Showing posts with label laughing at Africa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label laughing at Africa. Show all posts

Friday, July 27, 2012

"So Many Africans in Greece" and Other Flattering Images

 
"with so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitoes will be eating food from their own home" - Translation of the tweet that got Voula Papachristou, Greece’s triple-jump champion, barred by the Hellenic Olympic Committee from competing in the London Olympic Games. But when you consider the tweet against the backdrop of the European financial crisis, a TechCrunch commenter had the perfect rejoinder:


No matter how much Edward Said or Stuart Hall you throw at perceptions of Africa impressed on people by the overrepresentation of the sorriest aspects of the continent, you still have to contend with how the amount of economic power a nation wields determines how its image gets treated. For example, a recent LA Times article about the changing tide in Hollywood's portrayal of China attests to images and representations being reframed in order to flatter China's new found economic wealth - and muscle. In a similar way, will we start seeing subtle changes in the Portuguese when it comes to images and perceptions of Angola and Angolans?  Too soon to tell. Old speculations -- here and here-- on how television and advertising will flatter and glamor up blackness--in turn affecting how we think of it--in selling to an emerging black upper class with plenty of disposable income to burn. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Africa: Mockumenting D-List Celebrity Adoptions



The mockumentary Pauly Shore - Adopted hits DVD shelves today. I recall Tambay at S&A saying this Pauly Shore attempt at some offensive comedy "makes Birth of a Nation look tame." The whole celebrities adopting African babies was going to get parodied in a significant way sooner or later. But by Pauly Shore? Let me get this straight. Africans are going to be made to watch their own roast and we got Pauly Shore? C'mon. If we are going to be forced to laugh at the celebrity adoption issue and at a camera staring down at confused African kids or their befuddled parents then by all means let Christopher Guest and crew take a wack at it, or at least someone with a George Carlin or Andy Kaufman sense of the absurd. Heck, let Sarah Silverman horrify us. But not Pauly--there's even a movie about how irrelevant I became--Shore. Below, CNN's Joy Behar is also shaking her head -- Pauly Shore?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Rwanda: The Grand Prix



Dancing Man-Matt Harding's video of Rwandan racers reminds me of this short film classic by Darin Wales:



H/T: Daily Dish

Friday, December 4, 2009

Africa: American Dad -- The "Camp Refoogee" Episode



It's an old episode (season 2, episode 1) but still packs a few chuckles. Stan in his right wing nutty zeal to send Steve off to summer camp ends up shipping him to a Dafur like refugee camp in Africa and has to go track him down. Meanwhile, back home Roger and Francine reenact their version of Who is Afriad of Virginia Woolf.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Africa: Onioned -- A Golden Onion Oldie for Dambisa Moyo

"Nation Of Andorra Not In Africa, Shocked U.S. State Dept. Reports"... from the Onion archives.


Anchor: How did this happen?
Deputy Sec: Someone said Andorra was in Africa, it sounded right, we just kept sending them money.....
Anchor:Whose going to take the blame for this?
Deputy Sec: Well, the Andorra people should take the blame for this; they know exactly where they are, they should have told us.
lofl... I'd pay an arm and leg to see the blooper reel for this one.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Senegal/Kenya: Puppeteers Animate Africa

This BBC article takes us behind the scenes of Kenya's satirical puppet show, The XYZ show, which just completed its first season -- 13 episodes --on Kenya's citizen TV this August.



Brain child of East Africa's best known cartoonist Godfrey Mwampembwa (Gado), the show, writes Will Ross, is "influenced by the British 1980s show Spitting Image and France's Les Guignols," and "is a chance for a group of scriptwriters and puppeteers to delve into the murky world of Kenyan politics."

Still on animation. The idea that Africa can compete for animation work from Europe and the U.S. traditionally farmed out to animation studios in Asia, still makes sense in spite of so many obstacles.



Above is the short doc to go with this 2004 Time magazine magazine article about the Senegalese animation studio, Pictoon. It was formed in 1998 by Pierre Sauvalie, a French-Cameroonian graduate of the renowned Les Gobelins animation school in Paris, and Senegalese businesswoman Aida Ndiaye, once the local agent for Xerox office machinery.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Kenya: Cover Girl

The theme for this month's issue of Ode magazine is laughter and gracing its cover is the paternal grandmother of the president of the United States, Sarah Hussein Obama.

And, by the way, efforts of the "birthers"--those out to prove the Barack Obama was not born in the United States--keeps digging up all these fascinating trivia about Kenya.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Africa: It Was Only A Matter of Time


"... a page turner" -- Bono

"...read it on my flight from London to Malawi and just couldn't put it down" -- Madonna

"...surely this book will help bring the end to poverty in Africa" -- Sachs.

"...the chapter on foreign aid is ridiculous" -- Dambisa Moyo

H/T: Nairobinotes

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Africa: The "Seeing Africa Differently" Videos

Got to the Seeing Africa Differently site via Kristof's review.

