Right.

I haven’t blogged in days because I thought I’d take a break from the writing after the very successful #31days31writers project. Plan was to come back tomorrow.

I saw something on Twitter this morning though, and just thought of put things in perspective. It’s about the Basket Mouth ‘rape’ post, his thoughts (or what I think his thoughts are), and the bit that made me write, his very distasteful apology.

A bit of history – Basket Mouth, real name Bright Okpocha is a comedian, a very successful one at that. He’s also got a very large following on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To contextualize ‘large following’, his posts on FB get as much as 6000 likes. Automatic opinion leader.

He put this up on Facebook last night:
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I didn’t see it, cos I don’t follow him on Facebook. That post got approximately 5200 likes. A lot of people took him up on it this morning (especially on Twitter), and his only ‘response’ to the issue was to retweet this.

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Of course that made stuff worse, and people really began to call him out. And if you’re familiar with Nigerian Twitter, when it is ‘your day’, it is your day.

Basket Mouth, in his ‘wisdom’, and probably under advisement from peers that the conversation on the issue was getting out of hand, decided to tweet an apology. Of course I captured it.
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Here he is referring to the #ChildNotBride controversy from the middle of last year.

That’s it for history, at least up to the time of publishing this.

Personally, I think the joke was in bad taste. Very bad taste, and on a lot of levels. Start from racial profiling, and the silly stereotype that says ‘white girls are easy lays’. Aren’t we the ones who scream the loudest when Africa is lumped into one country?

Then there’s the African part of the equation that justifies rape because the man has done a, b, c, and d and still cannot get the girl into bed. Disgraceful.

And there’s the apology, which I think was a bigger insult on our sensibilities than the offending post.

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To be honest, going beyond BasketMouth’s indiscretion (considering his influence online and offline), I’m more concerned with the over 5000 who thought it was funny. The ones who rebuked people who disagreed with rape being reduced as fodder for jokes, and were bold enough to say so.

Nigerian women already have a lot of issues they have to contend with everyday; I cannot count how many times I have written on violence (sexual or not) against women and young girls, and so to waste an opportunity to inspire, to abuse the loud voice/platform to effect change just grates.

The fact that his mind thought that up in the first place is worrying, remember the scripture that says, “as a man thinketh in his heart, so he is”? Everything we see in our world today starts in the mind.

For those who say it was just a joke, have you ever been raped? You, or a family member? Do you think it would still be a joke if you had been?

For those who say jokes about rape should be allowed because jokes about the disabled et al are allowed, who have you been listening to? You need to change your sources of entertainment!

Rape is wrong. Jokes about rape are distasteful, and wrong. Nothing anyone says will counter those two.

UPDATE – 6.37pm, I’m on the way from a glorious time at church, and I see on Twitter that he’s apologized, ‘properly’ this time. Ignore the grammatical errors please.

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P:S – Dear BasketMouth, this joke was not misunderstood. There is nothing even remotely funny about rape.

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Comments
  1. Well said! A man and his mind soon part ways when lust is at hand. ~Zoey

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  2. OMA says:

    I was appalled when I saw it! That was simply disgusting! Thanks for speaking up against this.

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    • You’re welcome Oma! I just had to, people with influence need to realize that their influence is conferred on them by their followers and as such they are accountable to those followers!

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  3. annaestbelle says:

    Absolutely true! Nigerians need to look for better things to think and talk about! Thanks for this post. Well said. I hope many people see this and get mind transformations in the process. Thanks again!

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  4. true, true! its not a joke at all, rape is one of the most cruel thing that can happen to a lady and joking about it even as a comedian that lots of people see as a role model is not funny at all. if 5000 fans can like that and roll with such joke, imagine how much more will love it if he stands for jokes about eradicating this scourge from Nigeria? methinks its high time pple in limelight realise that they can use their positions for way better things than this.
    jokes about rape is highly insensitive to say the least and his apology, even worse!

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    • Exactly Frances! Having such a massive following is a responsibility in itself and I don’t subscribe to people saying that all jokes offend one person or the other. There is nothing about rape that can be funny. Nothing on earth. Full stop.

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  5. my dear, I believe you have said it all…Rape isn’t something to joke about because it’s traumatic. From people who commit sucide due to the incident to ppl who have their minds distorted…and just like you said, some humans clicked on LIKE? it’s sad
    I remember when I read something about Rick Ross rapping in a song and making subtle suggestions of drugging a girl and taking her home. Immediately, Reebok removed him from their label after the protest. This goes to show how things like that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
    I’m not saying basketmouth should be removed o, I’m just saying one should be careful not to just say anything. We still have enough cyberbullies to deal with and now this?
    I love your post and analysis. Will love to come back for more though it’s my first time here 🙂
    WHat inspired your blog name anyway? I’m just curious

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    • Nigeria hasn’t come to that point yet with organizations being sensitive to feedback from fans. Granted he made similar jokes in England but if people called him out like we did that Sunday, he would have lost a good chunk of his endorsements! Nothing funny about rape. At all. And my heart goes out in prayer for the 5000 plus who were so amused they ‘liked’ the post, and then went on to defend him. God help us!

      As for my blog name, long story my dear. It’s in the About section. On the home page, there’s that section, the tale is there…:-)

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  6. I agree with glowingscenes. Your analysis was on point! At what point did rape become a joke? Maybe I missed something…maybe he was trying to say something about the character of the most men in Nigeria, something that could’ve been conveyed in a not-so-suggestive (rape?) way.

    Nigeria isn’t a place where you mince words or throw shades, especially when you’re a celebrity. Be clear, be real, leave no room for doubts…at least that is what netizens (Internet citizens = Netizens) require of you. Social media is still at it’s infancy in Nigeria, and anyone who wields any form of authority in our community should be aware of what messages they’re sending.

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    • It’s just crazy babe. Every other day there is something in the news about a young girl who’s been stripped of her innocence; I stopped compiling the stories because it was depressing. How do you then abuse a platform, your gift by taking a liking to this kind of rubbish talk? Apparently he seems to have a few of these rape jokes.
      How does anyone justify it abeg?

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