So there’s this person called Ladi. He runs the twitter handle: @LadiSpeaks and, with 94.2K followers, is what is known as a Twitter Influencer. Companies pay him to promote their events, concepts or brands. He’s probably pretty good at it too, but sometimes your village people will not let you be great. Basically because that’s how village people are. So he went to chook his hand inside Michelle Obama matter and the backlash? He himself never hexperredit.
As Michelle Obama put up a picture of herself hugging her dogs in her thank you response to the well wishes on her birthday, Ladi’s village people came out to play:
The backlash was swift and ferocious. Still thinking he had said something witty and clever, he continued to ride the wave; insisting that he meant every word.
Well, I think he got a call from the HR office where he worked and he knew the jig was up. Mr Ladi now insists that the tweet was pure sarcasm and he never meant it.
The kitchen got hotter still, so Ladi kuku told us exactly how he was feeling:
If there is one thing I detest more than wrongdoing, it’s a faux apology for wrongdoing. You’ve been caught out so you look for anything that may best excuse away your foolishness. They range from “I’m a sex-addict” to “I have loads of black friends! My pool cleaner is black!” and now “Sarcasm/Satire”.
I know that Ladi meant what he said (even if it were meant as an ill-thought out joke) because his non-apology points out that he believes female children and appreciation of them are non-African values. The belief that it is us, the audience, who took the message out of context further suggests that he’s not sorry; he’s simply blaming us for holding a mirror up to his gross misconduct.
If, however, I were to give this young man the benefit of the doubt, he would still fall short. If I were to say “I get it. He is simply trying to highlight what most Nigerians think of a woman who has no sons,” even then he would still be wrong.
Firstly, the majority of Nigerians do not hold this view. Both cities and rural communities have moved on. There are fathers who love their daughters more than life itself, and it has nothing to do with exposure.
Secondly, regardless of what Nigerians think of her husband, you would have to go far to find anyone who would have a bad word to say about Michelle Obama. Ladi might as well just called Mary, mother of God, a shameless hussy for having a child out of wedlock and then call it sarcasm.
Thirdly, with most people mourning the fact that this is the last day we will be able to call her FLOTUS, his tweet was ill-conceived and in very bad taste.
Finally, for someone he claims to respect, he could not take the trouble of learning how to spell Michelle Obama. But he knows exactly how many children she has and what sex they are.
His tweets are littered with spelling and grammatical errors, and that’s taking into account ‘Twitter Spelling’ – bad spelling and abbreviations to accommodate the 160 character rule.
But he is a Twitter influencer. People pay him good money to represent and promote their brand. Yet, he can’t pause for cause and think about the actions he is taking or the impact that might have on brands that might wish to employ him in the future.
Perhaps our schools need to spend more time on that part of the syllabus that defines sarcasm, satire, and the difference between these words and being odious online.
Maybe Ladi needs to understand that there are certain people off-limits when making your off-colour jokes, and Michelle Obama is one such person.
Or perhaps he just needs to understand that yes, some people can and will make such remarks and get away with them. Shoot, some people make worse remarks and end up becoming the next president. But he is not the Teflon Don aka Donald Trump. People who have come for Michelle Obama in the past have lost their jobs or been suspended. What happened to Ladi, you ask?
Yup, that’s right. Not because it was Michelle Obama, but because you were wrong. Next time you want to create satire over the “African preference for male children“, might I suggest you write: “Na wa o, you people should stop favouring male children over their sisters o!” and then maybe to give it a bit of a kicker, you might add a clown in the bottom right hand corner. See? Fixed that for you.
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