South Africa: Trevor Noah’s Success, the Nigerian and African Diaspora

Chido Nwangwu writes about the exploits of South African-born Trevor Noah in the United States and the need for Africans in diaspora to emulate him

Trevor Noah personifies the new generation of recent, continental African immigrant who are fyling the flags of individual excellence and group distinction at all fields and stations of professional engagements, in the U.S and around the world.

They are the new ambassadors of next. They’re catapulting their legit’ hustle, through their local streets and Nollywood-type studios and music production studios and all, into corporate America, borrowing from one rapper held it down in one of his hits.

The bottomline is that the sheer force and value of their creative efforts are generating billions in e-commerce transactions, afrobeat music and fashion and acting on our plenipotentiaries of success. Worthy. Savvy. Outstanding. They’re the disciples of the three great men: MLK. Mandela. Achebe, And, in some ways, partly Malcolm X.

Why not?

By all means necessary, X emphatically stated!

They have global knowledge and they are culturally sophisticated. They have quality education from international learning centers of the world. And so many of them, were trained in the African continent – when schools universities especially are in session

In some African countries especially in Nigeria, universities and many public schools are shut due to usually unpaid and poorly paid teachers’ strikes.

Since, it has been a very impressive flourish and representations of artistic and comedic genius across cultures, generations and worldviews.

Trevor’s hosting of the White House correspondents’ dinner of 2022 remains, in my assessment, the most engaging intersection of comedic commentary on the politics, social and times and events here in United States. Like the great writer Chinua Achebe, in very simple and uncomplicated style, Trevor makes sense! He does not engage in obscure and convoluted comedy zingers.

He is the host, writer and executive producer of The Daily Show. Trevor Noah is among the most influential cultural and social personalities in the United States —

He’s, originally, from South Africa where he was born on February 20, 1984.

His mother’s Black South African and father’s White, from Switzerland. In 2014, Noah became the Senior International Correspondent for The Daily Show, and in 2015 succeeded iconic host Jon Stewart. His autobiographical comedy book, Born a Crime, was published in 2016. He hosted the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards in 2021 and the 64th Annual Grammy Awards edition in 2022.

The superbly talented Trevor Noah relocated to the United States in 2011.

He’s delivered one of the better definitions and descriptions of identity — especially regarding race. I watched him during an interview by Joann Stern of The Wall Street Journal with Trevor, the production and writing team of The Daily Show.

Reflecting on the composition of the ethnic origins of the players for France national team at the last World Cup said that it was Africa that won the World Cup! Ambassador of France to the United States wrote a protest letter to him. Ambassador argued that they were all French men not Africans. He had a good laugh at that but Trevor pointed out you can be of African origin and also be a French man or person. He stated that one of the things he admired about America is the fact that In the U.S., individual identities are celebrated within Americaness!

This leads me to ask the critical question: how many African countries and societies cherish and respect the celebration of individual identities while upholding and maintaining the larger interests and diversity of the society? What is the optimal balance of the two parts? If the governments and non-governmental groups optimally engage their diaspora it would benefit the specific country and the entire African continent, simultaneously.

I do believe that the diaspora of any country is its pride and the Nigerian diaspora community have excelled in many ways and our governments should involve them through appointments and opportunities.

In the United States, the doors of history and empowerment are continuing to open at the highest levels of the governmental and corporate leadership of the United States for the Nigerian, African and African-American communities; indeed for all the communities.

For example, a major door was opened on December 1, 2020 when President Joe Biden nominated and got confirmation for the influential position of the deputy Secretary of the Treasury for the Nigerian-born Adewale Adeyemo. The president has appointed many more from the diaspora. I still remember vividly the words of Adeyemo when he said: “I’m honored to be a part of this talented team and to work with them and all the American people to build an economy that gives everyone that chance and turns our nation once again from crisis to hope.”

Is that really too much to ask of Nigeria, the African continent and its leadership?

-Nwangwu is Founder & Publisher of the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper on the internet, USAfricaonline.com

Follow him @Chido247

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