Friday, 16 April 2010 07:48

Is being Black only about being Poor, Bad & Dirty?

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Your excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, all protocols observed...

 

I just love that, in Africa when you are giving a speech or addressing an audience you always start off the salutation like that, this just kills me. So I thought that I would start by greeting you all this way. Well my people, yes to your shock and some of you, your dismay I am alive I did survive my close brush with death and managed to come out of the “black women’s singles seminar” alive and with all of my body parts intact, I will fill you in on my narrow escape later in my blog.

 

But before we get into that we are about to debate a very serious issue and you are entitled to take whichever side of the debate you please, but please do debate this with your family, friends, colleagues (white/black, young/old, male/female).

 

Is being Black only about being Poor, Bad & Dirty?

 

Lets paint the scenario, you are part of a group of people of all colours, nationalities, ages and sexes, sitting in the living room of your house/flat/room share etc (I trust you have a place to live) and there are drinks a plenty and our South London sisters/brothers have ordered in Nandoes, North London crowd Kebabs/Pizza, West London Chinese, East London Jerk Chicken/Rice and Peas or Jollof Rice and everyone else that is not from London or the UK are eating whatever they like.

 

You have all just finished watching the first part of a three part series calledWelcome to Lagos”  which was shown on BBC 2 (if you missed it CLICK HERE to watch it on BBC iplayer).

The programme is described as “This extraordinary three-part observational series explores life at the sharp end of one of the most extreme urban environments in the world: Lagos, Nigeria. Today, more than half the world's population live in cities, and this eye-opening series shows what life is really like in the toughest parts of the world's fastest-growing megacity. With extraordinary access to some of the poorest parts of town, the series celebrates the resilience, resourcefulness and energy of Lagos's 16 million or so inhabitants, and shows how successfully many of its slum-dwellers are adapting to the extreme urban future.”
 

The debate is as follows – Is it that everything black is only about being poor, crooked or dirty?

This programme is about Lagos, Nigeria in Africa but there have been similar programmes on Jamaica, Ethiopia, African Americans and Black British people and unless I have not been to spec savers recently it just seems to be that anything black never seems to be shown in a positive light. There have been similar programmes done by the likes of Ross Kemp’s filming on gangs and he also did a programme on Nigeria and other squalid black areas around the world and they all had they same theme, everything Black is about being poor, bad or dirty.

I am not saying that Nigeria does not have slums or poverty and the same applies to Kingston (Jamaica), Rio de Janerio (Brazil), South Central, LA or Harlem (USA) but at the same time the question must be asked that how come they never do documentaries on the good parts of these places, how come they never show the beautiful houses that have been built or the great cars that are driven or the beautiful opulent weddings and shows that are produced or the educated people that are contributing to the development of their respective countries and when I say we, I refer to all black countries.

It frustrates me that when black people are portrayed, their countries are always shown in a very negative light or they are shown as fraudsters, drug dealers, muggers, hoes, living in abject poverty and begging for hand outs and require the western world to come in and save us, I could go on and on – I know they say the colour black represents evil and bad things but they do not need to take it literally and always show us in a bad light.

I think the BBC would have done the programme more justice and it would have been more  balanced if out of the 3 programmes they at least did one that showed how the other half of Lagos lived and showed the gap between rich and poor. All I can say is thank God for Nollywood movies because at least in some of them you get to see that Nigeria is not just about abject poverty.

It would be interesting to know your views on this, whether you be white, black, oriental or whatever, do you see things the same way as the BBC and agree that the best way to initiate change is to show the negative sides of black countries or is this just a true reflection of the black society across the world. On the other hand is it that the BBC and other programme makers are just playing to the colonial mentality that if we wish to keep the black man down we must give the world the impression that black people are living in the 18th century and are in desperate need of the modern western world to come in and save us and this can only be done by showing half truths?

