LIFE / CULTURE
Documentary on China’s war against poverty inspires Nigerians
Uplifting legacy
Published: Jun 19, 2022 06:11 PM
People visit an exhibition about China's victory over poverty at the National Museum of China on April 8, 2021. Photos: IC

People visit an exhibition about China's victory over poverty at the National Museum of China on April 8, 2021. Photo: IC

People visit an exhibition about China's victory over poverty at the National Museum of China on April 8, 2021. Photos: IC

People visit an exhibition about China's victory over poverty at the National Museum of China on April 8, 2021. Photo: IC

Dozens of Nigerians from all walks of life had an opportunity to experience how China fought a successful war against poverty when a documentary showcasing the entire process was screened in Abuja, capital of Nigeria, Thursday evening.

Ecstatic viewers said at the end of the screening that they were inspired by the Chinese documentary to partake in the fight against poverty in Nigeria.

Sincerity of purpose

Titled Voices From The Frontline: China's War On Poverty, the documentary, jointly produced by the China Global Television Network (CGTN) and the Kuhn Foundation of the US, provides an intimate portrayal of China's historic anti-poverty campaign by following some cases that highlight the poverty alleviation strategy adopted by China.

The public viewing of that documentary in Abuja marked the opening of the Doc-China Festival in the most populous African country. Aimed at promoting cultural exchanges between China and other countries across the globe while giving an insight into the country's culture and its people, the Doc-China Festival, co-organized by the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism and CGTN, will start with a grand ceremony in Beijing later in June and go on untill the end of 2022, according to Li Xuda, cultural counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria.

More than 50 of CGTN's best video productions, including the award-winning documentaries screened in Abuja such as Voices From The Frontline: China's War On Poverty, will be aired on selected television channels during the documentary festival.

Speaking on the 60-minute documentary after its screening at the China Cultural Center in Abuja, Mohammed Sulaiman, president of the Society of Nigerian Artists, said he was inspired by the brilliant documentation of the Chinese leadership's commitment to lifting millions of people out of poverty within a stipulated period.

He said the documentary showed that the sincerity of purpose of the Chinese officials on the frontline, up to those at the topmost hierarchy, played a key role in the eradication of poverty in China.

"I am inspired because it is a story that will touch your heart and you really want to see it come to fruition," said Sulaiman, who is also the president of the China Alumni Association in Nigeria.  

"What we have to learn from here is the attention to those details and knowing fully well that we actually need to uplift our own down-trodden, the poor." 

According to him, developing countries need to first get rid of those ills that will not make the fight against poverty work effectively, besides the structures and heavy-level of funding. 

Model for the future

Fidelis Duker, a topflight movie producer and director in Nollywood, Nigeria's movie industry, said he was more inspired because the entire process of lifting more than 400 million people out of poverty occurred in less than eight years "in an amazing manner."

"You could see that there was nothing spectacular. It was a very simple process. They had to use the people to lift themselves out of poverty. Not getting some elite to go and get them, they had to get the people from among themselves," said Duker, who claimed to have immediately posted some parts of the documentary on Facebook, to share with his teeming followers.

He said more Nigerians needed to see the documentary, noting Nigeria had the same challenge as China, as well as a goal of lifting 100 million people out of poverty within a decade.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in the year 2021 inaugurated the steering committee of the National Poverty Reduction With Growth Strategy to achieve the national mission of lifting millions out of poverty.

"Education will take people out of poverty. If the people are educated, the challenges we are facing now won't be found. When you begin to educate people, this issue of insecurity will be out of the way. We can do it in Nigeria if we are determined to do it," Duker said.

Speaking earlier at the opening ceremony of the Doc-China Festival in Nigeria, Memunat Ladi Idu-Lah, director of international cultural relations at the Ministry of Information and Culture, lauded the motive of the festival, saying it will enable more developing countries to learn and be greatly inspired by China's development strategies and strides.

"Some of CGTN's best video production will be screened so that more Nigerians will know the new development of today's China," the official added.