It’s not very often that you get the Lagos state government to act on matters of social justice without being publicly shamed on social media first. After all, the dozens of complaints on social media of young men and women being harassed by police officers looking to make a quick buck through intimidation barely gets them to raise an eyebrow. But over the weekend, self affirming Pretty Mike, club owner and promoter and sex baiter finally got under the skin enough to warrant an official statement and an arrest. I think this is Pretty Mike’s biggest claim to fame thus far and by Jove, he has been trying.
No one knows the exact details of his arrangement, but Pretty Mike had taken to attending public events where he was a guest with a pair of women who could be anywhere from 15 to 26, decked in lace body con dresses and Halloween masks. The real clincher, of course is that both women wore dog collars, and were led around by Pretty Mike on a leash. Oh yeah, they also carry umbrellas, an upgrade from the last few months where Pretty Mike himself used to carry the umbrellas. He did it a couple of times and if it wasn’t enough that he managed unsettle the other guests at these events, he took to social media to also ‘share’ this particular kink/stunt with everyone else. Because you know, does a tree really fall if no one heard it?
The social media furore that followed the ‘release’ of his photo-op with his ‘puppies’, which Pretty Mike calls a ‘craft’ and affirms is for Women’s liberation and the consequent arrest is the most attention that he has gotten, ever. Not his parties at this club or the other stunts that Pretty Mike has pulled over the last year to gain attention to himself. He finally got what he has been looking for, attention.
You see, there are trolls and there are people with an almost obsessive need to be the topic of conversation. Many of the people who fall into the latter category tend to use sex and sexuality as tool to gain attention and Pretty Mike, a fairly attractive man with little else going for him has chosen to use sexual minorities as his claim to fame. Early in 2016, when the infamous Bobrisky’s star was just beginning to rise, Pretty Mike somehow found him and took fairly ordinary photographs with him after inviting him to party at Club Uno, Pretty Mike’s club. Then he put one of the pictures on Instagram with a very suggestive caption, suggestive enough that people began to insinuate that Pretty Mike and Bobrisky were romantically involved. Pretty Mike took it a step further by putting up a photo of himself in a bathtub covered in suds and directly mentioned Bobrisky with an even more suggestive caption. The blogs latched on to it, and Pretty Mike waited for the noise to build before coming to release some watery statement about he and Bobrisky are only ‘friends’.
Then there were the episodes with pleated skirts, umbrellas inside buildings, suggestive Instagram captions. Typical drama queen shenanigans.
Many people disagree that the Lagos state government shouldn’t have stepped in, and that they have ignored more pressing issues for a trivial one in arresting this obvious attention seeker, but the blame for that I will lay squarely at the feet of all of you. If you all had seen Pretty Mike’s stunts and tsk-ed in your bedroom and gone on with your day, you would have starved a troll. But you didn’t, you weighed in, showed off your ‘conservativeness’ or your grasp of ‘contemporary’ sexual kinks and your liberalness. You didn’t give three ‘consenting’ adults the indifference that their actions should have elicited. So you can’t really blame the Lagos state government for following your cues.
We need to ignore Pretty Mike as a community, because his antics will only get more outrageous as he attempts to top himself. We can’t keep making celebrities of people who want to exploit the problems of marginalized people because they give us an excuse to feel better about ourselves.
Stop feeding trolls.