Hot Takes: Fenty’s Launch In Africa, Black Creators On TikTok, BBNaija Reunion & More

all the hottest topics this week

It is evident that Gemini Szn has done its worse. Currently, there’s been a wealth of bad news from the spread of monkeypox, to the tragic school shooting in the USA and even the death of 31 people in Nigeria due to a stampede in a church event. There’s no denying that it’s been a gloomy news cycle. Despite this dose of depressing news, the sun has been giving rays of hope and joy as we approach hot girl summer preempting the warmer days are definitely coming with greater.

On top of that we are getting done with the Mercury retrograde period which means everything is about to be aligned this Gemini season. This week I take you through the hottest topics getting keyboard warriors vexed, from Fenty’s beauty launch to the death of Dora the Explorer and Yara Shahidi finally making it out of Harvard College. Stay with me as I take you through the latest happenings in pop culture.

What I’m watching

Since the lockdown period, I got myself into the rabbit hole of Korean Dramas and since then my imagination of life has been more fictional. At the moment my eyes are glued on Studio Phoenix latest series ‘My Liberation Notes.’ The drama follows three siblings who reside in the outskirts of Seoul trying to find love, money and get liberated from their mundane lives. Their lives change when a mysterious man named Mr Gu moves into the neighbourhood and joins the siblings’ father’s sinks business. The highlight of the series is its writing. Taking a detour of K-Drama approach towards love as love oriented, cute and fictional, the show tackles in depth issues affecting the community including alcoholism, violence and mental health.

What I’m listening to

Recently I came across South African songbird Monelle on Spotify and I have been listening to her joint Hip-Hop project ‘Security Clearance’ with IORDN and Masilo the Healer. Drawing inspiration from Rock, Drill, Jazz, Neo-Soul, Gospel, and Funk it is a carefully curated project thematically touching on social injustice, spiritual decline, as well as expressions of joy, passion, courage in the face of adversity. The 16 tracks on the project take you through 58 minutes of sonic explosions and poetic writing.

Big Brother Naija makes its return

After the conclusion of BB Naija ‘Shine Ya Eye’ last year, fans can expect to see their favourite housemates on screen once again after it was officially announced that the reunion starts on 2 June. The show will precede the 7th season which is set to premier in July on DSTV and Showmax.

Hosted by the long-time host, Ebuka Obi Uchendu, the reunion show will see the former 26 housemates discuss their lives after BB Naija and clear the tensions that existed between each other since the series stopped airing last year. The Shine Ya Eye edition was characterised by drama including the shocking fight between White Money and Pere.

Promising to be the hottest reunion Ebuka Obi Uchendu who will be hosting the show for the 5th consecutive season will expose the ex housemates relationship status, career, projects, life successes, disloyalty cases, and unresolved misunderstandings, among other things. The reunion has fans on the edge of their seats as tension is already in the air after a viral clip of housemate Angel Smith claiming a fellow female housemate doesn’t have sense.

TikTok clamps down on Black TikTok influencer, Ehiz

For anyone with a TikTok account, Ehiz is a popular face and name that floods our timelines. Whether he’s teaching you how to get over your ex or busting some crazy dance moves, he’s been able to garner a loyal following all while being himself. However, last month, the rising star came under heat for racist remarks made in a viral TikTok video. On May 14th, he posted a video of him lip syncing to a South Asian religious verse which deeply offended members of the community who arduously followed his TikTok account.

On seeing the negative reactions he was receiving, Ehiz went live on TikTok apologising for the video but adding that he was only attacked because they don’t want to see a black man thriving. “If I am apologising, everyone using the sound should apologise..” he shared on live. Since then, he’s been continually hounded by fans who expected him to do better, and had his account deleted by TikTok. Although his account has now be re-instated, the incident raises the question about how Black influencers are held to a higher standard of scrutiny for committing offences than their white counterparts.

In the internet age, there is a thin line between comedy and being offensive. While what Ehiz did and his approach was certainly off, we cannot fail to notice Tik Tok’s bias when it comes to community violations. Taking down Ehiz’s account is an extreme move since TikTok has been in numerous conversations due to promoting white supremacists, and now it seems the platform’s “community violations” are often targeted to mostly people of colour. If you take a closer look at the racist trend, 3 out of 10 most popular videos were viewed 3.5 million times. The trend was originally produced by Paul Miller, an extremist known as “Gypsy Crusader” who spreads racist and antisemitic rhetoric on social media which still remains on TikTok till this day.

One way or another Tik Tok contributes in spreading hateful content to users on the platform and Ehiz is just a scapegoat to show the “proficiency” in ensuring all its users rights are respected. TikTok needs to find better ways to deal with community violations in this time and era. While banning an account might look like the better option, anyone can open a new account with a new username and continue with their content. Not forgetting that social media has become a livelihood for so many young people, new regulations need to be put in place to prevent such drastic measures that affect people psychologically. If they took down Ehiz’s video for cultural misappropriation, they should do the same for white extremists and people spreading hate against people of colour irregardless of their race and cultural importance.

