I’m here to quickly put things into perspective and lay to rest the misconceptions and the controversy surrounding Pharmsavi introductory speech in the BBNaija house.
Season 7 of Big Brother Naija is in full swing as the first set of housemates were unveiled on Saturday. The 8th housemate to be unveiled was Saviour Akpan aka PharmSavi from Akwa Ibom.
There’s a short clip circulating on social media (especially Facebook) which captures Savi saying he sometimes hides his surname Akpan because of the stereotype about Akwa Ibomites that exists mainly outside the state ( especially in Lagos).
Savi didn’t complete his introduction when, Phyna, a fellow housemate, interrupted him by making the same stereotypical comments:
“But na true o. Why be say person from Akwa Ibom na either gateman or househelp” — a comment to which he said, “No, that’s not true.”
That brief interaction in the clip led to the recent social media pandemonium that you must have witnessed. Plus, this all happened while Savi was introducing himself to fellow housemates.
To strike home my point, these are the mistakes that the many people cancelling PharmSavi are making:
1) They do not know that there’s another short clip which shows PharmSavi properly introducing himself.
2) They either know but blindly choose to focus on one video and make judgement based on the incomplete story the video carries.
These are my submissions:
1) There is an avalanche of stereotypes hanging in the air, waiting for any Akwa Ibomite who dares to travel far from the state. If you have travelled out, you’ll understand what I’m saying.
2) Many entertainers in the mainstream have fought a near fruitless fight against these stereotypes and many are tired. Many have resulted to hiding in plain sight, twisting their names and identity. Also, a great many are alternating between hiding and being visible as the situation demands.
3) From clear indication, PharmSavi happens to be among those caught between the divide.
His only mistake was admitting on National Tv that he sometimes hides his surname to get by situations — a crime that many Akwa Ibomites are guilty.
4) Instead of tearing him down, I see this as a wake-up call for all Akwa Ibomites to join me preach and own THE NEW GOSPEL OF PAN-AKWAIBOMISM.
5) Why our mainstream entertainers found it difficult to push through is because the efforts were not concerted. Many people at home did not join the fight because they were not even aware, for varied reasons.
6) But now, the home front is awake! We need to give a reason to ourselves and our people, Akwa Ibomites, in the diaspora to be proud of ourselves, our achievements, our origin and our conquests.
7) We the people can do this! We can give ourselves — and people like PharmSavi — an exciting reason to be more proud of ourselves.
Big ups to PharmSavi and Gifdyfia. Together we push!