Chain Reactions Africa, one of Africa’s leading Public Relations and communications consulting firms, has issued a call to the Nigerian government and businesses to closely monitor the growing phenomenon of a novel strain of populism among the youth, which has the potential to disrupt both governmental and corporate operations.
This new strain of populism, described as “popumoblism” by the consulting firm, poses a unique challenge for governments and businesses worldwide. It is imperative that the current administration in Nigeria and corporate entities make concerted efforts to study and comprehend this evolving trend. This call to action was made during the public presentation of the condensed version of their periodic report, named the “Neuroscience of Nigerian Youth Trends and Culture Report,” aptly named “Aramanda.” The presentation took place at a vibrant ceremony held at one of the cinema halls in the iconic EbonLife Place, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Adekunle Dixon Odukoya, Group Strategy Director of the consulting firm, discussed numerous examples of this novel populism variant from around the world. He cited instances ranging from the Arab Spring to the recent pension protests in Paris, the demonstrations in Tel Aviv, Israel, the Black Lives Matter movement, the EndSARS protests, and the divisive narratives during Nigeria’s 2023 elections as manifestations of this evolving populism.
The event attracted prominent figures from various industries, government officials, corporate decision-makers, key personalities in the Nigerian marketing communications sector, and the media. The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, and his deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, were represented by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, and the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mobolaji Ogunlende.
Israel Opayemi, Managing Director and Chief Strategist of Chain Reactions Africa, explained the report’s title, ‘Aramanda,’ emphasizing the mysterious nature of behavioral shifts among the youth population. He underscored the importance of understanding these shifts for both governmental and corporate decision-makers. Opayemi stated that the report represents years of research on emerging belief systems, youth behaviors, and cultural trends in Nigeria and across Africa. This data, distilled by trend spotters, cultural anthropologists, neuroscientists, and strategists, has a profound impact on governments and businesses, potentially upending their conventional strategies.
Opayemi pointed out that understanding these trends and cultures is crucial for the government and businesses. He mentioned the well-known saying, “Culture will eat strategy for breakfast,” highlighting the significance of grasping emerging trends and cultures within their jurisdictions to develop effective policies.
He emphasized that the consulting firm is urging brands and governments to study these trends to make informed decisions. By comprehending how the youth think, both entities can better align their offerings and policies with the evolving demands and expectations of the youth population.
Mobolaji Ogunlende, the Commissioner for Youths and Social Development, representing the Lagos State Deputy Governor, acknowledged the vital role of youth in society. He stressed that the government and business institutions must recognize this new reality and engage with the youth to meet their expectations.
The report’s distilled edition also delved into five other key trends, including “Afriverse,” which highlights the rise of Afrocentric consciousness among Nigerian youth; “E Go Better,” illustrating the resilience of Nigerian youth in challenging economic conditions; “Orisa Meta,” capturing the youth’s preoccupation with the Metaverse and alternate realities; “YouManity,” focusing on the youth’s growing self-awareness and the rise of the “New Me Economy,” and their increasing interest in health and wellness, spa, beauty, and care businesses.
This special edition of the Youth Trends and Culture Report is the third release by Chain Reactions Africa since its inception in 2014. The firm launched this initiative to assist governments and businesses in understanding the underlying behavioral trends within the Nigerian and African populations.