I am sure you can all remember the Nigerian “pants bomber”, we produced one stupid pants bomber and we as a nation get put on the terrorist watch list, the UK allegedly produced the shoe bomber and a number of other alleged terrorist and they are seen as partners in the fight against terrorism. So even though it is unfair to Nigerians as a nation, power within the media is not in our control and as such we will always be faced with these negative stereotypes.

It is a worthy debate but I also believe that there is now the opportunity to produce our own versions of such programmes that show us in a different light (and I think that Ghana has gone a long way in doing this), it is important for the likes of HiTV, AIT, Ben TV and other independent black owned TV & film producers to lead the way.

I will stop here as I am dragging on and its getting boring but don’t just ignore it, talk about it, comment on It, start debates on Facebook etc and lets push for a more fairer representation on BLACK – not everything black is poor, bad and dirty.

Purple Ball...

 

As you can see from above I am in a bit of a sour puss mood and I am just about to get into an even worst mood when I think about the purple ball.

 

Now you all know that I review shows that I am invited too and that I attend, but this is a show with a difference as I am about to do a review on a show that did not even take place. This is not a typing error I am reviewing a show that DID NOT TAKE PLACE...

 

About 2 years ago I was a producer on a show called “the Big Search” and this was aired (if you can call it that) on one of the sky channels and put very mildly even though we had some great content and footage, the final production was not very good and had to be taken off the air (THANK GOD). Anyway I digress but as part of the show the executive producer was meant to do an after event for all of the crew, contestants, judges and anyone else that wished to attend, but just like the show it did not take place that year but was scheduled to take place on Friday 9th April 2010.

 

Yes you guessed it, after lots of publicity and a lot of hype and people running around London looking for purple outfits to wear, it did not take place. Now as a show producer I understand that shows for a variety of reasons get cancelled but listen to this, the organiser knew that it was not going to take place nearly 3 days before the scheduled event and she did not tell anybody. It just so happens that at 5pm (show meant to start at 6pm), on the day of the event I get a text not from the organiser but from a friend who had found out by accident that the show had been cancelled. No text or email or message from the organiser and to make matters worse she allegedly failed to inform the caterers that the event had been cancelled and they showed up at the venue with over £2000 worth of food for non existence guest and no event.

 

Now tell me is that not wickedness, if you have known for a while that you could not afford to pay for the venue and that you would have to cancel, would you not have the common decent courtesy to text and phone around and let people know it is cancelled and by putting up a message on Facebook an hour before the event does not cut it, how many people read Facebook when getting dressed or on their way to an event.

 

I guess you have realised that I was pissssssssssssssssssssssssssssssseeeeeeeeeeeed & so was everyone else that I had to inform to turn back and go home as the event was cancelled. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER & do not take peoples niceness or silence to think that we are fools to be treated with disrespect.

 

 

News In Brief:

 

TMC UK

 

There are only 14 days to enter Top Model of Colour and I believe that if you don’t buy a lottery ticket you can’t win the lottery, so you have to be in it to win it. CLICK HERE TO ENTER

 

Police brutality (Allegedly)

  

Watch the video and decide for yourself are they stupid or what...

 

When will the police ever learn, it just seems that the police want to play into the public’s perception of them, that they are ALL STUPID. You know and I know and everyone else knows that nowadays there are CCTV cameras everywhere and people have tiny little camera phones and video recorders that can film things and they can post them on the internet within seconds and ensure that it is featured around the world. Did they honestly believe that they could beat a person in the open in front of 100’s of people and think that no one would film it daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh – remember Rodney King.

 

So how did these Maryland cops believe that they could beat a poor innocent student and think it would not be filmed and they even had the audacity to lie in their official police report and say that the student attacked them first.

 

Somebody is about to lose their job and the city is about to make this young student extremely rich.

