Weekend Musing: Rise in Consumerism Culture

(1 million naira drunk at a sitting)

By Uche Nworah

As far as Christmas and New Year homecoming, festivities and celebrations go, Anambra state perhaps is the undisputed state of enjoyment due to the influx into the state, of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of Ndi Anambra living outside Anambra state, their friends, in-laws, associates and well wishers.

House to house, village to village, community to community, Anambra state during the last Christmas and New Year celebrations was one unending party and carnival. From house warming, Ovala, Ofala, Igu-Aro, Chieftaincy, burial ceremonies, Nze, Ozo, Iyom and other traditional title taking ceremonies, to age grade and other cultural activities, it was an unending carnival of colour, joy and merriment.

In such an ‘enjoyment’ atmosphere state-wide, you can guess the greatest beneficiaries; hotels, bars and lounges, food and drinks sellers, canopy and tent rental companies, MCs, musicians, ‘beggars’ and others that operate in the events sector.

This musing is about a noticeable trend, a rise in consumerism culture, especially at category A premium Anambra events.

The acquired taste for exotic drinks, especially binging on select exotic spirits and champagne while not only an Anambra affair surely raises some food for thought.

I don’t know if other South East Nigerian states binge on spirits, champagne and choice drinks the way Ndi Anambra do.

Over time, the choice in brands have changed. Brandy has given way to preference for Whiskeys, the favourite brand now being Glenfiddich. Those in the know, and with means now make a big show of offering their guests
the choicest. Also premium champagne brands such as Crystal and Dom Perignon are also on offer, in large quantities.

Over the Christmas holiday, I sat at a table with some friends at an event and the host served only Glenfiddish 26 years. Our table alone was served 3 of it. With a bottle retailing for N350,000, our table had consumed over a million Naira worth of drinks, and counting.

What’s fuelling this culture, and how sustainable is it? Not that the importers and franchise owners of these drinks will mind though.

There could be a revenue window here for the state government, some kind of alcohol consumption tax like they do in Lagos.

Some food, or rather, drink for thought.

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