Coca Cola and the Nigerian Muslims
Instead of drinking Coca Colas, turn on
the tap and drink what the good Lord gave us (Edwina Currie- British
politician and novelist)
first saw the gigantic 36.5ft Christmas tree erected by the coca cola
Bottling company at the national theatre, iganmu, Lagos, on the pages
of newspapers, what came to my mind was why should a “national”
theatre be Christianized by a business institution which is not even
supposed to have a religion going by the maxim that “a company has no
religion”. But I quickly reasoned that although Muslims are in the
majority there, Lagos has a substantial number of Christians to prompt
coca-cola into such act presumably to woo more customer. There is
nothing wrong about that provided that the company cared to extend
such compliment or its kind to the Muslims, I thought.
when, later in the evening, I bought a bottle of coca-cola I was
perplexed by what I saw on the lid of the bottle; a smiling (but
surprisingly black) Santa Claus, popularly known as father Christmas.
This made me enquire from friends across the country whether any of
them came across a happy sallah or any complement to Muslims during
our two festivals in the year from the company similar to what is
happening now. The answer was of course, negative. I, then, started
wondering what coca-cola is up to. Maybe it has been merged with
church, I concluded.
Insensible of what the Nigerian Muslims might feel the company
displayed an unambiguous inclination towards a certain faith. This is
of course perilous for any serious business organization.
likely not be faulted if I accuse coca-cola of trying to proselytize
Christianity in Nigeria under the guise of marketing strategy.
company cared to extend same or similar gesture to the over 85 million
Nigerian Muslims during any of their festivals nobody will raise an
the imbalance silently suffered by the Nigerian Muslims in most of the
services and/or operation of most of public institutions, like
Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)
and many other public institutions, fooled coca-cola into believing
that the Muslims are indifferent to whatever puckishness done to them.
years back, some people came up with a terribly convincing, albeit
debatable, revelation that the trade mark name of coca-cola actually
means no Muhammad no Mecca in Arabic when you upturned the trade mark
name. In other words the coca-cola trade mark name turns to an Arabic
word if overturned and it was calligraphically written as “la
Muhammad la makka” meaning no Muhammad no Mecca.
controversy that the company found itself, in the Muslim countries,
over this issue which was widely regarded as an insult to the Islamic
faith ought to have taught them a lesson about how serious the Muslims
regard their religion. But it appears the company doesn’t care.
it might bother the company if the Nigerian muslims decided to steer
away from its products, the over 85 million Nigerian Muslims can
reciprocate coca-cola by shunning all its product if there is no
apology or a convincing explanation from the company.