One recipe for disaster is to put young, privileged, Nigerian celebrities in a room, train a camera on them and ask them to make ‘sense’ of important matters relating to sexuality, oppression and gender. But it makes ‘great’ (read as controversial) television, so our Nigerian content developers cannot help themselves, apparently neither can Ndani TV.
After resting their web show ‘Real Talk’ for almost two years, it’s been revived with a new host: Nicole Asinugo (it used to be Cornelia O’Dwyer) and bringing more Nigerians to ‘discuss’ important issues. For the first episode, they jumped right into the deep end by talking about consent.
Activist channels like Stand To End Rape and Funmi Iyanda have given quite coherent and explicit explorations of the concept of consent, and why it is important that we unlearn the misogynist premises on which most people operate when it comes to consent. But neither activists nor experts were invited to sit in on this episode. Instead they brought Dj Obi, Lola Adamson, Beverly Naya and Eniola Abumere.
What could go wrong? You’re probably thinking the show wasn’t made to air the opinions of experts and activists only.
But here, these are some of the choice statements that our good friends invited to speak offered when asked about consent:
“Women are more emotional than men”.
“Silence is consent”.
“How you dress is how you should be addressed”.
“A woman is like a steak and a man is like a lion, don’t put your steak in front of a lion.” (This one they have tried to play off lightly since the episode aired with host and guests calling out DJ Obi for it on social media).
Eniola Abumere actually went as far as suggesting that men should verbally request consent, because nowadays, you don’t know who will “try to destroy your life”.
We are dead tired at this point of having to listen to people who are willfully ignorant about the definition of consent discussing what consent is.
The definition of consent is not up for debate, it is not some amorphous idea that you can bend to suit your mood or time of day. Consent is well defined and if our celebrities would spend their time studying what consent is instead of just spouting indoctrinated misogyny, we wouldn’t have such widespread instances of rape.
Would it kill these content creators to actually hire a legal expert, a psychologist or an activist to sit on these ‘panels’ and actually correct these statements. Is it forbidden somewhere for these talk shows to actually educate their audiences instead of propagating misinformation?
Is this really too much of us to ask of them?