Hot Takes: BBNaija Finale, AFRIMA 2021, Kenyan Housewives & More

This Kenyan high Court ruling would suprise you

Summer is officially over and we are back to our normal busy lives of work, school, NYSC, and more, it’s easy to feel as though life is just passing you by. However, as the days become months, we’re coursing nearer and nearer towards the peak social event time of the yearly calendar: Detty December.

As such, the atmosphere is far from boring given that so many events are popping up all over the world. COVID-19 has still not taken a back seat but in the face of this, after being locked down for most of the past year, many are returning to live shows and in-person events all across the world. This means that the wheels of pop culture have been kept spinning in this time, keeping us entertained and satisfied.

Over the past couple of months, the cultural moments that have collectively got us through the tough times have only become wackier and more bizarre with each passing day. For this week’s Hot Takes, I’ll be taking the reins to work you through some of the most important cultural conversations happening at the moment. I’ll be dishing all my hottest takes on the BBNaija Season 6 finale, AFRIMA 2021 Nominations, the South African designers selected to join the Net-a-Porter vanguard program and the Netflix Korean show squid game and its links to capitalism in Nigeria.

Music on replay

As always, there’s so much music in circulation right now. However, I always stick by my fave playlists which I always have on replay. However, last week, I was fortunate enough to listen to the amazing debut album from our neighbourhood alien. Last week, the genre-bending singer released ‘P.S Thank You For Waiting’ after her well-deserved hiatus from the music scene. Wavy is one of those artists that move to the beats of her own drum when it comes to her artistry and sound. You can’t put her in one certain box because she does what she feels sounds good to her and her fans. My favourite tracks are “Harmonies”, “Stella Riddim” and “Letter to Oxygen”. You should definitely listen to it and put it on your playlist. 

What I’m bingeing atm

I’m currently watching the new Netflix original series ‘Smart Money Woman’. The tv series is a homage to a 2016 novel by Arese Ugwu. What sets this show apart from a lot of other series is that it not only entertains and showcases real-life situations, it also educates you on the realities when it comes to handling and spending money. We all strive to make it but don’t know how to maintain and double it. It is a star-studded series with a few of our favourite actors and actresses like Osas Oghadaro, Timini Egbuson, Toni Tones and so many more. Definitely want to add to your Netflix list. 

Current fashion trends

As NATIVE’s first-ever in-house Creative Assistant, it’s my job to stay on pulse with the latest fashion trends around Africa and the world at large. This summer, so many trends are making their way into the mainstream and many others are going out of style. For me, this season is all about accesories. No, I am not just talking about VVS, pearls and other expensive gems but rather the low-cost vintage silver or gold pieces that you can find in thrift stores and small online retailers.

From gold chunky hoops and studs to silver chains with all kinds of charms and designs on rings of different sizes and styles, the creativity is endless. The way the current trend goes, many people stack as many pieces as they can on their necks or fingers to  give a certain alternative modern avant-garde look to any style. The more the better and more different but cohesive in a sense they look the better. People don’t only thrift clothes but jewelry has been one of those finds that is what having any closet. I have a few online stores you could check out if you wanna join the trend but I’d say the best are the ones you find in person. 

Now let’s get into these hot takes.

Squid Game and Capitalism

Written by Moore Wright

‘Squid Game’ is a South Korean television show that premiered on Netflix in September. In the 8-episode series, hundreds of people deep in financial debt are approached by a mysterious company promising a cash prize if they compete in a series of games. They are taken to a secret location where they realise that the childish-seeming games from their childhood actually have deadly twists attached to them.

The show has similarities to the premise of the 1969 film They Shoot Horses Don’t They’ with both pieces of media addressing the desperation that capitalism can lead people to, as well as the greed and callousness it can bring out from those with more resources. According to Netflix’s CEO, it may become the streaming service’s “biggest show ever”.The themes on class and poverty addressed are ones that are relatable to those across the globe, but particularly to Nigerians.

In episode 2, the contestants realise the truth about the game and beg to be let out. Unlike in most other “deadly competition” media, the game masters actually allow them to vote and leave if the majority wishes to do so. The game masters, democratic as they may be, are truly sinister as they watch as the less privileged kill and cheat themselves to win the prize money. It exposes the underbelly of our society today where money and our output at work are valued more than human life itself. However, after they see a large amount of prize money, almost half of the contestants choose to stay despite the possibility of dying an untimely death. 

They gave them a choice. But how can it feel like a proper choice when both fates are equally as awful as the other. These debtors either return back to a life of misery where they owe large sums of money and risk potential jail time or stay in the experiment and compete to the end in the likelihood that they win the money and clear their names. Sound familiar? Well, that’s because it replicates almost every African society today where the lives of the poor are not valued or recognised. Unfortunately, a lot of Nigerians may be tempted to enter such a game rather than die of poverty on the outside. And the Nigerian police are even more likely to not notice if hundreds of lower-income people went missing at once.

Tellingly, as of episode 3, the only characters being investigated are a formerly rich man who angered other rich people and a police officer’s brother. A character mentions that the real torture is on the outside world where people are wicked and inconsiderate. The show effectively discusses why so many could be pushed so far past the point of desperation that such a game seems like their only hope. It is always refreshing seeing a non-western show, especially one not in English, receive international acclaim.

South African designers join the 2021 Net-a-Porter Vanguard Program

Two South African designers Lukhanyo Mdingi, the recent LVMH prize winner and Sindiso Khumalo are among the 6 designers chosen to be part of this year’s Net-a-Porter’s Vanguard program. The selection criteria was determined by each designer’s contribution to the sustainability process and the designer’s couture-like sensibilities with each sketch and idea.

