to see what we were doing, and they saw things about Nigeria that were new to them. They saw that we were doing something different.
“Based on their reports, the show has attracted other nationalities, who have no idea about our culture, especially African-Americans and Mexicans. It has also given Nigerians who have been living in America all their lives and want to experience what their culture is all about or have simply lost touch with their roots and want to re-experience their culture, with the hope that one day they could visit Nigeria in reality and see.”
Lemon-Simons, also known as Arispop, hopes that the event would grow into a huge festival of two or three days that would attract nationals from all over the world.
“Good enough, based on the popularity it has already gained, people from Houston will be coming this year,” she said. “People from other states are already asking when the event would be taken to their states because it is usually held in Dallas.”
On funding, Arispop said, “So far, there are vendors, who pay to showcase their goods and from there we raise some money. I have also been trying to reach the Nigerian government through my friends so they could contribute to this cause and I hope that one day they will.”
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