#LightUpNigeria vs. #NigerianGrammar Exposes The Problem With Nigerians

#NigerianGrammar Trending on Twitter

Why does #NigerianGrammar succeed while #LightUpNigeria fails to trend on Twitter? 

Although LightUpNigeria is for a VERY serious cause, had a long and great campaign plan and quite a strong campaign base, (it had the full support of heavy weight Nigerian Twitterers like  Ebuka Bigbrother, Eldee made a Video, Bella wrote a post your humble guy even wrote a full blog post in support of the LightUpNigeria campaign all this was in addition to the campaign through the  26,000 member strong group on Facebook, the attention of CNN and other campaigners)

Guess what, IT NEVER trended!

Now fast forward to Wednesday and we had #NigerianGrammar trending. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong in funny stuff trending on Twitter (Kathy Perry’s Vagina was once a trending topic) but here is the problem:

Why do we Nigerians find it much easier to rally around frivolous things than something that affects us greatly?

The examples are everywhere!

  • Our president was missing and everyone was more interested in why Ayegbeni was selected to play in the Nations cup.
  • My Facebook status is filled with comments when I crack a stupid joke or say United for Life! but all my Facebook friends disappear when I try speaking of any important topic that concerns Nigeria(ns)
  • it is more interesting to talk about Wengers transfer policy that to discuss the the implication of having Goodluck Jonathan as the sole Administrator of Nigeria.

I know I might be accused of being too serious but when can we be serious? I participated in both the #LightUpNigeria and #NigerianGrammar campaigns and found the latter fun while it lasted but realised what I am talking about when the excitement died down.

Nigerians, we better get our priorities right or things will never change for the better.


  • Thanks to my man, and Twitter addict Henry ‘4eyedMonk’ Okelue for tipping me off that #NigerianGrammar was trending.
  • When you see mistakes in my writing just understand it is NigerianGrammar at work but still point it out 🙂
  • I salute the most dogged LightUpNigeria campaigner i know, Moses ‘Mos_Hygh’ Nasamu.
  • Amara ‘bubusn’ Nwankpa, thanks for starting an awesome movement!
If you liked or disliked this post, PLEASE share. Thank you.

8 thoughts on “#LightUpNigeria vs. #NigerianGrammar Exposes The Problem With Nigerians

  1. Light Up Nigeria has since evolved into an off-line advocacy group. It is an effort that will be no walk in the park, hence the need to solicit for volunteers.

    If there has ever been a time to stand up and be counted, the time is now. My fellow Nigerians let's #LightUpNigeria

  2. We never know when to get our prirorities right. It is our lack of seriousness that is taking this country down the road. I hope we one day get serious about serious issues and not mundane ones

  3. There's a very simple answer. Lightupnigeria while a worthy cause, was a BORING one. It didn't involve anything other than people writing #lightupnigeria.

    Nigeriangrammar on the other hand trended because not only was it INTERESTING, it was FUNNY.

    Couple that with the fact that while there are many Nigerians online, our numbers are still very small compared to the population of westerners and asians online, implying that we would have to WORK EXTRA HARD in order to get something to trend, (and considering the fact that Twitter does NOT track trending in Nigeria) it is pretty obvious why lightupnigeria failed where Nigerian grammar succeeded.

    Lightupnigeria in other words lacked instant marketing appeal (at least as far as that moment on Twitter is concerned). Whereas Lightupnigeria required Nigerian tweeters to just repetitively tweet and retweet the same boring message over and over again, Nigeriangrammar gave Nigerian tweeters an opportunity to be THE STAR of their own 5 second show. Nigerians who tweeted especially funny “Nigeriangrammar” jokes got their tweets retweeted or favourited by loads of other people and increased their popularity while LightupNigeria offered no such opportunity. Twitter is all about popularity, followers, and being recognized as a master of witty one-liners.

    Nigeriangrammar captured this perfectly and so succeeded. LightupNigeria did not.

  4. I agree with what you are saying about the need for it to seem less serious. #lightUpNigeria had a funny aspect to it. It was #LightUpNigeria so……. that was where some people said things like (so I will not wear rumpled clothes to toast babe). I believe the cause is deemed “serious” that is why it did not catch on. If there was no cause attached to it and the hash tag was #NEPA people would have happily participated even though it would have required the exact same tweets. We have to make politics sound sexy otherwise no hope o!

  5. That is true but LightupNigeria does not have NOSTALGIA factor that both #NEPA and #Nigeriangrammar do.

    The point is, a Twitter campaign is not really the best approach for LightupNigeria to succeed. LightupNigeria needs to be doing ON THE GROUND work IN NIGERIA, not hanging out on teh interwebz.

    They should be a solid organization with solid lobbying/harassment activities. Internet campaigns do not have any effect on the Nigerian government, they simply reflect what Nigerian netizens are thinking. Our country may be wired but we're not yet implementing our connectivity in such a way that it is part of daily organizational life in the country, especially at the government level. In America a Twitter campaign would have gotten attention, but in Nigeria it won't work (at least not now and not in the next one year).

    The only Nigerian newspaper that would pick up the LightupNigeria campaign directly from the net would be 234next and that's because they're young and hip and get it.

    If NTA isn't reporting about LightupNigeria then that should tell you that it's flying well below the radar because wiredness just hasn't infected Nigerian organizations as a whole yet.

  6. i have never seen the point or the effectiveness if the light up naija twitter campaign. i tewweted on both topics, but nigerian grammer allowed me to be innovative and laugh about the things that make me love being nigerian, while the former reminded me over and over again the reason am suffering winter in jand instead of me to to be home. so its a case of one being a positive part of naij and the other being a negative and disturbing problem.
    it also boils down that nigerians like to see immediate effects. all the retweeting in the world will not make nepa bring light so it does not seem to have any direct effect so why bother? its the same reason why the average young nigerian does not vote or participate in the community.

  7. uhm, new words: trending. believe you me pro-2004 blogging was a very new word to many.

    wondering which day I'll actually be convinced to give twitter a try.

Leave a Reply