Halloween slowly creeping into Nigerian mainstream culture is one of the many absurdities in the Nigerian youth scene.
Halloween originated in the Western world, Wales to be exact and it spread to North America. Surprisingly Nigerians have started celebrating Halloween. No, these are not your Afropolitan Nigerians who have accents and live in a fancy service apartment in Ikoyi after graduating from Harvard.
Halloween is now celebrated by the average Nigerian who cannot recite the American pledge. On October 30, 2016 I can bet there will be many Nigerians in bars and lounges celebrating Halloween with cliché masks and costumes. Fliers and invites will soon pop up on Twitter and Instagram.
A decade ago, you would be hard pressed to have seen a Halloween party in Lagos or anywhere else in Nigeria, but now club managers will do their best to get their clubs packed for Halloween even if they have to rent an Egyptian mummy.
Why are Nigerians celebrating Halloween? Thanks to years of cable television and access to the Internet we have become hip to what is American pop culture. All our favourite American TV series have a Halloween episode. We have watched horror movies based on Halloween. We have watched a funny Halloween scene. Also, go on sites to see what celebrities wore to Halloween parties.
American culture is very attractive and if exposed to it for long, one might begin to feel he is more American than Nigeria. Already, some Nigerians have started celebrating Thanksgiving and watching the Superbowl without ever stepping foot in God’s own country.
Unfortunately, when American culture is seen as dope or hip, the local culture suffers. New Yam festival doesn’t trend on social media because Nigerians (who are largely conservative and religious) see it as fetish. Astonishingly, Halloween has fetish origins too but that doesn’t stop some Christians in this country from partying on Halloween night. Let’s summarize it like this, we love Thor but we are scared of Sango. They are basically the same. One has just been hyped up as a superhero and the other has been degraded as a relic of our past.
The rise of Halloween in Nigeria shows that our youth and pop culture still feeds off foreign implants rather than keep it home grown. Yes, the world is a globalized village, but till Americans start celebrating.