Nigerian Diaspora and the Creative Industries: Unleashing the Potential

Nigeria, often referred to as the “Giant of Africa,” boasts a rich cultural heritage and a vibrant array of artistic expressions. Nigeria’s creative industries have garnered global attention and appreciation, from music and film to fashion and visual arts. However, despite its immense potential, the management and economic benefits of this talent have historically been largely captured by foreign entities. In this blog, we will explore the opportunities for the Nigerian diaspora to step into managing the creative industries economy in Nigeria, ensuring that the benefits derived from the talents remain within the country’s borders. 

Understanding the Potential: 

Nigeria’s creative industries have experienced remarkable growth over the years, attracting global audiences and generating substantial revenue. Nigerian music, particularly the Afrobeat genre, has become a worldwide phenomenon, with artists like Burna Boy and Wizkid topping international charts and collaborating with renowned artists across continents. Nollywood, Nigeria’s film industry, is now the second-largest producer of movies globally, captivating audiences both at home and abroad. These successes highlight the immense potential of Nigeria’s creative industries and the opportunities that await those who can effectively manage and harness this talent. 

The Role of the Nigerian Diaspora: 

The Nigerian diaspora, comprising individuals of Nigerian origin living outside the country, can play a vital role in shaping and managing the creative industries economy in Nigeria. By leveraging their knowledge, experience, and connections gained from diverse and dynamic environments, they bring unique perspectives and insights that can drive innovation and growth within the sector. Their understanding of international markets and trends can help position Nigerian creative works on a global stage, enabling them to compete with foreign entities on an equal footing. 

Example: A Nigerian musician who has spent years living in the United States gains valuable insights into the American music industry and audience preferences. Upon returning to Nigeria, they collaborate with local musicians to infuse Nigerian music with international elements, creating a unique sound that appeals to local and global audiences. Through their connections, they secure opportunities for Nigerian artists to perform at international music festivals and reach a broader audience. 

Factors to Consider: 

While the diaspora holds significant potential, there are several critical factors they should consider before venturing into managing the creative industries economy in Nigeria: Cultural Understanding: The diaspora should strive to maintain a strong connection to Nigerian culture and its various artistic forms. This understanding will enable them to appreciate the nuanced context of the creative industries, bridging the gap between global influences and local authenticity.

Example: A Nigerian filmmaker living in Europe ensures their films reflect authentic Nigerian stories and culture. By collaborating with local actors, writers, and directors, they produce films that resonate with Nigerian audiences while gaining international acclaim for their unique narratives. 

Collaboration and Partnership: 

Rather than pursuing individualistic approaches, the diaspora should seek partnerships and collaborations with local stakeholders, including artists, producers, and investors. This joint effort will facilitate the development of a sustainable ecosystem that benefits all involved parties. 

Example: A Nigerian fashion designer based in Canada partners with local artisans and craftsmen in Nigeria to create a line of clothing that fuses traditional Nigerian designs with modern styles. Through this collaboration, the designer empowers local artisans and promotes Nigerian fashion on the global stage. 

Infrastructure Development: 

Nigeria’s creative industries require substantial investments in infrastructure, such as studios, production facilities, and distribution networks. The diaspora can contribute by supporting and advocating for the development of these essential resources, which will nurture local talent and enhance the industry’s overall competitiveness. 

Example: A Nigerian entrepreneur living in the United Kingdom invests in establishing a state-of-the-art music studio in Lagos. This studio provides emerging artists access to top-notch recording facilities, allowing them to produce high-quality music and compete globally. 

Policy and Regulatory Environment: 

The diaspora should actively engage with policymakers and relevant government bodies to influence favourable policies promoting and protecting creative industries. This includes intellectual property rights, copyright laws, and incentives for local investments. 

Example: A Nigerian lawyer practising in the United States collaborates with Nigerian legal experts to advocate for stronger intellectual property rights legislation in Nigeria. They work towards creating a more favourable environment for artists and creators to protect their work and benefit economically from their talent. 


The Nigerian diaspora possesses immense potential to transform Nigeria’s creative industries’ management and economic landscape. Understanding the opportunities within the diaspora can help ensure that the benefits derived from Nigerian talent remain within the country rather than flowing primarily to foreign entities. Critical factors such as cultural understanding, collaboration, infrastructure development, and policy advocacy should be considered when stepping into managing the creative industry’s economy. With the diaspora’s support, Nigeria’s creative industries can thrive, providing economic empowerment and global recognition for the country’s talented artists and creators.


What are Nigeria’s creative industries? 

Nigeria’s creative industries encompass various artistic expressions, including music, film, fashion, visual arts, literature, theatre, and more.

Who is the Nigerian diaspora?

Individuals of Nigerian origin who live outside Nigeria. Probably migrated for various reasons, such as education, employment, or family.

What role can the Nigerian diaspora play in managing the creative industries economy in Nigeria? 

By leveraging their knowledge, experience, and connections from living in diverse and dynamic environments. They bring unique perspectives and insights that can drive innovation and growth within the creative industries sector. Their understanding of international markets and trends can help position Nigerian creative works globally and compete with foreign entities.

How can the Nigerian diaspora contribute to the creative industries while living abroad?

Through collaborations and partnerships with local stakeholders, supporting infrastructure development, advocating for favourable policies, investing in the industry, and promoting Nigerian culture and talent globally.

What factors should the diaspora consider before venturing into managing the creative industries economy in Nigeria? 

The diaspora should consider factors such as maintaining a strong connection to Nigerian culture, collaborating with local stakeholders, advocating for infrastructure development, engaging with policymakers for favourable policies, and understanding the local context and nuances of the creative industries.

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Sam Soyombo
Sam Soyombo

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