by Alexander O. Onukwue
This is a crash course in profiling the personality known in Nigerian social media circles as Ray Hushpuppi.
He does not have a Wikipedia page, yet. With the way he raves about himself, you would have expected that to be a formality by now. Perhaps all of the attention he is seeking to generate, courteously or combatively, is targeted towards achieving that?
Without the aid of the ever reliable Wiki, a cursory stroll through Google reveals the following: No Linkedin page. No Forbes page. None on CNN or the New York Times either. What you really find is a lot of references to the left-side of Yaba, and one or two mentions on LindaIkeji.
But, like Bobrisky, Ray Hushpuppi is a ‘card-carrying’ member of that stratum of Nigerian social media entertainment, whose affairs keep Nigerian youth busily distracted. He is neither a blogger nor politician. He’s not a celebrity chef, not an OAP. Nothing.
But whenever his matter comes up, everyone harps on it. So, who is he?
He is a Gucci fanboy
Hushpuppi’s visual appearance bears one regular feature: Gucci. He has made the point of being identified with the Italian designer, though it is not known if this is in an official capacity as an ambassador. If not, at least he can be credited as being very associated with the brand on the strength of his wallet. But, to ask for a friend, are they all original though?
A narcissistic show-off merchant?
The word “narcissist” became more frequently used with the rise of Donald Trump. But, let’s be honest, Trump has many personal achievements to boast of and he really does act sometimes like he wants to Make America Great Again. Hushpuppi? Nobody really knows what the brother does for a living. Pictures of him looking daisy in luxury outfits are targeted at peppering the competition and sticking it to his haters. Yet, as it is clear in the case of his dig at artistes, Ice Prince and Phyno, he seems to want to tap into the fame of others to project his own self-image.
But some Nigerians have benefitted from him
To many, Hushpuppi is many things negative, but he has his knights, those who defend his honour when attacks are made on his wealth. He hosts free give always of airtime and cash through his social media channels, and that is beside those who ask him directly for financial assistance, not minding any shame that may be attached to that. Different strokes and all that.