Media Hype, Greener Pastures Syndrome, and Migration in Nigeria

Media Hype, Greener Pastures Syndrome, and Migration in Nigeria

Adeola Obafemi Mobolaji (University of Ibadan, Nigeria) and Babatunde Raphael Ojebuyi (University of Ibadan, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0210-5.ch016


The phenomenon of human migration has been described as a threat to resources and job distribution in Africa. It has been assumed that, apart from economic instability in Nigeria, portrayal of Europe and America, through films and Hip-Hop musical lyrics and videos, has also influenced most Nigerians to perceive migration as the only solution to their predicaments. However, extant studies are yet to empirically prove this hypothesis. Therefore, this chapter, through a content analysis, examines contents of Nigerian films and Hip-Hop music videos, as subsets of mass media discourse, with a view to establishing the nature of these contents in terms of how they could influence Nigerians' attitude towards migration to foreign countries. Findings show that contents of Nigerian films and Hip-Hop music videos contain rhetorical discourse with persuasive effect capable of luring Nigerian youths to foreign countries. This chapter also provides justification for the enactment of framework for policy formulation for effective control of media system and illegal migration by Nigerians.
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Human migration is the movement of people from one place to another with the intentions of settling permanently or temporarily in a new location. The movement is usually over long distances and from one country to another. In Africa, youths especially see migration as a normal thing that should be done when one reaches a certain age in life. In some cases, youths who are tired of staying in a particular vicinity may want to explore other places in search of better opportunities to live a meaningful life. In view of this, Akokpari (2000) states that migration is the movement of people from one location to another, within and beyond a country of residence.

The rate at which people migrate out of Africa continues to grow at an alarming rate. Russel as cited by Shimmeles (2010) notes that in Sub Saharan Africa, there is huge wave of human movement that even exceeded the global average. The submission of Shimmeles (2010) also aligns with the view of Akokpari (2000) that the phenomenon of migration in Sub-Saharan Africa is on the increase. He adds that the increasing trend of migratory pattern seems poised to be irreversible, even uncontrollable, given the interplay of economic, social and environmental conditions in the region. The above submissions and excerpt reveal the rate at which migration is increasing as well as issues that migration could raise. It also explains how migration could lead to problems of jobs distribution, as well as space and resources availability. All these happen because in most cases, most of the migrants become a burden to their host countries. Not only this, the migrants always leave a vacuum in their native countries because as people migrate from a country, there is a possibility that their countries of origin loses her human resources who seek for better opportunities elsewhere.

It is important to note that people do not just decide to migrate; there are some underlying factors that account for the decision of people to leave their native countries. It is apparent that situation of things in Africa have become unpalatable to the extent that people, especially youths now see migration as an escape route out of a bad economic situation to a place where greener pastures can be found. The phrase “Greener Pastures” is used among Sub-Saharan Africans and its inhabitants to describe a place with better living conditions. This catchphrase was coined as a result of the poor socio-political, economic and living condition of this region. There seems to be a belief that Sub-Saharan Africa is a place that is plagued with poverty and bad economic condition. Therefore, when Africans say they are going in search of greener pastures, this means they are migrating to a place that is better than their place of origin. The afore-explained corroborates the position of Haas (2008) that improved infrastructure, cheaper transportation, rapid diffusion of telecommunication techniques such as mobile phones, and improved education are likely to have increased awareness of opportunities in other countries and, hence, peoples’ migration aspirations. He adds that as long as peoples’ changing lifestyle preferences and increasing material expectations cannot be met locally, this typically translates in increasing aspirations to migrate, either to towns or cities, or abroad. In the same vein, Kohnert (2007) also notes that, most of the 680 million Africans live under conditions of extreme poverty and insecurity; and this also points to one of the reasons Nigerians, especially youths grab any opportunity to migrate without even minding any risk that is attached to it. Based on this, Kohnert (2007:7) states that:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Greener Pastures: This term is used to portray a new place or activity as full of new opportunities or more promising situation.

Media Hype: This is a deliberate and sustained effort of the mass media to exaggerate a particular subject in order to get audience attention or to make them behave in certain ways.

Migration: Migration is the movement of people from one location to another, which is caused by either the push factors of the place of origin or the pull factors of place of destination, leading to the intentions of the migrants to settle permanently or temporarily in a new location.

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