Fenty Beauty’s lacklustre launch in Africa

Late last month, Fenty Beauty announced its entrance into the African beauty space. The announcement was received with excitement from beauty influencers and Rihanna fans all across the continent. However, it also sparked polarising conversations on the timeline as many recounted sordid details of Western brands previously launching and leaving no impact. Many believed that the launch would fail to connect with the African audience by relying on age-old marketing tactics, missing out on an opportunity to champion those in the beauty and makeup industry and in connection, failing to connect with audiences with any buying power.

In Kenya, the launch sparked online discussions on Twitter and Instagram after the invitations were only sent to a specific crowd of established influencers. To worsen the matter, beauty gurus, beauty influencers and content creators were notably left out of the roster as organisers sought out internet personalities with huge followings. All across Africa, the reactions seem to be the same.

In Nigeria, similar complaints were made about the launch event which opted to invite media personalities more than it did about inviting the professionals in the beauty and makeup industry. The event which was hosted by Livespot 360 overtly disregarded those who should be at the very heart of a Fenty Beauty launch, given that the brand has established itself as a modern disruptor in today’s industry. Right now, I think I’ll be waiting to see how last week’s launch has an impact on sales or what Fenty plans to do long term to sustain their audience on the continent. A big part of me wants to trust that our girl Ri has us covered but I’ll be waiting with bated breath.


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JK…Dora The Explorer Is Alive

The internet keeps kill our childhood joys. Five years ago, people were spreading deep rumours about ‘Winnie the Pooh’ representing various mental illnesses and all the kids in the ‘Rugrats’ actually being dead. Now it seems our sweet dear ‘Dora The Explorer’ is facing similar conspiracy theories. Earlier in the month, a TikToker posted a before and after video of herself after searching how Dora died ultimately creating a tTkTok trend that’s now gone viral. Some of the answers include ‘Dora was killed by Boots’ which we all know is impossible since he was her loyal comrade. If anyone was killing anyone it had to be Swipper.

However, at this point I have to ask, what’s this obsession of killing off child hood characters? To me, this all reflects a frustrated community that won’t let people enjoy things. Anyways, I’ve done the investigation so you don’t have to. It seems all these viral trends originated from a fan-made music video called ‘Dora No More’ in 2012 posted by TheStringiniBros. The video which has been viewed over 8 million times shows all the different ways Dora escaped death on her adventuring show with the caption reading: “Exploring can be dangerous kids.” Come on guys it’s just an animation, it’s never that serious.

Yara Shadidi is all grown now

Watch out world she’s grown now. Yara Shadidi has grown in front of the public eye and her graduation from Harvard College had to be a public affair. She took to instagram to share her photo wearing her graduation gown over her custom Dior suit in after penning a 136 page thesis concentrating on Black political thought under a neocolonial landscape.

It’s exciting that not only a person of colour but also a woman is on the forefront breaking the gender stereotypes. Yara managed to graduate while having a busy schedule and still taking on active acting roles as Zoey on ‘Grown-ish.’ It is inspiring that despite her position and success in the theatre, she still gears towards defending equality and equity in the man’s world. Showing the future generation you can make a difference, Yara is pushing Black girls into achieving their dreams and getting good grades. This comes months after Megan Thee Stallion graduated from Texas Southern University. Looking from a bird’s eye view this inspires the hot girls in a couple of ways. One, hotties gotta finish their degree as if their life depends on it and two you gotta strive to make a difference.


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Lil Nas X is the crowned prince of the Internet

As we enter pride month today, good news follows with announcement of new collaborations. Whether its releasing pregnancy photos and a baby registry for his debut album or giving satan a lap dance in “Call Me By Your Name” music video we know Lil Nas is unafraid to champion LGBTQIA+ rights. That’s why the collaboration between M&M and Lil Nas is a welcome and monumental moment for the LGBTQ community.

Lil Nas X did not reveal what the collaboration entails but many loyal fans are already trying to piece together what is to come. M&M in a statement revealed that there will be a series of campaigns throughout the year as music is an iconic tool that brings people together. The partnership with Lil Nas X is born out of the brand’s commitment to bringing people together and connecting them through shared experiences which is exactly what music brings to listeners.

The brand aims to inspire moments of fun and connection by encouraging a deeper sense of belonging and Lil Nas X is the perfect ambassador. Coming out to the world and owning his sexuality, Lil Nas X has been a beam of inspiration to not only people in America but worldwide. Through music and his star personality he has continuously proved that your sexuality doesn’t matter but the work you put in towards gearing a better life.

Featured image credits/NATIVE