Ohun to n dan and the African -By Kehinde Oluwatosin Babatunde

Filed under: Forgotten Dairies |

Growing up my first gaming console was the family com (terminator). For those who played games while growing up, they can attest to the fascination the family com ingrained in the heart of a child. Aside from the wonderful gaming experience the family com provides, the package box of family com games comes in exciting pictures of bat man and spider man – these are fascinating characters that creates nostalgia in the heart of the young.

The Sony Play Station was the zenith of gaming back days, but we hardly get fascinated by the package. The Play Station’s box was blunt and brusque in presentation hence hardly tickles the young despite having more sophistication than the family com.

The narrative of my gaming experience aligns with the Yoruba maxim “ohun tó n dán ló n jó omódé lójú” crudely translated as it is only that which glitters that fascinates the child, however in the wisdom of the Yorubas they left a caveat behind the maxim and that is “gbogbo ohun tó n dán kó ni wúrà” meaning all that glitters ain’t gold.

Family com glitters but ain’t Play Station in sophistication and price. Rio Ferdinand the former three lions and former Manchester United football player arrived in Lagos today for the fans made of more challenge.


Kehinde Oluwatosin Babatunde


Before his arrival several jingles had been dedicated to herald his coming and dozens of Nigerian youths have trudged to the social media to make a video so as to win a free ticket to be part of the twenty people he is slated to meet. While It’s noteworthy to salute the Nigerian arm of the beer brewing company that invited him for their understanding of the law of buy-in and leveraging on the crowd pulling potential of Rio Ferdinand as a public relation tool to rake in more money, I want to believe the choice of Rio Ferdinand was emboldened by the inferiority of the Nigerian to the white man.

Why not any of our music or Nollywood stars? Will the company’s arm in England bring an African to Britain and create this kind of buzz? What value does the company stands to gain if it had brought in an African? Would Nigerians have appreciated a Nigerian star to headline such event?

These and many questions gives me the impression that beyond confrontational racism Africa is still bedeviled with mental racism: a feeling of lowness to the white man. The beer company will make huge money this weekend just because Africans still has it written in their psyche that an oyinbo man is superior.

Over the years Africa remains the cash cow of the white because she has remained a child fascinated by all that glitters only, forgetting all that glitters ain’t gold not even Rio Ferdinand.

Kehinde Oluwatosin Babatunde is a prolific writer and public speaker based in Lagos.

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