Since the beginning of the week, we have not failed to bring you all the sides to and all our thoughts on the New Media and Governance Conference/Bobrisky controversy that has caused a week-long social media frenzy. You already know this is why we’re here!
We told you about how and why the Special Adviser to the President on New Media, Bashir Ahmad and Alder Consulting’s Subomi Plumptre pulled out of the event for various reasons all wrapped around The Bobrisky.
All of that is no longer news. We received this press statement from Black House Media’s Ayeni Adekunle and we are totally in for it because he thoroughly sums up, maybe not entirely how we feel about this matter, but most what we’ve been trying to say.
Read the full text of his statement here:
I’ve followed with curious attention, the conversations surrounding the addition of a Nigerian celebrity Bobrisky to a panel on the new media Citizens, and governance conference which opened in Abuja yesterday.
Since the chief organizer Yemi Adamolekun called me yesterday morning to inform that an aide of President Buhari had pulled out, as well as an executive at a consulting firm. I’ve read the arguments for and against, listened to my colleagues and associates’ views, including Mr. Femi Falodun, the COO of ID Africa, who actually is on the same panel as Bobrisky. I even read the statement from one of the parties, dissociating themselves from the ‘sensationalized’ event.
Having thought carefully about the matter, I feel a deep need to add my voice and explain why I, as a matter of personal conviction, and in line with the culture of our organization, feel the need to also now excuse myself from this event – if the organizers do not readjust the panels and place me in the same panel as Mr. Bobrisky.
I consider it rather unfair and unacceptable; an injustice even, to be made to moderate a different panel at an event the almighty Bobrisky is attending. A pan NJel that has received no attention, where no one is pulling in or pulling out anything, where none of the members has deemed it fit to cause any katakata. What’s the point of participating in the whole thing if one cannot milk it for some publicity? What’s the use if one cannot trend on twitter for one full day? I’ve been looking for an opportunity to appear on Linda Ikeji’s blog and Bella Naija for years. How dare you do this to me?
I’m jealous of the attention those who have pulled out and Bobrisky who I hope remains inside, are receiving; I’m sad I’m going to miss another opportunity to sit with and get to know the gentleman, discuss the concept of virality, and maybe even pick his brain. And, since we’re all being silly, I hereby announce that I will not be a part of the event today, if Yemi Adamolekun and her team do not get rid of Editi Effiong or Frank Donga from that important panel and push me in. I hope Bayo Omoboriowo will be around to take good photos.
Ayeni Adekunle is a media entrepreneur who knows too well that this sensationalism that these other people do not want to be associated with, is actually what defines new media. Bobrisky gets thousands talking on all the various platforms, he has an incredibly loyal audience and he has simultaneously and successfully sold his personality and his business to Nigerians, all by himself. Without the help of a PR agent or company, Bobrisky has built and over the past months, sustained a brand all via Snapchat. Beat that if you can!
This is exactly how we hoped the other parties would have handled the inclusion of this all-too important internet sensation on their panel. The organisers who put Bobrisky on the line-up for the conference saw beyond his bleached skin, his sexual orientation (regardless of how confused that leaves us) or whatever controversy surrounds his “radicalism”.
The show is over now and Bobrisky made it a point to stay silent through the uproar that surrounded his appearance on the flyer that surfaced on Monday. Talk about a man who knows how to handle bad press. He showed due respect for the organisers by gracing the event with his presence despite the dissension and this is how he signed out.
Your pop culture/entertainment go-to. Music head. Wallflower. I do not like to write. On a mission to decipher covfefe.