By Funmi AjumobiÂ & Akoma Chinweoke
The managing director, Coca Cola Nigeria Limited, Islay Rhind, has said that the essence of the companyâ€™s traditional Christmas tree lighting was to reflect on the uniqueness of Nigeriaâ€™s cultural heritage and in recognition of the bold steps taken by some Nigerian citizens to make the country a better place for all.
Rhind,Â who spoke inÂ Lagos at this yearâ€™s Coca Cola Christmas tree lighting ceremony explained that the idea was conceived in 2007 when the company decided to grow the tallest Christmas tree in Africa, adding that he was pleased to see that the idea came to reality.
â€œWe have started a tradition by introducing something different in Africa. The tree is not just a tree. It is a reflection of Nigeriaâ€™s cultural heritage and tonight we would be recognizing some Nigeriaâ€™s great cultures.
â€œThis season has some social andÂ religious significance. It is a time where individuals and organizations reflect on their successes and then make optimistic resolutions for the new year.
At this season of peace and joy, the campaign does not just end in giving, living and sharing, as Coca Cola unites families and drives cultural leadershipâ€, he said.
The event also featured a â€˜Give Share Awardâ€™ where few Nigerians who have touched many lives through their extra-ordinary deeds were recognized and appreciated
Top on the list was Mrs. Ogundiran who was rewarded for her dedication towards serving humanity; Mr. Danial Nwana, a traffic warden attached to Okota junction, towards Ejigbo area, Lagos was also recognized for his selfless effort aimed at ensuring free flow of traffic in the state.
Others include Mrs. Adeyinka who serves as an inspiration to many through her deeds , the Lagos State Ministry of Environment for ensuring a cleaner Lagos, Alhaji Ayo Adeyemi, for his philanthropic gestures and dedication to youth empowerment as well as ensuring the well being of the old in the society, and LASMA for ensuring continuous flow of traffic in the metropolis and restoring sanity on Lagos roads.
The event, which attracted people from far and wide, was simply a night full of fun fare and fireworks especially with the unveiling of the Christmas tree, the tallest in Africa.