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Bobrisky: A sacrificial lamb part 2, by Adewale Wali

My seven-year-old son, intrigued by my writing, asked why Bobrisky opts for makeup and feminine clothing despite being male. Yet, I struggle to provide my son with a satisfactory explanation for Bobrisky’s actions...


Bobrisky: A sacrificial lamb part 2, by Adewale Wali

As I delved into the second part of this series, Bobrisky’s court appearance slated for April 9th got postponed due to the holidays, leading to an extension of his detention. My seven-year-old son, intrigued by my writing, asked why Bobrisky opts for makeup and feminine clothing despite being male. Yet, I struggle to provide my son with a satisfactory explanation for Bobrisky’s actions.

Despite chronicling his body enhancement journey across various platforms, uncertainty lingers regarding the status of his male genitalia. The most perplexing aspect of my dilemma is determining which gender pronoun to use for Bobrisky. It’s worth noting that many Nigerians refer to him as “shim” (a combination of she and him).

I reflect on the underlying motivations behind his actions and uncertain gender identity. I believe I also represent the thoughts of millions of Nigerians.

Contemplating Bobrisky’s isolation in solitary confinement by the EFCC, I considered the possible repercussions of placing him alongside a female detainee. News headline could potentially sensationalize the situation with phrase like “Bobrisky Allegedly Impregnates Cellmate in Custody”. The EFCC’s careful handling of this situation merits recognition.

Watching Bobrisky’s videos of money spraying at events pales in comparison to witnessing a single event like Obi Cubana’s mom extravagant burial in Oba, Anambra State, where Naira notes and various foreign currencies were lavishly tossed around while armed security personnel looked on in astonishment.

This disregard for the national currency at public functions is a recurring sight with politically exposed individuals, celebrities, and others, who indiscriminately dishonour our national pride at various gatherings.

EFCC’s decision to pursue smaller offenders while bigger players remain untouched is a topic for future discussion. I’m cautiously optimistic.
Was Mummy of Lagos made the scapegoat? Similar to the theme in Timaya’s proverbial song where he sings, “Tell him something, I tell you, you no hear,” It’s evident that Bobrisky didn’t take Timaya’s advice seriously and didn’t anticipate his arrest.

The Incident highlights the deep-seated conservatism in Nigerian society, where homosexuality is illegal and gender non-conformity is often met with hostility. Bobrisky’s popularity symbolises a growing movement towards acceptance and diversity, particularly among younger generations. While some view the arrest as a victory for upholding societal values, others see it as an infringement on personal freedoms and an attack on LGBTQ+ rights.

Could  prominent  individuals  have singled  out  Bobrisky  due  to  his associations  and  braggadocio?

Alternatively, could there be an underlying governmental strategy to systematically suppress and marginalize the LGBT community?

In a recent TV interview, the Nigeria Police Force PRO, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, stressed that mere cross-dressing does not justify arrest, highlighting the lack of such grounds in law enforcement’s approach to social conduct. However, the CBN Act took a firm stance against those who misuse naira notes at public events.

A prompt recall for the Force PRO, in case it has slipped from memory, regarding the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act (SSMPA), enacted by former President Goodluck Jonathan in January 2014. This law mandates a 14-year prison sentence for individuals involved in activities related to the LGBTQ lifestyle, including same-sex marriage or participation in supporting clubs or organisations promoting such activities.

READ ALSO: Bobrisky: A sacrificial lamb part 1

Despite this, news reports have shown instances where law enforcement raids parties to apprehend individuals engaged in what is perceived as immoral behavior related to homosexuality and lesbianism, while cross dressers remain untouched as Influencers.
Does this reveal a systemic flaw within the legal framework or the enforcement agencies?

Nevertheless, his arrest sends a powerful message to the LGBTQ+ community about the obstacles confronting those who challenge societal norms. Equally noteworthy are the consequences for individuals who misuse and deface naira notes during public events.

The likes of Bobrisky are revered, role models and mentors for countless young people in any society. In a world where superficiality reigns supreme, society has veered off course, celebrating idiocy over intellect. Intelligence, once revered, now takes a backseat to mindless entertainment and empty trends. Critical thinking is overshadowed by viral videos, and substance is sacrificed for sensationalism.

In this culture, ignorance is not just bliss; it’s applauded. As intellect fades into obscurity, we must strive to cultivate a society that values its cultural norms, knowledge, wisdom, and thoughtful discourse over the fleeting allure of shallowness and cultural pessimism.

A few years ago, when my mom needed to update her bank details, she presented her travel passport at the bank, only to discover an error on the data page mistakenly identifying her as male—a fault of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS). Despite her explanations, the bank insisted on another form of ID or a corrected passport.

With no alternative ID, she reluctantly went to the Nigerian immigration office in Ikeja, where officials demanded payment for their mistake’s correction or advised waiting until her passport expired for a renewal.

Sorry for veering off topic, but the main point I’m trying to make is that if the situation were reversed (if it were Bobrisky), the bank’s reaction would likely be very different, with no hurdles faced in updating banking details.
I’m currently curious about the gender listed on Bobrisky’s travel document and how it affects his experiences navigating through Nigeria immigration checks during his foreign trips at our airports.

As we await the court’s rulings on Bobrisky following the holidays, ultimately, the repercussions of his arrest extend beyond his individual case, signaling broader implications for Nigerian society’s treatment of LGBTQ+ individuals.

The conclusion of this saga promises to be insightful.

How many more individuals will the EFCC detain as they address this societal issue?

Only time will reveal the answer, and I eagerly anticipate further developments.

Adewale Wali, an Associate Member of  International News Media Associations (INMA), Dallas, Texas. Member, International Society for Development and Sustainability (ISDS), Japan.

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