Celebrities Behaving Badly (CBB) is a category on AML launched in April 2012 that gathers the foolishness on social media involving entertainment and uses it as a way of discussing, primarily, public relations and branding for artists. On to today’ s post…
In recent times, there was breaking news of slave trade occurring in Libya. Yes, humans selling fellow humans in the 21st century. As many reacted to condemn the acts and the Nigerian government stepped in to aid many of its citizens who were captured and sold into slavery, eLDee, an artist and music business owner, reminded Nigerians to not limit their anger and outrage to what was going on Libya. They needed to also look within themselves at the slavery and inhumane conditions they treat their house helps, many of whom are children.
It is a topic I have discussed on AML too numerous times to count, and I was happy to see it get even more visibility when eLDee addressed it. The ill-treatment of house helps which includes gatemen in Nigeria rears its ugly head again. This time, through a Nigerian celebrity Bobrisky.
Bobrisky, according to Wikipedia “is a Nigerian internet personality, crossdresser and entrepreneur who is known for his social media skill most notably with the use of Snapchat, a social media application.”
A couple of things missing is that he is a walking contradiction in terms of the values that many Nigerians claim to hold so dear to their hearts. For starters, we are all very familiar with Dencia who is known for her Whitenicious cream. Nigerians cremated Dencia with insults for the bleaching/whitening of her natural skin tone, yet, for whatever confusing reason, hail, and support Bobrisky. It is baffling. Another baffling thing is how Nigerians quickly tag women for dressing in revealing clothing or having a high sexual body count as “ashewo” (prostitute), yet praise Bobrisky as he openly shares his sexual escapades with married men. Some even pay him to “spill the tea.” Go figure.
Whatever the case, specific to the issue at hand, here is why I believe Bobrisky’s action towards his house help, in this instance his gateman is shameful. Here are the alleged facts:
- Bobrisky went from rags to riches as a result of his use of social media to showcase his skin bleaching, sell skin bleaching cream and other skincare products, and share stories of his sexual escapades with married men, and others.
- His new found wealth status afforded him a new address courtesy of one of his many “baes” in an affluent neighbourhood in Lagos. Along with his new home came a gateman named Jacob.
- Perhaps out of boredom, Bobrisky expanded his content offerings on SnapChat to include Jacob. He would command Jacob to perform tasks to please him including dance for him, hail Bobrisky as the best boss, and Bobrisky would frequently gyrate on Jacob.
- Jacob’s seeming naivety as a poor village boy working for a rich very flamboyant boss in a big city like Lagos captured the attention of Nigerians worldwide. They found Jacob’s responses and compliance to be funny. Jacob immediately became a viral sensation and his dance moves memes the butt of many jokes.
- Impressed by Jacob’s virality, McGalaxy, a Nigerian artist who has collaborated with American producer Swizz Beatz decided to tap into his fame. McGalaxy already had a pre-existing relationship with Bobrisky who handled one of marketing and promotions of a few songs.
- McGalaxy visited Bobrisky to see Jacob and gave Jacob 40, 000 Naira for personal use. He also had an intention to shoot a music video for a song that was a parody of Jacob’s relationship with Bobrisky and allegedly negotiated for Jacob to appear in his music video.
- McGalaxy shot the music video (without including Bobrisky in the video) and offered to pay Jacob a certain percentage of proceeds from the video which would total about 2 million Naira.
- In the meantime, after McGalaxy’s visit at Bobrisky’s residence, Bobrisky seized the 40,000 Naira given to Jacob.
- Jacob requested that Bobrisky give him money so he could go home to the village to visit his dad who was sick and had to have his leg operated on. Bobrisky instead took to social media to call Jacob a liar. In the meantime, Bobrisky had allegedly not paid Jacob for over six months for his gateman services.
- Shortly after, Bobrisky fired Jacob. Subsequently, McGalaxy learnt of this new development and intervened. He paid a visit to the village to see Jacob’s father to ensure he, in fact, was sick, and what follows is an awful live video of a terrible infection the father has on his left foot which corroborates Jacob’s statement that his father was sick.
I won’t even address the issue of non-payment, taking money that does not belong to him, and exploitation of Jacob by Bobrisky. It is pretty clear that is unfair if the facts are true. My focus is on Bobrisky’s action of not letting Jacob go see his father. If it is true, then it is unacceptable. This is especially egregious because Jacob claims Bobrisky raised funds from the public for his father but only gave him 60,000 Naira (roughly a little over $100.00 at the current exchange rate) which was not enough to travel to see his father.
It is one thing for people to be entertained by Bobrisky’s colourful personality, it is another thing for Bobrisky to realize entertainment or being an entertaining character doesn’t mean you treat people inhumanely, especially your house helps. There is no reason why Bobrisky should have prevented and discouraged Jacob from visiting his father, and worse take the very limited resources he had to do so.
You would think Bobrisky would know and do better. What a shame.
Bobrisky shennanigans exploiting Jacob
Jacob’s plea for help to the public
McGalaxy Reponds to Bobrisky accusations against him (graphic video of Jacob’s father’s issue with his foot)
Meet Bobrisky – His name was apparently one of the top Google searches in Nigeria in 2017
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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia. Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine.
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