'Acquisitive Culture' and its Impact on Nigeria's Socio-Economic Development
FOCUS ON NIGERIA: LITERATURE AND CULTURE
University of Ibadan, University of Lagos
This is an interdisciplinary study of the role of culture in the development of Nigeria as a nation. The essay raises questions, among which are: what are the externalized and internalized aspects of Nigerian national culture? Which innate concepts of this culture do contemporary Nigerians understand and which concepts are grasped or misunderstood by foreigners? Russian and Nigerian literary works - Nikolai Gogol's and Chinua Achebe's, to mention but two - are utilized to determine similarity and dissimilarity of the pervasive nature of materialism in two different cultures. The essay finds philistine the platitude of Nigerian cultural managers inherent in such externalized cultural fiestas as FESTAC '77 and Nigerian Carnivals, while the more beneficial one, the internalized aspects which we call the fundamental culture, are merely mulled over, wholly misjudged, and mostly left unexplored. The essay finds, furthermore, that development can only be strengthened when the internalized aspects of Nigerian traditional societies are understood and synthesized with modern hybrid cultures before human development can take place. The essay makes no pretence to being a specialist study; rather, it crosses the borders of fiction, the social sciences, cultural anthropology, and history.