Multimedia in Lagoon

Ayodele was downstairs in the lab reading an issue of National Geographic.
(Okorafor 65)

Like in that old American movie…. I forget the name. When are the aliens ever not evil?
“E.T.?” Rome said.
(Okorafor 75)

This moment in Lagoon, after Ayodele, Agu and Anthony enter Adaora’s house, is somewhat ironic, because National Geographic is a magazine based in the US and known for its visual representation of the Global South to a mostly First World audience. The magazine does indeed provide useful information regarding geography, history and world culture to its readers, but it also often depicts the Third World as plagued by issues such as famine or illiteracy, yet capable of modernization. Throughout Lagoon Okorafor highlights Nigeria’s rich culture and history that colonialism attempted to erase. Alongside these aspects of Nigerian culture are references to American films such as Star Wars and E.T. It seems a bit odd to write about these particular movies, because they are only further representations of a colonial past as well as capitalism. Perhaps these are necessary because as a postcolonial nation-state, Nigeria’s original culture and history resurface, but the need for modernization is still prevalent and multimedia and technology are ways to prove that a nation has finally “developed”.

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