The organizations I am cofounding now have to expunge the Nigerian identity. It is not because Nigeria or Nigerians are bad, it is because Nigeria and Nigerianness obfuscate everything including the mission as well as the market.
I have seen Nigerian companies scaling across Africa make the blunder of taking Nigerians from Nigeria and using them to start their outposts in other countries then get surprised when things don't work out well. The reason they don't is that we export problems and not solutions.
What I mean by that is that we project the problems we have in Nigeria on the rest of Africa and want to use the same models and people. Beyond local resentment, it usually fails because we don't take time to understand local nuances. We try to impose and get rejected.
There's a fundamental distrust of Nigerians across Africa because of the fear of domination. In a recent investment we did recently in East Africa, I had to put my Kenyan friend in front doing all of the interaction because of my past experiences. I trust him 100% and he knows me
The reason he knows me is that we communicate a lot. Most Nigerians don't know how to build friendships and communicate. We are always in competition mode. It spooks people. Each time I hear a Nigerian say "Ghanaians are laid back" I feel like hitting them. Ghanaians are Ghanaian
Ghanaians and others don't fully understand Nigerians until they have been to Nigeria. Many now realize that all our bravado is just to hide our shortcomings as a nation. Nigeria has many hardworking people who have learned to work harder to try to escape the Nigerian trap.
The Nigerian trap is individualism, extreme competition, and the death of the community. We created a zero-sum country.
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