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Expatriate, Harbhajan Batth fixes stereotypes about Nigeria in new book

…Urges media to counter fixed narratives about country

A book, Fixing Stereotypes My Way: My Story of Two Decades in Nigeria, written by Mentor Capitalist, and Multi-disciplinary resource person, Dr. Harbahjan Batth, would be launched in Lagos on Thursday.

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The author, a high-flying expatriate with multi-disciplinary background in Law, Medicine, Insurance and Business Administration, has spent two decades in Nigeria.

In a post-event interview with Vanguard, Batth, who is the Group Chief Information Officer of Chellarams PLC, said the book was inspired by the need to correct widely held negative perceptions about Nigeria, especially outside the shores of the country.

The book whose foreword was written by renowned Life Coach, Lanre Olusola, had inputs from Suzziete Ukay-Agazie, while the blurb was written by the Deputy Editor, Sunday Vanguard, Mr. Charles Kumolu.

Dr. Batth challenges prejudices about Nigeria from the position of a witness to the Nigerian story, not a believer of negative notions about the country.

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Drawing from personal experiences, he presented the contemporary Nigerian issues the way they are, not how the outside world defines them.

Readers would find the book a lucid compendium of the dangers inherent in fixed narratives.

Comparatively, the book identified the factors feeding and sustaining the stereotyping of Nigeria and tasked the media on the imperativeness of changing the story.

Explaining that to Vanguard, Batth said: “Fixing Stereotypes My Way, is my humble contribution to ensure that those stereotypes about the country are fixed. I humbly believe that stereotypes create some sort of tension and stress on the people it affects. Stereotypes make you feel like an inferior creature, meaning that whatever you do makes you lesser than those who create those stereotypes.

The media does nothing positive  to raise the image of this country. They focus their interest more on the negative than on positive things. If you could remember that six girls created an app for NAFDAC and they were recognised by the US government, but the media only mentioned it once and never said it again. Such an achievement should be on every channel with emphasis.

“ The foreign countries, because of their superiority complex, would project all the negative things about the country, and the Nigeria media can’t debunk them. For instance, the BBC footage on the lecturer accused of sexual abuse is something that happens everywhere in Europe but they would never make it public knowledge. Why is it so? Who dictates that? I realised that the foreign media have lot of influence on and investments on Nigeria media.’’

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The highlights of the event which would hold at 6 pm in Victoria Island, Lagos, include special book readings, autograph signings, and networking with exclusive guests.

Leading professionals from different fields of endeavour are billed to attend.

Vanguard

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