America’s President Trump may have low ratings in America, but in Nigeria, despite his nationalist rhetoric, Trump is a popular president.
And one Nigerian street painter, has found his muse! On display at his street stall, in a large painting of President Trump, but with a difference – he’s in a Nigerian military uniform, reminiscent of Nigeria’s old military dictators such as Abacha or IBB.
“I need to be creative and I painted Donald Trump in the military uniform of a dictator because of people dying in our country, Nigeria,” explains Sunshine Artworld, the painter. “Donald Trump is a business man, but he acts like a military dictator.”
In a Poll Research Survey, a poll in 2017 found that 67% of Nigerian view Donald Trump favourably. One of the few countries globally to hold such an favourable opinion, especially since Trump promotes particular nationalist policies, such as a wall along the Mexican border.
According to TweetMaps, over 700,000 Nigerians follow Trump on Twitter – 2% of his total followers, the 5th highest share of Trump’s followers are Nigerians! (US, UK, India, Canada, Nigeria!)
“Trump is not just wearing a dictator’s military uniform in the painting – he’s wearing a Nigerian military uniform. So, the painting is trying to depict something about his personality. So it tells me that Trump is no different from what we have in Nigeria,” explains a Lagos trader as he explains what he thinks the painting means.
President Trump rarely says much about Nigeria, but in June 2017, he met two of the kidnapped Chibok girls – Bishara and Pogu – who managed to escape. 217 girls were kidnapped in 2014 by Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria and the #BRingBackOurGirls hashtag campaign was launched.
But among the people we asked – opinions of Donald Trump’s American presidency remain mixed so far.
“I would buy the painting to mock the American system,” says the Lagos trader.
“I wish I could have been in that White House to see him one on one,” says Sunshine Artworld. We wonder if Donald Trump himself will watch the video and buy a copy of the painting!