May 23, 2018

Going to watch Black Panther? Please carry your fufu with you-Viola Okolie

Going to watch Black Panther? Please carry your fufu with you-Viola Okolie
Dear Black People,
We know you have been super excited with the Black Panther release and have expressed your excitement in ways that cynics like us have found a little bit…
… well,
Extra.
Like dressing up in extreme Afrocentric cosplay just to go see a movie; or bringing your own bowl of fufu and soup as movie snack into the movie theatres; or gushing about how empowering and reaffirming of your blackness the movie is.
Yes it is boring.
And yes, cynics like us have now decided to kuku wait until you all have burnt that excitement out and Black Panther is just another “epic” must see at the Cinemas, to go and watch it but listen…
… pay us no mind.
It is okay to be extra.
Matter of fact, the very essence of our being black, is coming with all that extra that the world cannot comprehend.
Rats which temporarily dispossess the President of what should be Africa’s largest nation (plus economy pa pa), out of his office – is extra.
Snakes that collude with house girls to embezzle millions of naira from the nations exams regulatory board – is extra.
A minister for information who stands atop the growing pile of dead bodies littering the nation’s landscape to declare: there are no killings in Nigeria, all the stories you have been hearing are lies and the pictures are manufactured from social media – is extra.
A President who pretends not to hear that innocent Nigerians are being slaughtered in their sleep, in their hundreds – women, children and the old – by murderous Fulani herdsmen; but turns around to beg these same Nigerians to respect the sanctity of life when they attempt to fight back – is extra.
A president who records a speech assuring you that he (and his party), have failed Nigerians and begging for a second chance to either prove to us finally and remove every inkling of doubt that he failed, or to destroy Nigeria totally – is extra.
Matter of fact, the mere fact that we spend a lot of useful manpowers debating whether people have a right to peaceful protest; if our president is really our president or if he has been replaced by a body double named Jibril from Sudan – is extra.
=========
And no, this extraness is not just from our elected officials, the very fact of our  being, well BLACK is extra.
Every black mother is extra, and yes that includes those of us forming woke on social media; we know how to pass across a message once, and make it good.
For instance the other day, I walked into the sitting room and saw my daughter’s bags, shoes and jacket scattered all over the place in spite of a couple of past entreaties to her to keep her junk away from the general area, so I made good my threat.
I called out to her and as she came running out of the room into the parlor, I threw everything over the balcony, dusted off my hands, and relaxed in front of the television with my diet coke and popcorn.
Trust me, I have not had to repeat that “if I find your stuff littering the parlor again, I am throwing them away immediately”.
Lesson sunk and stuck.
Now tell me that was not extra?
Black mothers extract a promise of good behaviour by holding their bare breasts and waving them in your face, while reminding you how they nearly died while trying to push you into the world, you ungrateful child. And what of that time you bit her nipple while sucking, can’t you see the mark still there? *poking her breast in your eye* And what about the times she trekked with you on her back, under the hot sun, just to go and buy okin biscuit that you loved from that faaaaaar market. Yet you, winsh child, you don’t want to sweep the compound?
Crazy level extra.
Blackness is threatening to whup the spirit out of your child; knock all the teeth out of their mouth; slap some sense into their head; and thump whatever evil spirits are controlling their destiny, out of them – if they don’t stop that noise immediately.
This instead of the “please stop, I have a headache”, that a non-extra person would request of their child.
Blackness, is extra.
Extra melanin, extra manCHESTer, double extra ASSenal, extra lips, extra reactions and Lord help me, all that EXTRA drama!
As in, EXTRA.
So this is me saying to all the black panther fanatics, this is a better Blackness struggle than the royal wedding one that was going to be forced on us whether we liked it or not.
And I am not being “shadist”, neither do I think that the word “Black” when used by an  obviously, well, person of colour, to describe himself and race; is racist.
No it is not, the world is just a little bit too uptight.
We are extra in all that we do, we love our loud and clangy music; extra and extreme spicy food; crazy dance steps that come and go at the speed of light; extra dressing, extra parties – we are loud and we know it.
And perhaps that is why we are less likely to reach for a gun, and spray it into a room full of children.
We express our angst in our extra expressions.
So…
Feel free to ignore those of us cynics watching your displays with this “are you kidney me”? look on our faces; we are just forcing wokeness.
Carry your village masquerade to the cinema with you.
Organise a jollof rice party outside the theatre.
Bring in WhizKid, Davido and Flavour to provide entertainment while you watch.
Be black, be extra, be you.
Norring do you.
(PS: Also pretending we are not excited by Black Panther, is the other extreme of black extraness. Respect it too, okay?)
Ngwa, bye!

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