The American entertainment industry— well, the Black American entertainment industry (which is, in certain ways you look at it, most of it) held its regular backslapping ceremony, the annual awards show where they verify, validate and certify the ‘dopeness’. It’s the BET Awards!
But those of us no longer in America, why should we care? Burna Boy is why. Let me explain in simple terms.
Burna Boy is Nigerian, not actually an American, but he is a very entertaining black person on television. Even in America. They saw him dance and perform and sing his various hits and were greatly impressed. “Y’all, this here is dope,” they said in their native dialect. “We straight finna award this here Burna Boy innernational ardis thichear.”
Thus did the already celebrated, acclaimed and much adored 27-year-old add a BET award to his collection which includes trophies from America, Africa, and every other conceivable source.
The list of awards, collaborations, gigs and we say he has gone international but this award changes that. Because the ones we call international are the ones who gave him the award. Which means they consider him the international one.
We are international now.
For the Black Entertainment Television Awards, international will largely consist of Nigeria.
Let me explain. ‘African’ at this rate largely consists of Nigeria. If Africans are going to enter the global space, the odds of Nigeria providing the African element are high.
I’m not saying Nigerians are better than the rest of us. But they are more than anyone else. So even if the ratio cool/awesome to regular peeps is the same in Nigeria as it is in other countries, it still means that Nigeria has more cool/awesome people.
So let’s not be jealous. Celebrate and not hate.
Well, we say Burna Boy won the award, but he didn’t get the award as such. His mum did.
Mr Boy was on the premises when the award was announced, according to reports we read, he had gone to get a drink.
Now, I don’t believe everything pop stars tell us. They tend to say things to stay within “image” or “on brand”. Who gets up to get a drink at an award ceremony when they are announcing the award you are nominated for? This is dubious. No, he hadn’t gone to get a drink.
Burna Boy was in the lavatory taking a dump that was going on for a bit longer than he had planned and he couldn’t escape.
His mum rocked the house though. She got up on that stage, looked around at the BET Awards audience and African mummed the hell out of them. Yeah. When an African Mum sees a bunch of young people what does she do? She gives advice. That’s right.
She said, “Thank you BET, Thank you Africa because that’s the constituency for which we got noticed in the first place.
Every black person should please remember that you were Africans before you became anything else.”
Yeah. Don’t forget where you came from you Puffy, Nicki, Lil Baby, Tyler Perry, Morgan Freeman, etc.
So congratulations to us Africans, both the American and international ones.