 

Black women’s single seminar

 

I entered the lion’s den and I survived. I believe that I should be awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry while under intense enemy fire. For those of you saying what is the big deal, you try and go to a seminar filled with 100 SINGLE BLACK WOMEN, trust me one black woman is hard enough to handle, but 100 that is intense enemy fire.

 

It was a very interesting afternoon with the women asking the panel of men (about 14 of us including my good friend photographer extraordinaire Jason Grant) and they asked us a variety of questions ranging from why are more and more black men going out with white women, do black men think black women are hard work and they also wanted a definition of what black men mean when they say they are “single” compared to a woman’s definition of being single.

 

I know that you want me to give an insight as to my responses to the above (which were funny, but factual and well received) but you should have been there.

 

But trust me a woman’s definition and a man’s definition of being single vary tremendously. Excuse me, why are you going on, I said I am not giving the definition - ok ok I might in a later blog and let you into the big secret.

 

MOAN OF THE DAY...

 

To be fake or not to be fake

 

How many times have you seen a friend carry a Gucci or Fendi bag or a dude wearing a pair of Versace glasses and you say to them are they the real McKoy and they slightly hesitate (the sure giveaway that they are fake), they quickly recover and say of course they are real forgetting that they bought them the other day from the pound shop or for those slightly more upmarket from East Street or Dalston Market.

 

I am not into designer stuff (when people say that it is either cos they are too bush and could not tell DESIGNER from DESINER or simply like me cos i am too cheap, can’t afford it or sometimes it just seems silly paying enormous amounts of money for a designer shirt or suit). To make matters worse besides the Gucci’s and Versace’s of this world that think people would only buy their expensive stuff if they put their name everywhere repeatedly, like putting it once is not enough as we all can’t read,  the only way that you can know that it is designer is by reading the label that you can’t even see. It kills me when I see guys wearing a designer suit and they refuse to cut off the label that is on the sleeve of the suit, just so that they can let people know they are wearing a designer suit or you have a lady that has a designer bag and every minute she is going into the bag to find something that does not exist in the hope that someone will notice and say “is that a Gucci bag, how much did you buy it” etc etc

 

I don’t understand that when you can hardly afford to put petrol in your car of buy credit on your phone you are prepared to go and spend a whole month’s salary to buy that designer outfit or fake real hair (something just does not ring right with that, you are buying real hair but it’s not yours so it is really fake hair but you call it real hair), this is a subject for another day, as ladies we must get into this.

 

People with real class don’t need to advertise they are wearing designer outfits, class will always show through.

 

Do I want to talk to you?

 

Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh today is a day of frustration. You are at home just finished cooking and about to sit down and watch Eastenders, Coronation Street, Holyoaks, American Idol, the Simpsons or Magic Roundabout  (that was for the ladies) or for the guys you have driven many miles using your last spare cash to buy petrol to go and see your babe in the hope that you may get some and then the phone rings and you look at the caller ID and it is a good friend or family member but no one important so you decide to ignore it as you really want to just chill and watch TV or start the mating process with your babe. But what happens it rings again, now for the woman, life is not to bad (just irritating) as you put it on silent and hope that the person will send you a text or leave a voice mail and you will come back to them later but for the man he is beginning to sweat, cos guys you know how it is, your babe is asking you “ why are you not answering the phone or who is it that keeps calling you” – but you know that you dare not answer the phone and you start to pray silently – please Lord let this girl not call again – but what happens she does – every two minutes and you know that you can kiss getting some goodbye.

 

My point is this – if you call someone once, twice or thrice and they do not pick up the phone it means that they are either busy, on the phone, getting their groove on or very simply THEY DO NOT WANT TO SPEAK TO YOU – get the message and send a text, leave a voicemail of just go away. You calling a 100 times is not going to make them answer the phone – o yeah by the way don’t then get smart and call them back withholding your number or using someone else’s phone.

 

If they don’t pick up the phone there is a reason why they are not answering - so stop calling!!!!!

 

Be good and take care – tomorrows another day!

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