As an African, I find the awkwardness and British style of humor in these ads quite funny, and even more important, quite relieving -- reminds you of the BBC version of The Office, doesn't it?

I think the videos are more effective in getting their message across, and the humor works best, when Westerner and African are pitted opposite each other, trying to untangle the ideology and generalities about Africa which charities and NGOs love and feed on, from the particularities and complexities of, and about, Africans themselves. The whole layer of racial subtext, and mockumentary-like awkwardness, I think, makes the 2 videos below a hoot and the best of the lot.



Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Nigeria: Continent of Long Lost Cousins - Letters to President Obama (Parts 1 and 2)

Dear Uncle Barracks,
Congrats on your assumption to the throne of US. We your Nigerian famili are very happy for you and for ourselves. It is our turn now to chop US national cake and our enemies cannot do anything about that.

I was to come to see you personally at Wite aus but I was not allowed at the airport because of say no fisa. I told them I am Obama kosin bet they refuse me. Your new elesion is a very good news for the Obama clan in Kenya and the famili in Nigeria . When I fest went to the family aus in Kenya to tell dem we are one famili they did not agree but my pastor from my church make 3 days dry fast and give me a special sponge to baf in barbitch after this they accept me. Becos they dont remember the sister of your granfada mother dat went to Nigeria and mari a shief live near Lagos in 1956 which is also my own personal great grandfada.

Now the famili has choose me to diskus some important matas with you. You know you have been long in Amrica and have forget our traditions but tank God we, your famili are hia to guide you to be rill African man. As a president, you must have a male son in office who will take over after you die and since ya wife Mitchell has not able to do that, we have find a wife for you from your fada village. The famili have already chose a good girl from de village not like Amrica or lagos gals who are too stubborn to obey the famili. She is a humble well behave and edicated gal who study sewing and fasion disine so she can help with sewing your suit wen e tia and also unifom for ami and soja. I hope ya waif will assept famili shoice becos we have fogif her for her winchcraft wich dont allow her to have a male son but if not, she can go back to her fada. Even my pastor has say your younger thoter may need a deliverance becos her granmoda want to give her winsh and ogbanje spirit to chop. Please donʼt wori about what dis will cost becos I will do it with my own pusonal moni becos we are one famili.

I also want to tell you that I want to set up NGO for hades unfans in Kenya and I can be the leader of the NGO. I have a good standard six degree and also studied computa at Iyana Ipaja so am well qualify for dis. Please I need your help for this.

I hope you will consider my request. I will also like your personal mobile so I can call you. Please greet Auntie Minchel and the shindren for us. God bless you and may all your enemies fall down and die, in Jesus name!

Til I hear you, I am

Yours amiable cousin
calista obama

It appears the U.S president never replied the first letter. Meh. As if the lack of a reply ever stopped Nigerians from writing to America. The joke continues -- Naija blog has the follow up:

Dear Cosin Baraks,

I am still waiting your ansa to my last letter. Hope things are all fine with you as you prepar for wite aus. How are Auntie Winshell and my shidren? Hope fine. Mama Sarah and all famili in Kenya and Nigeria have sent her greetings.

When I tell my son Adesoye dat Broda Baraks need a male son to take ova Amrican presidency afta you, e say no king in Amrica. I say what about Matin Luter King? E say Papa you funny. I say your moda famili funny. E say for Amrica, no fada pass power to im son, I say wat about George Bush pikin whish get presidence from im Papa George Bush also.

Now, I have to tell you a fery bad news and I hope you take it with heart of a man as you are Afrika man and not Oyinbo pepper who don’t have liver. Dat your small wife, dat Awelewa (Beauty na her Lagos name) I tell you about whish famili marry for you, is fery beatiful gal o. if you see her eyeballs, hehn? Den be like two boil hegg! Her hair is black and long and tick without no chemical, it take 3 onidiri 5 hours to plat it with rubber. Her hip is like Aran velvet and roll like syncro system till e scata somebodi head and the way the hips be I tink she will have plenti sons as possible. In fact her breast is standing anyhow. If somebodi put dia head on her breast, they will be in heaven. Anyway, I am paplex to find out that the gal have take in. That means she have get pregnancy. I was very surprise because she is a good well behave gal. After I take her to my pastor for prayer, Pastor tell me that, in fact, to be honest, I am the one she get the pregnant for. It is de devil work to scatter awa famili and becos de gal is friending wit bad gals in the yard since she come to dis Lagos. I beg you broda to forgif me but it is devil work! I tink our famili enemy want to use the gal to cause problem in Obama famili. I am very regret dis but pastor say we must not spoil de pregnancy. Mama Sarah have said the next wife for Baraks will be in her own personal room in Kenya until we send her to you. I tell Beauty she will be my 3rd wife but she say I too old. I say what about Broda Baraks, she say too old. You two old man. I say ya her fada be too old. She say she want go school after she born and be lawyer. I tink she have now stopborn laik Lagos gals.

