Last quarter of the year and we have had many viral challenges, most of them arising from 2018’s bloat in music and movies and driven by a pervasive online video culture. #KikiChallenge, #LevelUpChallenge, #AgbadaChallenge, have all helped songs attain mass reach and provided them the much needed push into success, but these challenges have died with the same suddeness they rose into prominence. All three have now receded into digital oblivion. But our current obsession is the #KupeChallenge, which reached viral status when four debatably hot black men in France danced to A-Star’s hit song Kupe Dance.
More than anything else, the video went viral because of their good looks, and Nigerians are making their versions of the challenge, trying to leverage the ease of virality on Instagram to get some of that shine for themselves. Some are funny, the all-female iterations I have seen are riotously cute, while some are just dumb. Case in point: Melvin Oduah and Kenneth Okolie resorting to peak Instagram comic material with the tiresome schtick of wearing weaves and make up. Point being, no layer of creativity.
I thought I had seen it all, until reality stars Tobi Bakre and Miracle Igbokwe waded into the challenge. The first person we see is Miracle sitting down, trying to be cute and absentminded as he preoccupies himself with his phone. Then a bare-chested Tobi Bakre comes into view and, before we know it, his chest (or pecs) looking like medium wraps of fufu begin to ‘dance’ to the challenge. It’s not particularly repulsive, nor is it criminally bland. It’s just…completely off, unnecessary. And you can’t unsee it. My automatic reaction was the meme of the little white girl looking mildly disgusted, like a toned-down WTF? I think I have seen enough viral challenges for 2018, thank you.