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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 those in the LGBT community, especially 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 DM 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.

Written by Dennis Macaulay


About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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14 comments

  1. ?????? This is so well said. So on-point. The guy has got celebrity now. People are paying attention to him. The best he can do is finesse his celebrity. Get a team of specialists to make him more cultured, so that more and more people can take him more seriously.

  2. Hallelujah, I can now tell a Dennis Macaulay piece before it gets to the second paragraph.
    Well said Dennis, who really appointed anyone the chief judge of morality?

    • shakespeareanwalter

      The Supreme Court of morality is still deliberating on that answer. As soon as Donald Trump is elected president, a new justice will be elected and we will know who appoints anyone the chief judge of morality. 😀

  3. A lot of valid points. Only one doesn’t fit in for me but, that’s besides the point. The point is the perennial ‘Don’t Judge’ mantra that’s always thrown around. Listen guys: we are society; everybody is everybody’s business; we praise each other, condemn each other: we judge. That’s natural balance. It doesn’t mean we are saints by so doing–society runs on subtle general hypocrisy. Else we wouldn’t even condemn the murderer, armed robber, adulterer–they all have their stories, justifications. We wouldn’t even probably have the police, the courts, if we should not judge. Society judges through gossip, solidarity, or scorn, for instance. Raise your hand if you have never gossiped. And gossip holds sociological value despite its negativity: by always lurking around, it has been found to discourage many from certain actions. ‘People will talk.’ That’s by the way. My rant is: ‘Don’t Judge’ doesn’t cut it anytime; it’s bad logic. We are society. We must judge. We can however, respond to societal judgement with facts and reason, not with blackmail.–My twopenny.

    • Franklyne Ikediasor

      Immanuel I myself I am not an apostle of the “Do not judge” mantra, I am a firm believer in opinions and expressing them. However Ms Adichie penned that Feminist manifesto the other day and she gave me what I consider the commandments of opinions; They should be informed, humane and from a broad minded place.

      So before you pass judgment on someone as yourself upon what it is premised and also remember that there is no universality in morality.

      You don’t like Idris Okuneye, and that’s fine. He probably doesn’t know you and won’t care much. However in respect to that panel, he would fit right in!!!

  4. I should just go on Twitter now and find out who tweeted that. Maybe I’ll get to know another gay man ?

  5. Bobrisky tells too much lie to the media. Extolling him with the celebrity title doesn’t go down well with me. I still think he should hide himself somewhere and stop being a not_so_wise fellow to the Nigerian media.
    There is no morality in his asininity!

    • Franklyne Ikediasor

      Doesn’t have to “go down well with you though”, however check up the meaning of the word Celebrity in the dictionary and ask yourself if he qualifies to be one ?

  6. I have heard a lot about this dude called Bobrisky from different people and have read about him on various posts. Dennis may have made a lot of points here but personally i don’t see Bobrisky as a celebrity or role model. There are several use of social media but when what you share doesn’t add or improve the thinking of young minds in a positive way, then its nothing but simple call for sheer attention. i personally don’t have anything against Bobrisky, but i will not sit down to watch his snaps or talks as it has no value to me as a young person in a positive way. Maybe when he starts saying things to gear people in morally right direction and positively empowering them, then i might give ears to his works.
    About Judging,we are in a world where not all you do goes well with people. Just do your very best and close your ears to negative thoughts.

    • Franklyne Ikediasor

      1. He has never claimed to be a role model for anyone (whatever that means anyway), neither did the writer of this article paint him as one.

      2. Check the meaning of the word celebrity and honestly ask yourself if he deserves that title.

      3. You cannot sit down to watch his snap stories? Fair enough! I myself I cringe at many of them, however over 130,000 people disagree with both of us; they watch each video he releases.

      4. Morally right direction you say? Lol let’s not go down that road my dear. You are not the attorney general of morality and neither am I. Bobrisky is a social media star and premised upon that he deserved a seat at that table!

      End of!!!

      • Brother. Read my points well, I never judged him based on who he is or what he represents. like i said he is not a celebrity or role model and yes i do the check dictionary for meanings of words before i use them. I am no judge but an intellect who knows when the pay attention to the right utterances that will better my life as a person trying to achieve greatness. Those who follow him are his fans and definitely have their reasons for doing so. He may be a social media star but doesn’t make him a role model……. again i use the word as i see fit.

        • shakespeareanwalter

          ce·leb·ri·ty
          səˈlebrədē/
          noun
          a famous person.
          the state of being well known.

          By this standard, he IS in fact a celebrity.

          role mod·el
          noun
          a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated.

          And by this, the question as to whether he’s a role model is relative.

          Just Dotun, you seem to be mixing the two — celebrity and role model — up, so I decided to bring the definitions to you. 😀

  7. Someone once justify a particular religion ethic by saying the followers of the religion don’t do their dirty stuff in the public and whatever they do inside a closed door is their business because they hurt nobody but themselves( not that i agree with him cause my religion teaches me otherwise, holiness within and without). I have always been on the side of ‘be free to express yourself, you don’t have to hide who you are’ but I have come to realize that while being yourself someone else who doesn’t know what you stand for or know why you do what you do will do the same thing but in a wrong way perhaps because they dont not no the limit to which they can tred and end up badly. While bobrisky is just being bobrisky which I believe is not to do anybody any harm, he might actually influence a young mind who is not yet mature enough to separate intent of an action from consequence of such action, such young mind might send out the wrong signal without knowing it and attract the wrong company.
    Bobrisky doesn’t claim to be a model but the truth is children learn by imitation and whatsoever is taking place around a child, he tries to practice whether good or bad. Did you bother to ask yourself what bobrisky really stand for? Maybe if we know that, we will not consider him a misfit in our society

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