How Do We Solve A Problem Like Bobrisky?

How Do We Solve A Problem Like Bobrisky?

Is Bobrisky really even a problem? Like who is this guy and how did he become a name on everybody’s lips? Before I get into this article proper, let me say that I had criticized Bobrisky in the past, but as one progresses in life, opinions, like every other thing in life, are subject to change. When Bobrisky did that cringe-worthy interview with Adesuwa where he infamously expressed support for Nigeria’s draconian antigay law, I was outraged and I wrote a few tweets calling out his bullshit. However my anger was basically directed at his ignorance, the only thing that could explain why he would support a law which endangers people and actually cost lives. That one misstep sort of overshadowed every other thing he said at that interview. However rising above the idiocy of that statement and the anger that it prompted in me, I think he came across as warm and earnest; basically just a young man living his life the best way he can. It helped with understanding him that after my good friend and global advocate for LGBT rights Bisi Alimi called out his ignorance, the following day, Bobrisky apologized and stated that he really didn’t consider his words before saying them.

Now just last week, the self-acclaimed Snapchat king trended on all social media platforms; most of you already know the story anyway on how he was asked to speak on a panel which was to look into the unconventional use of social media, and how some people (notably a presidential aide and Alder Consulting representative) pulled out of the panel, stating expressly that they were doing so because of him. Now I got into very many arguments about this issue, saying to my friends that it is a person’s prerogative to decide to withdraw from a panel at any point if they no longer feel comfortable speaking on it, but to specifically cite Bobrisky as the reason why they are pulling out and saying that including him on the panel “unnecessarily sensationalizes the event” is tacky and downright petty. This is a panel; you were not obligated to speak at it. You should have simply declined and expressed regret for not being able to make the panel. You can cite logistics or not even give any reason at all, and every one will move on. They didn’t have to so overtly discriminate against another individual (who hasn’t done anything wrong really) in driving home their point.

Now quite a few Nigerians supported the action of the panelists who pulled out and several of them went online to call Bobrisky many names, with some even going as far as baying for his blood. The truth is that no matter what Bobrisky says on the subject of his sexuality, a vast majority of Nigerians believe he is a gay man (his sexuality is not my business anyway), and in a country where homophobia is a living breathing institution, the outpouring of vitriol following the panel brouhaha came as no surprise to me.

The only demographic who amused me by joining to haul verbal abuse at Bobrisky are the gay men. One of them tweeted that “Yes we know we stand for liberty and freedom, but we need to also extol good virtues and appropriate moral conduct in our society”; meanwhile this was a guy who was in my DMs a few days before, begging me to send him a photo of my dick. It often amuses me when gay men assume the position of attorney general of morality over others because one would think that being considered an outsider by the vast majority of Nigerians will maybe make you a bit more sympathetic to the plight of other outsiders. Where do gay men find the moral high ground to judge other people really?

There was another school of thought that held the view that Bobrisky is essentially an airhead and wondered what insight he would bring to what was obviously a serious intellectual discourse. This group of people I understood somewhat; however I pointed out to them that the theme of the conference was centered on unconventional use of social media, something Bobrisky has so obviously excelled at. Without any teams or strategy backbone, this guy has organically broken through to become a social media star. I dare say that he even uses the social media to engage his followers more effectively than the presidential aide who often cannot even represent his boss well. This was not a conference on who is a positive role model for youths (even though that is relative anyway), but based on the theme of the conference, Bobrisky could fit right in, and if we could swallow our prejudiced ego, he could actually teach some of us a thing or two about the use of the social media.

Social media has changed the game for everything in the world today; it has democratized information and taken the power out of the hands of TV networks and put it right in our hands. You can have a very successful TV show on YouTube, Periscope or even Facebook Live, and be able to reach your audience with your message. Social media has turned people like Bobrisky into stars; you may disagree with his life’s choices all you want, but the guy is a social media influencer and that makes him fit to speak on such issues. A while back, I remember when the Kim Kardashian sex tape leaked and quite a few of us took her to the cleaners; the scandal became a thing that followed her everywhere she went and sort of blindsided whatever she achieved personally. To us, she stayed a glorified porn star. Many of us have simply refused to acknowledge the fact that Kim knows what she is doing and that everything she touches turns to gold. She recently landed the cover of Forbes magazine on account of the success of her mobile game; this happened, and still, there are people who refuse to take her serious and will continue to judge her.

