Labeling 2017 ‘Year of the Awkward’ will not be out-of-place as the year never ran short of a supply of embarrassing moments. Now we don’t jump in our seats when we read weird stuff in the news, we just shrug. Here are the 2017 moments that prepared us for that level of bravery.
Dino Melaye’s Ajekun Iya and certificate scandal
The guys at Sahara Reporters must have made an editorial decision at the start of the year to be Senator Dino Melaye’s nemesis and we dare say they succeeded at leaving him traumatised.
In March 2017, the news outlet reported that the brash Senator never graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University as he had claimed. Harvard University and London School of Economics were quick to dissociate their institutions from him and the National Assembly website boldly stated that 43-year-old Dino completed university education way before he was born, in 1970.
Melaye could hardly hide his frustration as he threatened fire and brimstone; but the authorities at ABU saved the day by confirming he actually finished from the Geography department with a 3rd class.
A victorious Melaye then released a hit banger that sent literal shivers down all our spines. “Ajekun Iya ni o je” reverberated across social media, got an acapella remix and Dino crowned it all by attending plenary in an academic gown.
The internet will forever be grateful for the meme that was birthed from the mess.
Rat infestation in Aso Rock
Days after President Muhammadu Buhari’s eventual return from his 103-day medical leave in the United Kingdom, his media aide, Garba Shehu announced that the president would have to carry out his duties from the comfort of his home for another three months.
It wasn’t that the president was too frail to move about or that his health still needed to be monitored, it was because his office had been run over by rats due to his prolonged absence. According to Shehu, the rodents had feasted on the office furniture and the air conditioning also needed fixing.
This piece of news was reported across local and international sites making Nigeria the butt of world jokes for the umpteenth time.
Donald Trump shoves Montenegro Prime Minister
The 45th President of the United States effortlessly creates perfect awkward moments but this was the one he used to announce himself “the leader of the world” to everyone who may have missed the memo.
At the NATO Summit in Brussels in May, Trump pushed his way through to the front of a group world leaders by shoving off an unassuming Duško Marković, Prime Minister of Montenegro who stood “in his way”.
Of course, social media was thrown into a snafu and Trump was berated for such childish behaviour on a world stage but guess who didn’t take any offence? Marković himself. In fact, the Prime Minister took advantage of the viral moment and said in an interview, “I have to say that I’m very grateful that this incident, so to say, took place. Because this is what made us so famous. This is what made Montenegro famous“.
Primary school teachers in Kaduna fail Primary 4 test
When the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) announced that there are 207,818 unqualified teachers in primary schools across Nigeria, we thought the numbers were exaggerated for attention.
But when 33,000 teachers in Kaduna sat for a primary 4 competency test and over 21,000 of them failed, we trembled.
Governor El-Rufai published some of the test scripts and we found questions like “Define a nuclear family” getting answers like “Nigerian family is the type of family”.
Anthony Scaramucci and his record-breaking White House job
Hired. Then fired.
That’s basically the job cycle, right? It only becomes weird when it’s a role at the White House and it takes you only 10 days to mess it up and get the boot.
Anthony ‘The Mooch’ Scaramucci seemed to be in President Trump’s good books when he was first hired as White House Communications Director and he seemed capable of handling the press, what with his infamous air kisses.
Scaramucci ruined his own White House career when he called former New Yorker reporter, Ryan Lizza to rant about leaks in the White House, called former chief of staff Reince Priebus “a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac” and said he was not “trying to suck my own cock” like former senior White House counselor Steve Bannon.
And the Academy Award for Best Picture goes to…
The greatest gaffe in Oscar history was chalked up to the handing of a wrong envelope to award presenters, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Poor souls!
The Award for Best Picture went to La La Land and the cast and crew had made their way to the stage and were in the middle of an acceptance speech when it dawned on organisers that the wrong winner had been named.
“There’s been a mistake; Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture”, “This is not a joke, I’m afraid they read the wrong thing”, a couple of actors announced on stage. There was mini chaos on stage and the crowd was left in confusion.
That’s all we remember of the 2017 Oscars.
How Lai Mohammed sided with the enemy
The West African Jollof wars is an all too important part of popular culture in these parts.
So when Nigeria’s Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed double-crossed the entire nation by declaring Senegal as the “best” and “truest” makers of jollof rice, it was bent to make headlines.
Lai Mohammed sold Nigerians out and not only was it embarrassing for most of us, it was upsetting too. For betraying a national cause on international media, some Nigerians called for the Minister to be charged for treason.
Yes, we take our jollof rice that seriously.
Donald Trump’s clueless addition to world vocabulary
It’s been 7 months since President Donald Trump sent out an incomplete tweet, “Despite the constant negative press covfefe” that left the internet perplexed.
No one has since been able to decipher the meaning of the last word in that phrase, “COVFEFE” and we may never find out but that event was another opportunity for the world to question Trump’s ability to lead America.
Rochas Okorocha, the father of erections
2017 was the year someone sold the idea of erections to Imo governor, Rochas Okorocha and he made a full purchase of the idea.
Running with it, Okorocha first sent Nigerians into a spin when he unveiled the first of his many statues being that of infamous South African president, Jacob Zuma. The general consensus, at the time, was that Mr Rochas had gone mental as his actions no longer aligned with common sense.
Barely two months down the line, Okorocha confirmed all the speculations. He named his sister Commissioner for Happiness and Purpose Fulfilment in Imo state.
Small doctor’s small doctor unfiltered
Unclad and in hand-job action, Penalty singer, Small doctor gave his Snapchat followers a view of his most private part and the video somehow found its way out of his Snapchat to our social media.
Days later, he claimed his account was hacked and it wasn’t him in the video but wrong move, we know your(e) small doctor.
Your pop culture/entertainment go-to. Music head. Wallflower. I do not like to write. On a mission to decipher covfefe.