April 25, 2024

Between Bobrisky and ‘his’ assailants

Between Bobrisky and ‘his’ assailants


POPULAR Nigerian crossdresser, Idris Okuneye, known in social circles as Bobrisky, has been in the news of late. Bobrisky, a graduate of Accounting from the University of Lagos, became famous on social media for her non-conformist stance. Since, July 8, 2021, when he revealed a new physical appearance after undergoing surgery to become more feminine, he has garnered a huge following on social media.

Always courting controversy, the crossdresser recently became the butt of a huge rage on social media when he was declared the Best Dressed Woman at a movie premier in Lekki, Lagos. The controversy generated by that somewhat awry move nearly consumed some notable Nollywood actors.

Currently, Bobrisky, who dubs himself “the Mummy of Lagos” is cooling off at one of the Correctional Homes in Lagos having been sentenced to six months in prison with no option of fine over the “abuse and mutilation of the Naira notes”.

Even while on sabbatical to the prison, Bobrisky’s accusers will still not allow him to rest. Before his conviction, the self-acclaimed “Mummy of Lagos” had told the Magistrate handling her case that he was a man. Nothing but the truth.  

However, his trouncers do not seem to be satisfied with that admission. Some of them still wanted the prison officials to ascertain if he truly still had his ‘thing’ dangling between his legs.

Now that Bobrisky has left the social scene, at least for a season, one would have thought his assaulters would let him be. Curiously, that seems not to be the case. In the typical Nigerian hypocritical style, he has continued to be the target of unending social media criticisms, especially by self-styled moralists.

This has gotten one thinking. The way Nigerians have descended on Bobrisky, one will think he is the country’s number one problem. Is he our major problem? Does he deserve the kind of attention that is being accorded him lately? Is he the one responsible for our many national woes? Is it worth exerting so much energy on him?

My sincere take on the whole Bobrisky saga is that Nigerians have an unbridled penchant for hypocrisy. Many have condemned the crossdresser for what they term his moral decadence. However, what his traducers have not been able to admit is that he is morally better than some of them, at least, in one aspect.

 He is not a pretender.

He has deep-rooted emotional/personality identity troubles. He never hides it. He wanted to be a woman. He became a woman. He talks like a woman. He dresses like a woman. He catwalks as a woman. He wriggles his bum like a woman does. What is, however, yet to be ascertained is whether he acts in the ‘other room’ as a woman! Unlike his provocateurs, it is quite instructive that Bobrisky doesn’t live a two-faced life! In my view, our traditional hypocritical moral and empty religious postures have been the major bane of the country’s lack of concrete progress over the years.

A few years back, a popular cleric passed on. Being a seemingly pious ‘man of God’, everyone in the society believed he was a monogamist. Of course, that was what he preached. He criticised those who practice polygamy. However, on the day of his burial, a woman surfaced with three children, claiming with proven proof that he was a wife to the late cleric. Her mission? She wanted to perform her last respect to the departed. All hell was let loose! In the words of the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti: “Confusion Break Bone” at the cleric’s graveyard. That is the typical Nigerian hypocritical bearing. A dove in the day, a snake at night!

A few years ago, a cleric, who was also a  Professor at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, was jailed for sexually assaulting some of her female students. Perhaps, if he had not been caught and dealt with by the law, he would have been among those casting stones at Bobrisky now.

 This, of course, is the tragedy of our nation. Metaphorical representations of such hypocritical tendencies abound in every facet of our national life. They occupy high places in the corridor of power. They hold high offices in religious circles. They occupy strategic positions in nearly every sector. These are men to whom talk is cheap, men who don’t act what they preach. Men of two parallel worlds. On the inside, they are snakes. On the outside, they pretend to be doves. Hypocrisy is their stock in trade. Deception is their trademark. They sing the national anthem with pride; recite the national pledge with relish, but stab the nation in the back at the slightest opportunity.

We have turned deception into an art. For us, the end justifies the means. Mind you, this didn’t just start now; it has been a long-standing tradition. While some hapless guys rot in prison for offences considered trivial, many who should have been forgotten in jail freely roam the streets. Unfortunately, the hypocritical bug has gotten to hitherto revered institutions where, naturally, one should expect a reasonable measure of morality. Today, we have clerics, of all shades, who desecrate the altar of God, like the biblical Esau, for a pot of porridge.

How does one explain the double standard of a ‘man of God’ who preaches faithfulness to marital vows but secretly keeps concubines? Regrettably, some of them boast of passionate and highly fanatical followers. Talk of the blind leading the blind. What a pity!

The traditional institution is not equally faring better. Today, across the country, we have a few monarchs, who occupy sacred ancestral thrones but carry themselves in manners that would incur the rage of the gods.

We have suddenly turned deceit into a national pastime. We complain of bad leadership, but without knowing it, we are partially responsible for what some of our leaders do. Is it not amusing that people place curses on their relations for upholding integrity and honesty while holding political offices?

This is, to some extent, why some of our compatriots could compromise their electoral preference for a paltry sum as low as a thousand naira. What does it matter? Operators of the informal sector are not exempted from this culture of deception.

If you have ever given your car to a mechanic to fix or you have had cause to deal with plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc, you will appreciate the ingenuity of the average Nigerian at cutting corners. And to think that some of them will even swear to the high heavens that they have offered you the best deals.

To the deceitful moralists who will not allow “The Mummy of Lagos” to rest, first, remove the plank from your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

As for the “Mummy of Lagos”, maybe he truly needs a Sabbatical. Hopefully, he will become more sober and less loud after the expiration of his ‘leave of absence’!

*Ogunbiyi, a civil servant, wrote from Ikeja, Lagos

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