Again I ask: who appointed you the attorney general of morality?

Let us learn to be tolerant of difference seeing as this is one of the things we ask the world of us. Bobrisky is merely living his life the way he deems fit; he is getting more influential. However my only concern is that he may not be equipped to deal with the spotlight. I would advise that he consider getting a strong team who will help him prepare for these interviews and press events and help him use his new found voice appropriately, as it really takes a village to make a celebrity.

I’ll close by saying to all of us: the next time you feel yourself starting to say something horrible about Bobrisky on account of his lifestyle and/or choices, ask yourself how these choices affect you personally. After all, this is the same thing we say to homophobes. Or are the rules different now?

Written by Dennis Macaulay

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26 Comments

  1. ambivalentone
    November 02, 06:37 Reply

    I’m sure Chizzie is up to the task of being his Minister of (mis)Information or ‘behind the scenes’ coach, something he is doing terribly if I may say so.

    I had always thot the guys from Alder Consulting knew their stuff, even if the rep from the Presidency wouldn’t. It came as a huge shock when they came out with that ‘serious not sensational’ crap. For heaven’s sake, I remember when twitter first came out, tweeps with the largest following had done/said the most sensational of things. Many years down, they are brands’ advertisers. Talk about the mumuity of those two.???

    • Mandy
      November 02, 06:49 Reply

      Minister of (mis)Information???

      ?????? Fear God small na, eh Ambivalentone.

    • Dennis Macaulay
      November 02, 07:13 Reply

      Alder really made me laugh, brand management is one of the things they do and Bobrisky should be an interesting subject for them actually, if only they could get off their bloody high horse.

      As for the presidential aide? I don’t even take that one seriously anyway, besides there are even rumors ☕

      • ambivalentone
        November 02, 07:50 Reply

        Azzin!!! Someone they shud be groveling b4 to save dem from the measly 3000+ plus followers they are struggling to hold down on twitter. You don’t av to like him. Hell, he irritates me just as much, but he definitely is doing something better than all what their graphics designing n consulting put together is doing. Awon oponu.

        Ehen??? Have a piece of cake, wont u??

  2. Mandy
    November 02, 06:42 Reply

    ?????? This is so on-point.
    That final observation though.

    “…the next time you feel yourself starting to say something horrible about Bobrisky on account of his lifestyle and/or choices, ask yourself how these choices affect you personally. After all, this is the same thing we say to homophobes…”

    Judgmental gay men so very conveniently forget that in slamming those among us who make choices that rankles with them, they have themselves become the homophobes they cry out against. The hypocrisy in their judgment is just astounding.

  3. Osupa
    November 02, 07:28 Reply

    Really articulate and thoughtfully written.

  4. Brian Collins
    November 02, 09:04 Reply

    Somebody should please EPP me to like Twitter. How can something this interesting be happening and I don’t know about it?

  5. Chizzie
    November 02, 10:24 Reply

    I really like how this was written, very diplomatic and a great way to kick off conversation on an issue, not the one sided garbage that is posted here sometimes.

    I think the major problem isn’t Bobrisky, but a phenomenon I’ve rightly coined the “Delle Phenomenon”.

    What exactly is the Delle Phenomenon? take out your notepads people : In simple terms it’s when a group or an individual accustomed to rejection and craving acceptance is quick to reject anything that bares semblance or is contradictory to the ideologies of said group or person.

    It’s partly why I’ve been so irked and irritated by Delle who the phenomenon is named after. Here’s someone who crazes acceptance and has had and continues to have his fair share of rejection, both within and without the LGBT community, but who is so quick to shut down and reject anything that relates to his struggles or does not agree with his ideologies. We’ve seen it (consecutively ) with Bobrisky and MGM

    The harshest critics of Bobrisky have been gay ppl, who should know better seeing as we have constantly come under unreasonable criticism.

    Ultimately it’s our responsibility to educate not just Bobrisky, but ourselves and any member of the LGBT who is brave enough to go mainstream in Nigeria.

