BY ‘SEGUN ODEJIMI
There’s a reason Frank Donga is just one of about four social media “comedians” I follow. To me, most of what goes on on Instagram these days in the name of comedy is just unfunniness amplified by our dear country’s frustration.
As a disciple of comic greats such as Charlie Chaplain, Baba Sala, Dave Chappelle, Trevor Noah and even Katt Williams, I find many of these “Instagram comedians” very unfunny. My opinion is, even on a larger scale, there has been a dearth of comedy in Nigeria since the 90s. Look at the films “we” call comedies in Nollywood these days. I forgot to laugh when I watched a recent box-office hit which many people watched over five times. It was just not funny. It was after stepping out of the cinema that I remembered I was supposed to have seen a record-breaking comedy!
But I understand. Social media comedy is a new “movement” that has come to stay. Just as social media has taken over a huge aspect of our lives, content tailor-made for that medium is almost certain to explode. These dudes have found a platform and market for the content they have the capacity of making and I’ll be damned if they do not exploit it.
To the reason of this post: Ebiye‘s legendary stupidity. It is no body’s problem if you decide to think foolish, stupid, immature, imbecilic and utter garbage thoughts. It is, however, another level of unintelligence to collect those thoughts, arrange them in words and spit those words out through your mouth or your fingers. Comedian Ebiye decided to use his fingers to type his filthy, crude and uninformed tripe.
Ebiye was stupid enough to hold on to a notion that a lot of us grew up hearing. The notion, albeit stupid, that if a woman attains a certain level of success, there’s been an occurrence of a smeared makeup, a scattered bed and probably a used condom. The difference between Ebiye and many others who were born into this society that gossiped thus is that while they have sought knowledge and become enlightened, he is still stubborn enough to not have small sense to know that there are millions of women who have turned out independent enough to claw their way through our world to achieve success.
However, I have seen many people’s WCWs quickly jumping, blindly, into the reaction train and making it into another round in their man vs woman bout. They have been landing empty punches on the male folk, using Ebiye’s scumminess as gloves. They are quick to forget, maybe they never even stopped to think and learn, that while it is sexual label the society has given the women, it is ritual or shady business that we give the men. When we see a man who has attained some level of financial success, we tend to think – and sometimes, like Ebiye, say – that they have “done” money ritual or put their hands in some shady business. I know some humans who have convinced themselves that there is a connection between one of Femi Otedola‘s allegedly ill child and his wealth. Imagine how hurtful that line of thought is! But sadly, that kind of thinking is the failure of the society and era we find ourselves living in. Men get bashed, women get bashed.
And no, this is not saying patriarchy is a myth. It is to say that rather than always immediately turn unfortunate utterances and incidents like Ebiye’s into a gender war, let’s have conversations around the voluptuousness of the problem. Maybe, just maybe, that’s when we will begin to move in leaps towards leading the coming generation in the way, free from misogyny and patriarchy, that those before us failed to lead us.