Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has suggested a workable antidote to the intractable contemporary critical national issues hobbling the country at the 2017 Annual Lecture of Mass Communication Students Association, University of Lagos.
Presenting his Keynote Speech, Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management at NCC, Mr. Sunday Dare, said “Given the contemporary realities of our country, majority of us here will agree the timing is auspicious for us to discuss how we can foster national cohesion using the force of logic, rather than the logic of force”.
Commenting on the thematic focus of the main lecture; ‘Imagery – A Mechanism in Building Brand Acceptability and National Cohesion’, Dare, represented by the Head, Online Media and Special Publications at NCC, Mr. Omoniyi Ibietan reflected on how we might explore the potential of imageries to build brands, especially our national brand to foster national cohesion especially in the age of communication technology.
According to him, “Imagery finds expression in the use of pictures and ideas to represent and communicate thought. As a generic word, it incorporates metaphors, personification, allegory, symbols, similes and other figures of speech and arts rooted in cultural practices”.
“Imageries abound in many forms in practically all literary works, not only as figures of speech but also in folktales and many cultural forms. The works of two of Nigeria’s leading lights of the literary world will suffice to buttress this. First is Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart which has been translated into tens of languages.
“In Things Fall Apart, folktales – especially those featuring animals – are seen as a symbol of femininity, especially to Okonkwo, Achebe’s key character. In the novel, mothers and daughters have a tendency to share folktales, but folktales are also Nwoye, Okonkwo’s son’s favorite forms of entertainment. This makes Okonkwo fear that his son is too effeminate.
“The second reference of the use of imagery by writers can be gleaned from some works of Wole Soyinka, Africa’s first Nobel Laureate in Literature. In the poem Telephone Conversation, I am sure we can recall the phrase “… Silenced transmission of Pressurized good-breeding”(I. 7). The metaphor of the “pressurized good-breeding” is an imagery suggesting the fact that the woman initially came across as educated and elegant, however, her mask soon disappeared under pressure, when she revealed her racist attitude.
Giving further insights to the merits of logic of force in handling critical national questions, NCC said “The foregoing demonstrates the value of imagery especially in helping us to construct a better understanding of our world. Suffice it to say that, there is a special significance and illumination the use of imagery brings to the communication process and the enhancement of meaning exchange. The most central benefit of the process is the unity of those involved in the communication process arising from mutual sharing of meaning, understanding and tolerance of the perspectives and dynamics of the process. It is from this reality that a sense of solidarity and the spirit of cohesion grow”.
“Above and beyond fiction, which in actual sense is a representation of reality, we have tangible realisms from our daily lives of how imagery has helped to create a more perceptive understanding of our existence. More concretely, the Nigerian flag and the Coat of Arms are two examples of these, especially in terms of how they have helped to foster cohesion and as mainstream symbolisms of our national identity, indeed our brand identity.
Continuing, Dare averred that “there are so many other applications and software that enable users to create imagery for fantastic creative and expressive communication. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are proven enablers and the Internet is the abode of these resources”.
“To have access and optimise the opportunities locked up on the Internet, you require robust broadband. One evidence of the centrality of technology in contemporary world is the fact that the most innovative countries are the most advanced and prosperous because investments in technology and innovations have been major sources of wealth creation,” Dare noted.