I have now move to a self contain in Shogunle because my new position as Barak cosin cannot allow me to stay in two room Iyana Ipaja again because of when you want to come and greet me. The self-contain is very nice and get tolet.

I still want your help wit my NGO so dont foget your own flesh and blud.

Till I hear you, may Helen Akpabio catch all ya enemy and may dey fomit lizard, cowrie and padlock, afta, fall down and pisces! Amin!

Yours best cosin in Nigeria

Festus

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nigeria: Barack's Continent of Long Lost Cousins

A slew of columns and opinion pieces have littered African newspapers since Barrack Obama became the 44th president-elect of the United States. Many of those opinion pieces try to understand or dial down the heightened expectations Africans now have of Barrack, who, because of his African lineage, they now expect is able to wave an American wand and solve all of Africa's problems. Puis Adesanmi writes in Pambazuka that:
There is so much chaotic internet lather over what's in it for Africa. 'We are now in charge!!!' That's how a friend calling from Lagos - he has never ventured beyond the shores of Nigeria - gleefully screamed into the telephone, almost rending my eardrums. The naturalness with which he pronounced his 'we' immediately activated my scholarly instincts. He was calling from a beer parlour, where folks had declared an all-night Obama drinking spree. As he screamed, I could hear excited voices in the background, all seamless discursive appropriations of the American present: 'winner ooo, winner, we don win', 'our son is in!' Possessive adjectives seemed to be on sale and every Nigerian was grabbing one from the shelves. The 'we' that came over the phone from Lagos is indicative of the degree of Africa's emotional investment in the Obama project. We have moved, at least temporarily, from expecting the 'dividends of democracy' - always a mirage - to anticipating the dividends of Obama. Somehow, the dividends of Obama are being framed as more vectorial of immediate and concrete results for the continent than the dysfunctional and effete democracies in place.
On the lighter side, someone has already taken a swipe at composing a letter from a Nigerian who claims Obama as a cousin and who is not dialing down his or her expectations in soliciting help from a new and  powerful family member. Sadly, one needs to be "Yoruba-lingual" to grasp the side splitting humor and rich nuances in the bastardization of the English language below:
Dear Uncle Barracks,

Congrats on your assumption to the throne of US. We your Nigerian famili are very happy for you and for ourselves. It is our turn now to chop US national cake and our enemies cannot do anything about that.

I was to come to see you personally at Wite aus but I was not allowed at the airport because of say no fisa. I told them I am Obama kosin bet they refuse me. Your new elesion is a very good news for the Obama clan in Kenya and the famili in Nigeria . When I fest went to the family aus in Kenya to tell dem we are one famili they did not agree but my pastor from my church make 3 days dry fast and give me a special sponge to baf in barbitch after this they accept me. Becos they dont remember the sister of your granfada mother dat went to Nigeria and mari a shief live near Lagos in 1956 which is also my own personal great grandfada.

Now the famili has choose me to diskus some important matas with you. You know you have been long in Amrica and have forget our traditions but tank God we, your famili are hia to guide you to be rill African man. As a president, you must have a male son in office who will take over after you die and since ya wife Mitchell has not able to do that, we have find a wife for you from your fada village. The famili have already chose a good girl from de village not like Amrica or lagos gals who are too stubborn to obey the famili. She is a humble well behave and edicated gal who study sewing and fasion disine so she can help with sewing your suit wen e tia and also unifom for ami and soja. I hope ya waif will assept famili shoice becos we have fogif her for her winchcraft wich dont allow her to have a male son but if not, she can go back to her fada. Even my pastor has say your younger thoter may need a deliverance becos her granmoda want to give her winsh and ogbanje spirit to chop. Please donʼt wori about what dis will cost becos I will do it with my own pusonal moni becos we are one famili.

I also want to tell you that I want to set up NGO for hades unfans in Kenya and I can be the leader of the NGO. I have a good standard six degree and also studied computa at Iyana Ipaja so am well qualify for dis. Please I need your help for this.

I hope you will consider my request. I will also like your personal mobile so I can call you. Please greet Auntie Minchel and the shindren for us. God bless you and may all your enemies fall down and die, in Jesus name!

Til I hear you, I am

Yours amiable cousin

calista obama

I have said this before and I will say it again, we Africans learning to laugh at ourselves could very well become a veritable natural resource.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Air Zimbabwe: "Even Terrorists Are Afraid To Fly With Us"



This Air Zimbabwe pilot's announcement skit (audio) is, hands down, the funniest thing I have heard this year --- my sides are still hurting. It is eye watering, side-splitting proof that Africans making fun of Africa is an untapped natural resource.

Please, don't tell the Chinese.

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