    I believe Bobrisky more than ever is the closest thing to igniting a revolution right now if properly guided. He’s done way more than aunty Bisi and Co who have all fled to the comfort of first world countries, while the rest of us are left here to suffer. So let’s break away from the shackles of the Delle Phenomenon

    • Pink Panther
      November 02, 10:42 Reply

      Careful, Chizzie. You start out preaching against being judgmental and your judgement begins to leak out at the end of your sermon. Whether in the comfy first world country or right here at home, everyone doing what they’re doing in support of the LGBT ought to be lauded, not sneered at.

    • Mandy
      November 02, 10:50 Reply

      Bobrisky has done way more than Bisi and Co? ???? You’ve got jokes, Chizzie

    • Delle
      November 02, 18:21 Reply

      Delle Phenomenon ??????
      This is glorifying.

      You must know a lot about me to have conjured up such.

  6. Dennis Macaulay
    November 02, 10:58 Reply

    Chizzie

    I read your comment with some amusement. You raised some valid points many of whom I do agree with, but the message that you preach (while true) is laughable for the most part coming from you. You have in very colorful language discriminated against Trans men and women, you have openly denigrated them on this blog. You have also not spared bisexuals from your venom, you have also described a few dark skinned people as having a “dirty complexion”.

    Your comment on Bisi Alimi and co doesn’t even deserve a response because it reeks of ignorance of the highest order, you clearly don’t know the work that Bisi does for LGBT and HIV positive persons on the continent so I will let that slide.

    How you criticize an issue and then go on to commit the same offence all in one comment is baffling, but by all means carry on. You need to internalize some of your message!

    Regards

  7. Tee
    November 02, 11:26 Reply

    Well interesting piece but doesn’t change my view about that guy.

    On the other hand,Oga DM please can you just name the moral Lords asking for your preeq pishure?

    Asking for a friend.

    kind regards.

  8. Kennedy
    November 02, 13:25 Reply

    Y we try to solve a “problem” called bobrisky…. How come dis blog is yt to write anytin abt d missing Kessy boy?! *just saying shaa*

    • Dennis Macaulay
      November 02, 14:34 Reply

      Kennedy what is keeping you from writing about the missing boy yourself and sending same to us?

      Nobody is specially appointed an activist, we should all lookout for each other.

      Regards

      • Kennedy
        November 02, 14:50 Reply

        Regards Dennis… Hope u good.

  9. ambivalentone
    November 02, 18:15 Reply

    On a lighter note, I have been humming Sound of Music’s ‘How do you solve a problem like Maria’. Has this anything to do with it(

  10. Pankar
    November 04, 06:56 Reply

    Nice focus@ piece

    Alder is shameless and on a high horse, as are many other comments here – on their high horses. Not just at judging bobrisky’s representation negatively (like Alder) but at their cheesy suggestions of how to make him a better ‘celebrity’ like they were the ones that brought him to this stage of celebrating in the first.

    Dont guide Bobrisky, dont be bothered at how he ll become a better celebrity, or what kind he’ll become. Don’t worry at his grammar or communication style!. Don’t mourn more than the bereaved. Just, don’t!

    The only debt good states men and great ‘country people’ owe is respect for the laws which I’m sure is reason why Bobrisky stood against the anti gay bill in public, yet had the courage to apologise to us – because its a ‘crime’

    Creativity is a pretence, this is who Bobrisky has decided to pretend to become and yes, fan him (meaning: be his fan) but dont pretend you know the kind of ‘celebrity’ he had decided to pretend to be, afterall, he has given some blue prints, copy it and take it one step up!

    “However my only concern is that he may not be equipped to deal with the spotlight. I would advise that he consider getting a strong team who will help him prepare for these interviews and press events and help him use his new found voice appropriately, as it really takes a village to make a celebrity”

    (Great observation but.. Err let him handle that after all the only empire to maim is the one he built)

    “I believe Bobrisky more than ever is the closest thing to igniting a revolution right now if properly guided…”

    (Revolution?? Is it even part of his blue print?)

    “Oh heavens!, his grammar, his thinking, its just low!”
    (Yeah but we all ‘get’ him)

    If cross dressing is a huge part of the gay society then this guy is really doing a great job, not directly as a gay man though. But then cross dressing is still criminal in Nigeria, yes? Let’s hope they dont come for him soon.

  11. George
    September 12, 10:04 Reply

    He looks like the head in the ‘i took a pill in ibiza’ music video

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