Hot Takes: The Mysterious Case Of Chad Boswick, African Bad Gyal & More

all the hottest takes in pop culture

It feels like forever since I was last on the hot seat. In the time since my last hot take, the wheels of pop culture have been turning and I’ve sat in awe as Wonu dished on the reactions to the National Honours Awards, Uzoma on the Carter-Efe and Berri-Tiga saga, and Nwanneamaka on Fola Francis calling out Lagos Fashion Week.

It’s November in Lagos and the city is abuzz with events and social gatherings. This weekend saw the seventh edition of Art X take place at Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos, alongside the official African premiere for ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.’ With the film’s official release only a few days away, I’ll be serving some hot takes on the fashion at the premiere, Tiwa Savage’s new single with Asake where she reclaims her agency and more.

What I’m listening to

The endless slew of new music being released is overwhelming for a neurodiverse person like myself working in journalism. So, to stay grounded throughout the week, I’m always shuffling through old albums that hear me at my most base emotions. This week, alongside listening to the beautifully produced ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Music From And Inspired By,’ I’ve also been revisiting a lot of old favourites from Takeoff’s ‘The Last Rocket’ (May He Rest In Peace) to Mario’s “Let Me Love You” and SZA and Chance the Rapper’s “Child’s Play.” Another project that’s on my current rotation is Tems’ ‘For Broken Ears’ and Somadina’s forthcoming project, ‘Heart Of The Heavenly Undeniable (H.O.T.H.U).’

What I’m watching

While I wait for new episodes of ‘Abott Elementary’ to come out weekly (If you don’t watch anything else, watch the Halloween episode), I’m watching ‘Archer’ on Netflix at the moment as well as the new season of ‘American Horror Story.’ While this new season reimagines the homophobia of America in the ’80s and ’90s through the lens of a serial killer and inept police, I’m particularly because the lead reporter works at a publication called the Native – not to be confused with the NATIVE.

The Mysterious Case of Chad Boswick

Over the weekend, the official African premiere for ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,’ was held in Lagos, Nigeria following runs in London and Los Angeles. The night featured a press red carpet with the cast of the new Ryan Coogler-directed movie including Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Dania Gurira, and Tenoch Huerta. In an elaborate fashion, Marvel created an immersive red carpet experience that sectioned off several roads leading to the Filmhouse IMAX where attendees were invited to attend in their best afrofuturistic attire.

I’ve been looking forward to the fashion at the premiere since Marvel, AFRIFF and Film One Entertainment announced that Lagos would be home to the official African premiere. Just as the first ‘Black Panther’ film, the sartorial choices this year did not disappoint as Lagos’ brightest and most talented entertainers brought Wakanda alive on the night in question. While the watching the film before its official release was great, the fashion at the premiere was even more interesting. Getting a first hand look at all the elaborate, beautifully produced and even the kooky outfits was the highlight of my night and I’m not surprised to see that social media has responded in the same way.

Yesterday, shortly after clips of the premiere night hit social media, many young Africans marvelled at the donned by celebrities which were markedly more flamboyant than the OG cast which flew in for the premiere. Taking Afrofuturistic quite literally, many attendees wowed in their outfits but one outfit in particular has been getting all the rave–and all for the wrong reasons. Ex Big Brother Naija housemate, Hermes generated quite the buzz after videos and photos of his outfit were shared on social media. The outfit which was created by Tiannah Empire, the fashion outfit owned by Tiannah, was an elaborate recreation of the Doro Milaje’s outfit attached with a black cape that contained the wrong text – “Chad Boswick” – instead of Chadwick Boseman.

The issue isn’t that the outfits were elaborate, but that a moment that could have honoured the late actor was instead reduced to a laughing stock due to the failure to pay attention to the finer detail. While this could have been a moment for Tiannah Empire to commiserate the loss of a great actor through her work (however elaborate), the focus was instead on the name error which resurfaced conversations about lackadaisical content or work attitudes from Nigerians. Of course, anyone can make a mistake but what was striking that none one person in the room could speak up and say there was an error. For a film which deeply grapples with the loss of Chadwick Boseman, the least we could is get his name right. Say it again: CHADWICK BOSEMAN, May He Rest In Peace.

African Bad Gyal

Check the annals of Afropop history, Tiwa Savage is Africa’s Number 1 Bad Gyal. For as long as I can remember, Tiwa Savage has always operated with her back against the world–as one of the most visible women in Afropop, she’s given limited spaces to occupy in a male-dominated industry that seeks to put her into stringent categories. For most of her career, she’s mostly ignored the noise and focused on improving her craft while doubling down on her prerogative to do whatever she wants, but these attacks reached fever pitch when she became a mother, with a good number of society using this milestone as a reason to dim the singer’s agency.

You can’t tame a savage, they say and Tiwa has been no different. She’s constantly bit back against all the criticism and shown the entire world that Black African women are allowed to occupy different spaces, at once and all at the same time. Her last album ‘Celia’ found Savage performing at her best, with audacious anthems that weaponises misogyny, and showcases the singer, free in her sexual impulses, driven in her pursuit of the life, and resilient to the many misogynistic barriers standing in her way.

In the past, Savage has publicly denouncing feminism on numerous occasions. Well recently, Tiwa Savage has been outspoken when it comes to women’s issues in Nigeria, and it looks like she’s backing that up in her recent string of releases including “Koroba,” the Stefflon Don and Dice Ailes-assisted “Bombay,” “Tales By Moonlight” with Amaarae and the recently released Asake-featuring “Loaded.” Released today, the new track was Tiwa Savage’s audacious return to the scene since her last single, “Koo Koo Fun” with Major Lazer, Diplo, DJ Maphorisa and Major League Djz.

Catchy and ear-worm as it may be, Tiwa Savage also uses the track as an opportunity to set the record straight: “Sex tape, o le ba ye mi je/igbadun kekere yen/who never fuck, hands in the air,” a remarkably pointed lyric that calls out misogyny and male bravado in one breath while reclaiming her agency in another. For those not in the know, earlier this year, Savage was the victim of revenge porn when an alleged video recounting a private sexual encounter surfaced on the Internet. I love that she’s speaking so boldly about sex, which is at the end of the day, not a big deal and something all consenting adults experience throughout their lives. What is a big deal is the sharing and dissemination of revenge porn, it’s age-old to think a little nude is going to stop any woman in 2022. I also love that she utilised one of the biggest moments in Afropop history this year, by co-opting Black Sherif’s “Who never fuck up, hands in the air.” Try again patriarchy!

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