The mentorship program aims to nurture up and coming brands who have great potential by providing them with mentors and other supportive resources as the designer’s work alongside these creative minds to expand their global presence and become a powerhouse in the fashion industry and in turn find their collections in the retailers stock on the Net-a-porter website. 

Since the 2018 launch of the program, there have been an array of successful alumni including Christopher John Rogers and especially the Netflix ‘Next in Fashion’ winner Minju Kim. “Our goal is to ensure that the next generation of creative talent is given early support to enable their success before they embark on their professional journey, We see this as especially important given the challenges the pandemic has brought to the creative industry and, most notably, at a grass-roots level.,” says The Chief Buying and Merchandising officer in Net-a-Porter. 


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Big Brother is going out with a bang

Big Brother Naija is drawing to a close yet again. The 6th Shine Ya Eye season is a week away from announcing its winner and things are getting hotter than ever. While this season failed to land as other seasons, the housemates have still kept us entertained for the past two months getting up to no good in Big Brother’s house. From wild cards to housemates disappearing during the night and now to the shocking revelation that there will be 6 finalists, it’s safe to say that this season has done what needed to be done. 

With only a few days left to crown this season’s winner, many are already calling the shots on their predictions for the win. From Whitemoney to Angel, there’s no dearth of theories on who will snag the title and the hefty cash prize. While in previous seasons, these predictions could be ensured based on the fact that stan bases were stacking up their vote counts in Whatsapp group chats and voting centres, this year the stakes are even higher given that only Show Max and Abeg app users are able to cast their authentic votes. 

So it came as a great surprise that those very authentic votes were disregarded during the last eviction show this past Sunday. On Sunday during the Live Eviction show, 5 housemates were told to leave the Big Brother house but only 3 were evicted from the show leaving Pere and Angel in the white room to fight for the last spot by completing a task. This act came with a lot of scrutiny from the fans due to the huge margin in the votes between both housemates. Pere had 25.31% of votes while Angel had 14.63% of votes, which didn’t seem fair to viewers of the show. On Monday, Big Brother then goes ahead to announce that both Pere and Angel will reenter the house as finalists of the show making it 6 housemates all together. There have been speculations that this decision was based on the internet uproar by fans of the show regarding the odd twist in the game but you never really know as this could have always been the plan from the beginning.

Although there is still some form of unrest towards the organisers for their inconsistency and slight unfairness shown towards Pere. I personally don’t understand why Angel was asked to be back to the house neither do I fully understand the whole reasoning behind the twist. I believe that as it’s the last week to the finale, the organisers feared the likelihood of boredom surrounding the show as there are only a handful of housemates left, so they used angel and the twist as a contingency plan to bring more entertainment to the show. Aside from all these opinions and speculations, I believe Biggie made the right decision to bring both housemates back to the show as it was the best way to dig themselves out of the hole they put themselves in already. 


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AFRIMA Awards 2021

The All African Music Award (AFRIMA) 2021 show is set to begin very soon. From the 19th to the 21st of November, the music award show will be returning to Lagos for another edition packed with lots of entertainment. The African Union Commission and the International Committee of AFRIMA released the nominations list on Wednesday, September 23rd and the public nomination commenced Monday the 27th of September. The list was decided from 8,880 songs and 400 artists in the 30 continents and 10 regional categories submitted for adjudication. The award show will honour the finest music artist, producers, directors, influences, and more in the African music and entertainment industry. Blaq Diamond, the south African duo leads the pack with 8 nominations for the song “SummerYoMuthi”, we also have another south African artist Focalistic with 7 nominations and then the Nigerian hitmaker Wizkid with 6 nominations for the worldwide hit song “Essence” featuring Tems in categories such as ‘Artiste of the year in Africa’ ‘Best Male Artist in Western Africa’ and more. The Nigerian trailblazers Omah Lay and Davido also have 4 nominations. Other artists including Tems, Lojay, Davido, Tiwa Savage, KiDi, Nelson Freitas, Burna Boy and Stonebwoy, Niniola, Gyakie, Josey, and more have also been nominated. Good luck to all nominees.


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A win for Kenyan Housewives

by Tami

News worth mentioning comes from the judicial world of Kenya where a judge, Teresa Matheka has just ruled that a housewife is a recognised profession in the country. Presiding over a matrimonial property dispute proceeding where the wife requested that the property of the family be shared equally between her and her ex-husband, she noted that it was unfair to belittle the acts of a housewife as intangible to the financial fruitfulness of the home. Matheka’s judgement reads: “It is easy for the spouse working away from home and sending money to lay claim to the whole property purchased and developed with that money by the spouse staying at home and taking care of the children and the family. That spouse will be heard to say that the other one was not employed so they contributed nothing. Raising children is a full-time job that families pay a person to do. Cooking and cleaning as well. Hence, for a woman in employment who has to balance childbearing and rearing this contribution must be considered.”

I think this judgement is a huge win for African women considering the fact that there still remains a huge power balance between men and women in Africa. And I’m talking about the poor women who are forced to bear the brunt of our patriarchal society and are dealt the worst hand society has to offer. As a former law student, I remember reading case law upon case law about the brutal legal proceedings that women dealt with at the hands of their husbands. Their only crime: their financial dependence on their husband (who btw made her quit her job). It’s not uncommon for courts to recognise the contributions to the home and family as having a vested interest in property disputes and the allocation of assets.

In this particular case, the judge then ruled that the couple sell the property and divide the fund equally or one spouse buys out the other. While it may cause raised eyebrows and attract inflammatory comments, this judicial precedent could help many women in Africa’s poorest cities who are in physical and financial incapacity. A win for housewives everywhere.

Featured image credits/NATIVE