Nigerians really have no chill when it comes to anything they deem undesirable to their ‘pick-and-pull-only-when-it-suits-me’ morals. Our sense of nationalism/patriotism can resort to ‘tyranistic’ behaviors. If you have been living the analog life in the past week, maybe you’ve missed the Interview Wondaland Recording Artist and fellow Nigerian American, Jidenna gave. In this interview he ends up describing an experience where he went to bury his dad and had to employ “military commandos” to protect his “light-skinned” family from getting “kidnapped”. The Nigerian Internet went ablaze and started catapulting and throwing e-insults complete with grammatical errors and unnecessary shorthand.
What I think? I think the Jidenna issue really is getting blown a bit out of proportion. Yes, what and how he said it was actually pretty stupid, immature, and sensationalizing BUT it was also TRUE. The response really should have been ignore his ass, or respond with clarifications and point out that he should know better and not just ramble publicly without context. People throwing all types of insult left and right, having some kind of insane nationalistic protection when Nigeria is well versed at looking bad without the rest of our help.
If you’re Nigerian, the story he talked about his family getting robbed and shot is a pretty common one (at least to my family). Not that we should internalize the violence, crime and actions that come out of absolute fuckery that colonialism instilled. But as horrible as it is, this story is all too familiar. My family has dealt with it’s share of armed robberies, shootings, and assualts numerous times; we got the receipts (ask about it). Without going into all the gory details starting from childhood; as recent as 2012 when my husband and I were going back from the US for my Igba Nkwu, some of my family members decided having it in the village was not a thing to do because kidnapping was “rampant” lol. They thought having the Oyibos would just make it even more of a target for no reason. Some others thought we could just get hella security a la ‘military commandos’ (in the words our our Brother Jidenna). I was really upset about not being able to go back to my village to get married but since I like my drama as a stage production, I just did whatever the extended family decided. I’m not about that ak47 or kidnapping life.
What he did/said is something that I’ve found that a lot of people do, especially 1st Generationers or ones who have been here since grade school. We say or post things trying to illustrate our ‘African’ experience OR to make ourselves more interesting to our Non-African friends (The Others). We do this, careless of the fact that we’re adding to the ‘Single Story‘, which is one that just loses so much context. Shit, just the other day a friend posted a picture of himself with those ‘military commandos’ at his village (he was also visiting his hometown for his sister’s Igba Nkwu). He’s a popular guy who has a lot of following from Non-Nigerians. Reading the comments of how ‘The Others’ were responding I was just smh and side-eyeing the whole thing. It was pretty much the same sensationalizing thing Jidenna did, except just a picture AND he’s not as much in the public eye as the Classic Man. I’m sure I’ve said some sensationalizing things, because that was my story and I was just telling it like I’ve lived.
I guess people were picking apart his ‘light-skinned’ comment to pieces. Bruh (I’m looking at you Mr. Classic) you should have just maybe talked about the experience without all that…OR just say that this is something that happened to your family or that it happens in general not just targeted to your family or just SHUT UP. Who even asked you?
Jidenna is an artist (associated with Janelle Monae), if you were checking for him maybe you somehow expect him to be smarter and more mindful than that. To realize that context and well thought-out responses for controversial shit is a must especially if you’re a ‘Classic Man’ vibe. But he had to learn somehow right?
Whether identified or not, Nigerians are artists AND we’re sensitive about our shit (haha).
Brother Jidenna, I’m still checking for you but ama be smh for days.
– by Nkorigible