Contrary to regular nights at the New African Shrine, the harsh smell of weed/cigarette was AWOL on Tuesday which could be alluded to the event happening at the shrine and notably the visit of France’ s President, Emmanuel Macron. The 40-year old president came to Nigeria for uncertain reasons at the time but we’ll be detailing the events that prompted Macron’s visit and the happenings during the course of his visit.
Macron is no stranger to Nigeria as he had resided here as an intern at the French embassy in Nigeria in 2002.
His first stop was in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital where the expected photo-ops and press releases were done. He sealed an agreement between Nigeria and France to implement projects in Lagos, Kano, Ogun states at the cost of $475m.
Not to forget how Macron’s visit kept the Lagos government on their toes via what I deem an act of shame that they went amending the terrible road that leads to the New African Shrine courtesy of Macron’s visit as if to say they haven’t been hearing the cry of commuters of the said road since time immemorial until the visit of a foreign president. After the meeting in Abuja, Macron stormed Lagos for Season of African Cultures 2020, a French celebration of Africa’s rich and diverse cultures which was held at the New African Shine that undoubtedly sprang some string of nostalgia as he said it used to be a spot where he unwinds as a student in Nigeria then. The event is themed African Culture and was charged with a display of cultural extravaganza and it’s no reason it happened in Lagos that is famed to be the hub of creativity, a haven for music, movies, fashion and all that jazz. Femi Kuti dished a show-stopping performance as he had Macron mount the stage during the last minutes of his set. The event was also adorned by an array of creatives in both the music and movie space from diverse regions. Africa’s championing diva Yemi Alade, Cameroonian songstress Charlotte Dipanda, Talking Drum performer Ara, renowed Nollywood filmmaker Kunle Afolayan, World artistes Angelique Kidjo, Asa and Youssour N’Dour. Nollywood royalties like Genevieve Nnaji, Rita Dominic, Joke Silva and Ramsey Noah were also in attendance as they posed for a picture with Macron. 11-year old Kareem Waris-Olamilekan, a genius artist stole the show as he dazed the arena by his dexterity with a stupendous hyperralist drawing of President Macron in just 2 hours.
Macron gleefully recounted happy times spent in the shrine while he resided in Nigerian and worked as an intern in the French embassy. Macron claims to be seeking a bright future that embraces creative work and also charges the youth to get involved in politics.
Now, the drift of this post is that, a lot of persons don’t know why Macron actually came to Nigeria but say no more. One of the principal reason of Macron’s visit was to appeal to Nigerians to stay in Nigeria. He beseeched Nigerian youths to work hard and be ambitious while they remain in Nigeria. They should quit resorting to migrating abroad to Europe illegally via Lidya. Illegal immigration not terrorism happen to be the top burner issue in Europe. He encouraged the government to practice population control. In his words, the strength of Nigeria is in it’s population. He also attended Tony Elumelu foundation’s 2000 African Entrepreneurs.
Macron undoubtedly seems fascinated by our culture and lifestyle and it goes a long way in telling us that when we run after the white man’s culture and the white man appreciates our culture, it shows that we are not doing enough to uphold our heritage. Macron stole his way to our hearts in most ways by his visit to the sacred place. New African Shrine. He further announced plans for series of cultural events dedicated to Africa in 2020. We only hope APC don’t leverage on his visit for political scores.
To add, I find it rather disturbing that the government have neglected us so much that we now cast our hopes on anything but the present administration. One moment we’d be talking about for the longest time is during a chat with the press, President Macron and Buhari. A Channels interviwer who seemed to have given up on Buhari asked Macron “How does France aim to help stop the incessant killings plaguing Nigeria”, a well-wishing Macron gave a witty answer saying France can’t do nothing to solve certain problems in Nigeria but it’s left for Nigeria to fix it”. One can’t see past Buhari’s uneasy body language when the question came on and while Macron answered. Buhari hasn’t had a media chat with Nigerians since he became president, we’re constanly neglected so we go pitch our tent with foreign leaders when ever they come around. That goes a mile in telling us how we’re failing as a nation.