Wasiu Ayinde, Bobrisky And The Nigerian Army (2)

By Tunde Odesola

In this day and age of social media, journalism, one of the few fearless professions, treats soft news with almost the same attention it treats hard news. According to the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, hard news refers to stories that are usually timely, important and consequential, such as politics, international affairs and business news. Soft news, on the other hand, includes entertainment, celebrity, and lifestyle stories.

Depending on their house styles, which are the rules guiding their news presentation, most media organisations across the country combine hard and soft news in varying proportions to reflect their mission and market.

Daily, serious dailies conduct editorial conferences to analyse and determine the news content for publication. One day, in one of such conferences in my newspaper office, talks centred around homosexuality. The newspaper’s Executive Director posed a question to editors at the conference: “Which one can you deal with: lesbians or gays?”

The majority of the editors at the conference said they could deal with lesbians much more than they could deal with gays. The editors agreed that cuddling, necking and pecking were synonymous with feminine cravings for TLC – tender, loving, care – an agelong potion which most women, especially lesbians seek with their partners. Notably, the editors didn’t see sex by lesbians as an abhorrent intrusion of the female genitals in the same way they saw the intrusion of the anal orifice in gay sex.

It’s, therefore, not a misrepresentation to say that the conference frowned on lesbians but scowled at gays.

The executive director later asked why lesbian practice got a frown and gay practice got a scowl. Offering different perspectives, editors at the editorial conference seemed not to view lesbianism with as much the same revulsion as they view gay practice. “Why?” the executive director asked. With scowls burrowing deeper on their faces, many of the editors submitted that gay practice was an intolerable violation of human anatomy. ‘Ayanma!’ ‘Tufiakwa!’ ‘God forbid!’ were some of the words that revealed the disgust the male-dominated gathering had for gays. Why do heterosexual men see lesbianism as a tolerable sin and consider gay practice as an intolerable sin?

Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye is a 33-year-old Nigeria biological male, who identifies as a woman. Okuneye, aka Bobrisky, calls herself the ‘Mummy of Lagos’, and goes about town wearing lavish (wo)manicure, peIDIcure, female clothes, shoes and accessories. Modern thesaurus minted new names for Bobrisky and her fellow risky boys. The names include cross-dresser, transvestite, ladyboy, drag queen, trannie, female impersonator etc. Bobrisky only openly identifies as a crossdresser and not as a gay or lesbian, with both practices and all shades of LGBTQIA outlawed in the country.

About three years ago, Bobrisky went under the knife and emerged with enhanced breasts but her big shoulders, square jaws and masculine neckline suggest that Idris’ anatomy remains a work in progress; a clay in the hands of her moulders. The medical risks involved in the creation of Bobrisky by surgeons imply she cannot be made in one day like God made Adam and Eve – without silicone implants, without cutting, grafting, puffing and patching.

Wahala! Wahala! Wahala! Wahala! Troublemaking is the oxygen of Nigeria’s reigning Most Controversial Musician, Habeeb Okikiola, aka Portable. A few days ago, Portable, the Ika of Africa (Africa’s Most Wicked), carried his portmanteau of wickedness to the house of Bobrisky after she was declared the Best Dressed Female at the premiere of a movie, Ajakaju, the Beast of Two Worlds. Bobrisky didn’t see what was coming when she called out Portable for criticising the female award given to her.

The self-styled Ika of Africa ran to the studio and came out with a monster hit titled Brotherhood, a song that tore Bobrisky apart. A few days after the musical dismantling of Bobrisky, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission paraded the Mummy of Lagos for serial mutilation of Nigeria’s currencies at parties. Watching the sober Bobrisky at the EFCC Office, without makeup, was like watching the shed skin of a snake. Seeing Bobrisky’s EFCC mugshot displaying her four-inch fingernails must have been a sad display for Nigerians with queer sexuality. But it also offered a peep into how the Nigerian society views the encouragement by the United States of America for Nigeria to hop on the LGBTQIA train.

Decency forbids me from mentioning the unprintable names Portable employed in describing Bobrisky’s buttocks, but I advise Bobrisky to quickly ramp up her rump and put Portable to shame for comparing her expensive backside with akpu. In the musical eyes of Portable, the backside of Bobrisky doesn’t correspond with her voluminous upper body. To avoid being body-shamed by cynics like Portable, Bobrisky should, please, embark on a yansh shoot to wow Portable and her long list of clientele.

But I utterly disagree with the position of the Nigeria Police Force for saying its hands are tied on the sexuality of Bobrisky. In the wake of the reactions generated by the Ajakaju premiere and the Brotherhood song, the NPF said there was no Nigerian law forbidding cross-dressing. This position of the police is shallow and capable of causing the breakdown of law and order. The position protects only Bobrisky and his ilk, exposing the larger Nigerian populace to danger. The Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, a gentleman and friend, revealed the position of the police on Bobrisky in an interview.

With about 2,400 fitness gyms, US-headquartered fitness group, Planet Fitness Inc., is one of the largest fitness club franchises in the world. On March 21, 2024, the stocks of Planet Fitness lost $400m in valuation after the company revoked an American woman’s membership for snapping photos of a transgender woman, who was biologically male, shaving in a women’s locker room of Planet Fitness in Alaska.

Reports by Daily Mail, Fox Business, New York Post, and Newsweek, among other news outlets, said Patricia Silva, a white Alaskan woman was shocked to see a transgender woman shaving in the locker room while a preteen girl, who had come to use the locker room, watched in horror.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Planet Fitness Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, McCall Gosselin, said Silva violated the company’s policy on gender identity. Gosselin said, “As the home of the Judgement Free Zone, Planet Fitness is committed to creating an inclusive environment. Our gender identity non-discrimination policy states that members and guests may use the gym facilities that best align with their sincere, self-reported gender identity. The member (Silva) who posted on social media violated our mobile device policy that prohibits taking photos of individuals in the locker room, which resulted in their membership being terminated.”

But Silva said, “There was “a little girl sitting in the corner. She could have been [12 years old] … in a towel kind of freaked out. ​​I was offended, I took a picture of him.”

If the Nigeria Police Force subjected the Bobrisky issue to deep thought, it should have invited her with a view to determining her real sexuality so that the vagueness conferred on her sexuality by cross-dressing would be cleared. How would male and female police officers feel if Bobrisky appeared in their toilets? How would parents feel to have a Bobrisky in the same bathroom with their children? If there’s no law that prohibits Bobrisky from being a crossdresser, the police should, at least, ensure the safety of Nigerians using public toilets by protecting them from men who pose as crossdressers but have ulterior motives to hurt children and women, especially. This is why the need to determine Bobrisky’s real sexuality is a cause for public concern.

To be continued.

 

Written by Tunde Odesola and first published in The PUNCH, on Friday, April 12, 2024.
Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com
Facebook: @Tunde Odesola
X: @Tunde_Odesola

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