This Is Where I Stand ... | Rent-A-Black Issue

I have been getting calls and emails for interviews about what happened on Twitter. I want to state unreservedly that I stand by position on the exploitation of black talent in this industry. I have declined these interviews because, the interest is in the so called "fight" instead of having a long overdue discussion about the exploitation of our talent. 

With regard to the Twitter incident, I have no interest in using an ugly moment between someone I admire as a career boost.

It is unfortunate that what was essentially a statement to highlight to a young supporter that the industry is not what he think it is, has turned into this mess. I also understand that it is probably boring to ask pertinent questions about issues so everyone is jumping onto the Twitter incident. 

To clear up some things; reading my blog you all will know that I am not the kind of person who uses people's misfortunes to further my interests. You also know that I do not do gossip on my blog. 

I have NEVER had a fight with Bonang. No, there is no underlining issue we haven't settled. This was simply an incident that shocked me as much as it did to a lot of people. 

I am and will always be a huge Bonang fan and reading this blog you would know why. I have written articles celebrating her success and urging others to learn from her. Articles such as; 
I have also written article that questioned her position and criticized some of her career choices; 
There has been over 60 articles I have written on this blog about Bonang. It is very clear that I am a big supporter of hers. However, unlike some her fans on Twitter, my love and respect for her do not negate that I never look at the facts and have an unflattering opinion about her brand. 

I strongly believe that people who praise and clap at everything you do are not fans, they are groupies. True fans know when to be honest and do not follow blindly. I also genuinely believe that is helpful in one's career. 

One of the reason why our entertainment industry is moving so slowly even when we have better resources than  Nollywood is the fact that we have become an industry that just accepts everything. We have cultivated a culture of celebrating mediocrity and of never expressing our honest opinions about the industry. 

For some part our entertainment media is guilty of perpetuating this culture of sheepishly bowing to "suck up" journalism. I often refer to this as "groupie media" phenomenon. Journos wants to be friends with celebrates and walk redcarpets too so they turn to forget that their job is to be the bridging gap between the fans and the stars, not to be the mouth pieces of their celebrity friends. 

I have always believed Bonang and I have that relationship. I believed, perhaps wrongly, that she knew I love her and support her therefore I will always be honest where she is concerned. I have always believed that I would not be credible to my readers and to some extent to her, if all I ever did was throw confetti at her and everything she does. 

I also understand why some reporters and bloggers in this industry fall into that "groupie media" thing. Often is through fear that you would be blacklisted by PR agencies and publicists. That is a reality. It has happened to me many times where I write a bad review about a show or a brand and suddenly I do not get invites to events or get sent press releases anymore.  

It should never happen but it does. This why you will always see journalists you respect seemingly never give a critical coverage of certain people and institutions within this industry. The lines between friendships, need to be part of the clique and blatant sucking up is a reality we live with everyday. I have pointed this out on these articles: 
To end this, I harbor no ill-will towards Bonang. I was just as surprised as everyone else when our interaction the other night took the turn it did as my statement was not intended as an attack on her personally. I just used her name as collective representation of successful black talent. 

I did not call Bonang a puppet or rent-a-black girl as some media have erroneously reported. I wrote " ... people like Bonang have essentially become ...". I used the "like Bonang" in context of black talent who are seemingly prospering. 

During the entire Twitter debacle I continuously asked Bonang to stop because I like her that much and saw that her posts were painting her in a way she would not be happy with once she calmed down. 

I was hurt that she had to use a homophobic inference and some insults towards me, but she said she was livid and I understood. I know her not to be that type of person. She has always been good to me. When she opened her company Bonang Matheba Entertainment, she hired me to be in her team and I will always be grateful to her for that. 

On a more personal level, I have always seen her as a sister. We both from North West and are equally driven to make a mark in this business. I have had worse fights with my blood relatives, some of whom I still do not talk to to this day, so this is not major to me. 

I have avoided being buddy-buddy with celebrities for this very reason that sometimes I would have to give my opinion about the industry and they would take it personally because we are "friends'.

I will continue to support and share Bonang's achievements because I believe black success (in particular) has to be seen in this country so it can inspire our young people. Unfortunately I will also be frank and open about any negative opinions I might have where she is involved. 

There. I hope this clears up any questions about this issue and gives you guys a perspective of where I stand. 

I am happy to do interviews if the discussion is about my initial statement about black talent exploitation, the true reflection of  celebrity influence and celebrity brand power on sales.

As for apologies ... that is between Bonang and I. I am however sorry that my statement pushed her to a position to use words like that and that has become a story.  My intention was never to harm her name in any way. 

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.