For the glowing pages of This Day Style, Nigeria’s TV personality Eku Edewor posed with Rapper, pop-star Lynxx in a series of cultural themed pictures titled ‘Young, Restless & Daring.’
Lynxx, whose real name is Chukie Edozien was garbed as an Asaba royalty, fully clad in traditional regalia while Eku was frocked as an Urhobo princess in a resplendent gown with an array of beads to match.
In the magazine, the two entertainment personalities talk about their cultural bacgrounds and how it has influenced their career choices.
The duo both appeared appealing, complimenting each other’s style. Honestly speaking, they both looked good.
However, the “looking-good” aspects and aesthetics of this photo shoot ran nearly un-noticed by the public.
What about this beautiful display of African pride and splendour could have sparked much backlash & contoversy?
And here it comes….
What do you notice? What went culturally right, then racially wrong? Infact if not of Eku’s very light complexion, bestowed upon her via skin via DNA as she is of a mixed race, perhaps this phtoto shoot would not have become the very butt of media criticism. And one can understand a basis for the brouhaha. Albeit she explained once again that the Photo was nothing more than a cultural depiction of an African Princess, a new bride being escorted to the palace of her royal groom after their wedding. Note; that the companions are intended to be the Princesses’s relatives helping with her luggage as tradition demands.
But then the arguement that she looked more like the daughter of an Europian, colonial aristocrat in an expedition to Africa than a progeny of an African king rose as a result of her whitish skin. Worthy of mention was that these so-called relatives looked nothing like the princess, not in skin colour or attire. The views as they escalated held that they instead appeared to look more like slaves than relatives.
A photo shoot meant for cultural appreciation or was it? Many opined that perhaps it may have been a deliberate strategy by those behind the conceptualisation of the shoot to throw light on the issue of colour privileges in a country like Nigeria which TV personality Eku Edewor may well have benefited from.
Biracial people are often faced with a lot of confusion on how to define their race even from birth. The ones whose father’s are white may tend to call themselves white only to realise in dismay that the Causcasian world hardly regard them as white. Then those with Aryan blood from their mother’s side would often say they are Africans only to be hit with the shocking truth that all Biracial people are seen as white or Oyinbo in the afro community.
As, these mixed race individuals realise that they are black to whites ad whites to blacks hence the confusion..
In the diaspora, there exists racism from the causacasians to the blacks and reverse racism from the negroes to the whites. And the half-castes receives both from either sides when it comes.
But in countries like Nigeria, we find a situation where expatriates receive more hospitality than the nation’s citizens. Being white or regarded white in Nigeria and some African countries means being conveyed certain extra privileges or literarily getting more respect.
Many have termed this neo-colonial slavery. That perhaps Africans not only lost bits of their identity to the colonial masters but chunks of their self-esteem as a people as well.
Even today, we see many of our youth disregard the mother -tongue whilst gloryng in fake foreign accents. Obsessing over travelling abroad and playing to the exotic gallery when it comes to showcasing themselves. Tribal dialects are dismissed as vernacular and those who are shamelessly real are branded bush.
What is wrong with us?
Media personality, Eku Edewor is not the problem. Being of a mixed race was not by her own design. In her defence, she may have seen the complexion difference but not the “race” difference of her and her companions as she apparently inwardly might think herself to be black just as they are.
Artiste, Lynxx who knows, may well have been too engrossed with other details of the shoot, like maintaining pose and composure, probably didn’t have the foresight at the time to start reading meaning to arrangements.
Contriwise, the directors of this photo shoot certainly do have explanations to give. Maybe they saw the impending controversy but went along with it anyway as a beacon for publicity.
But what if, they gave no thought to race and public perception during conceptualisation?
Be it ignorance, stunt or sheer serendipity, one thing is clear: a single light -skinned child among the Princess’s companions would have made all the difference.