From Lagos to Accra: How Detty December fuels the rivalry between two cities

Although the December holidays are observed around the world, the season presents a cultural undertone to Nigerians. The month of December has a frantic array of fun activities throughout the vacation, from clubbing, concerts, carnivals to sightseeing and camping. All of these are rooted in what the locals have called “Detty December”.

This is another kind of national consciousness, inspired by the overwhelming impulse many Nigerians have for wanting to have a good time. No one knows the exact origins of Detty December. It may be from the Calabar Carnival, with its sexual motifs and clues, featuring an international parade of delightful dancing women. It could also come from the pulse of nightlife in Lagos, the city canonically savored as the main destination of Detty’s efforts in December.

Anyway, it took root quite quickly in the lexicon of young people. The concept is very youth-oriented, working in tandem with thriving cultural industries like music, fashion and film. But Detty December isn’t just a local affair. Nigerians in the diaspora also have incredible interests in these activities, coming from different parts of the world, as first-time returnees or seasonal vacationers. More than that, foreigners from other countries sometimes choose this time to see Nigeria for the first time.

“Detty December is the largest travel and tourism market in the world and it is no different in Nigeria,” said Omolola Adele-Oso, CEO of LOS Lifestyle Co., a Nigerian brand that curates the African experience. through travel and culture. “Our customers are primarily from the US and UK and are members of the diaspora from those regions. Our company typically offers multi-day packages that include a mix of sightseeing, artistic and cultural activities, as well as tasting Detty’s best events in December.

But things haven’t gone smoothly lately. The coronavirus pandemic has shaken the ecosystem of the travel industry. And with heightened security vigilance, international travel for most people has taken a back seat.

“The pandemic has been a huge blow to the industry and we have all felt it,” Omolola said. “We have all suffered losses. However, it was also the time to understand the vulnerability and opportunities of the travel industry. People are ready to travel again, we have to offer them ways to do it smoothly. We launched Soft Landing to help travelers overcome the frustrations of arriving in a city like Lagos. From airport protocol to in-home COVID testing to guides on what to do locally, we need to make our customers’ journeys less stressful in the midst of an evolving pandemic. “

The coronavirus pandemic was not the only problem, as far as Nigeria Detty December is concerned. Neighboring country Ghana is emerging as a player, with just enough goodwill to stay motivated. While the West African country is blessed with its own historical and cultural heritage and has modestly attracted tourists over the years, it is now taking giant strides to combat Nigeria’s influence. Ghana has become a rival, turning a curve with the Year of Return initiative in 2019. It was a bold mandate, encouraging black Americans and the black diaspora to visit and invest in the country. The implications of this year-long program are still ongoing, from increased tourism and higher incomes for local businesses to harnessing the momentum of creative artists to annual events like Afrochella.

“In the year of return, the event companies in Ghana decided to do things that will entice people to come more,” said a representative from CY Travels, a Ghana-based travel consultancy company. our government supports it. This is the difference between Ghana and Nigeria.

“The year of comeback was a big win for Ghana,” said Lola, “It was smart and with support from the federal level, marketing and programming continues to tap into the growing market for black travel for women. people looking to reconnect and explore Africa. “

In 2020, Ovie Ofugara, Content Manager for Nigerian music blogging site NotJustOK, tweeted that Accra overthrew Lagos to become Detty’s official capital in December. While the statement is indeed hyperbolic, it is understandable as well. Alhaji Theozzy, a Ghanaian travel influencer and vlogger, sees Ghana overtaking Nigeria as the perfect destination for Detty December.

“Usually the nightlife in Ghana is crazy, especially with places like Osu, The Republic, Garage and Alley Bar and Bloom Bar. People get their monthly salary just for Friday nightlife in Accra, ”Theozzy said. “But there is something for everything, but overall Ghana’s nightlife has no limits and this could be its greatest asset.

The conversation about December spending in Ghana amid the pandemic was even a clubhouse topic recently, showing the influence the country wields. The people of the continent are well aware of the long-standing rivalry between Ghana and Nigeria, which manifests itself in entertainment, food, football, and more. This may be the only time the feud between the two countries is approved, working on the tourism potential of the other as a tool for national branding.

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