By: Akin Akinremi
As part of its corporate social responsibility, Heritage Bank Limited, Nigeria’s most innovative banking service provider, is promoting the country’s rich cultural heritage to the global community through the on-going Big Brother Naija.
The Bank said in a statement that the feat was executed by tasking housemates to find a common ground by drawing from and blending their different, unique personalities and cultural backgrounds to create a perfect Big Brother Nigerian wedding during the week.
Earlier in the week, the housemates were introduced to the theme of the week: Big Brother Perfect Wedding.
According to Heritage Bank, Nigeria encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations and ways of expression, including music, literature, film, sculpture and paintings, a powerful tool to build businesses, connect individuals across cultures, educate and enrich societies.
Dressing is a component of culture, reflecting economic and socio-political substrates of the people.
In the past, they have supported the arts sector and have promoted cultural heritage of our people through art exhibitions.
The banks believes that culture stimulates our emotive mind and challenges our interpretation of reality by making people to become intuitive, imaginative, flexible and tolerant.
The statement further said the housemates were then tasked to find common ground and fuse and adapt their different personalities and identities and cultural backgrounds for the perfect Big Brother Nigerian Wedding.
According to the Bank all housemates took part in the wedding celebration and they were required to draw from Nigeria’s customs to create a perfect Big Brother wedding.
Viewers chose the bride and groom via a Facebook poll on the previous day and the rest of the housemates decided what role they would play.
The housemates also allocated key roles from each culture according to what they chose to adapt: parents of the bride, members of the groom’s family, a marriage guide, decorators, catering among others.
The housemates were tasked with mediating the proceedings to a complete conclusion and each couple was given blackboards and chalk to assign one another their roles.
This task required housemates to draw on what makes them fit into the mould of Proudly Naija and blend each of their own ‘Proudly Naija’ identities to create a fusion of Nigerian culture for a wedding.
The ‘wedding’ preparation which started on at the beginning of the week climaxed on Thursday evening (9th March, 2017) similar to normal wedding scenario in Nigeria.
Some of the objectives of the initiative are to promote and preserve the heritage of Nigerian culture and tradition and to enlighten Nigeria youths and those in diaspora about the richness and diversity of Nigerian traditional
marriages through infusion of the Heritage Bank initiatives.
Others were to show case the richness and multiplicity of Nigeria cultural heritage and to encourage Nigerians to be proud of their tradition/heritage #Iamproudofmyheritage as well as impacting the viewers of the programme on television positively through supplies of costumes and props.
The housemates also found a common ground to celebrate their diversities in a unique cultural heritage and it also showcased the way Kings and Queens in different Nigeria’s culture used to celebrate the past.
From the earlier hours of the day, the housemates were paired in groups of two (male & female) and were tasked to cook meals that were peculiar to their cultures.
Branded aprons and utensils were provided for the housemates as well as the ingredients and they then required to cook the meals.
After the housemates were done with the cooking, the meals were all arranged on a table and each housemate came forward to give a short presentation about the meal, its preparation and uniqueness to their cultures.
Later in the day the housemates were required to dress up for the Heritage Naija Old School Party.
Local (Ankara) fabric were provided, with each housemate tailored to make costumes unique to each individual culture such as Agbada (Yoruba), Dansiki, Oleku, Iro & Buba, double George among others. The weddings were done in the Igbo, South South, Hausa as well as in Middle Belt traditions.
The venue set up and decoration was made up of cake, bride and groom costume and accessories, parents of bride and groom costume, catering/refreshment, bride’s luggage, music and compere.
A dedicated DJ was on ground to entertain them to local Naija tunes.