LIS

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

London student, Tobi Akingbade who was racially ridiculed with blackface Nutella photo speaks out...

Tobi Rachel Akingbade graduated from the Mass Media Communications course at the University of Hertforeshire on September 2015 after failing three times. She tweeted her success on twitter writing:
"I failed uni twice. Did my final year three times. I graduated today. I give all the Glory to God. #TrustYourStruggle"
Unfortunately, the 24-year-old received a torrent of abuse online. Unknown to her, a twitter user mocked her by smearing his face in Nutella in a ‘blackface’ attempt after she revealed she passed university after three attempts...
 
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On Friday February 5, the distasteful tweet came to her attention. Miss Akingbade issued an open letter to "Mr Nutella Blackface describing how she sat behind her screen at work and cried after she saw the tweet, adding that she was "hurt, disgusted, angry and most of all, shocked". Below is her open letter published by Medium:

"An Open Letter To The Man Who Racially Ridiculed Me With Nutella Blackface (that was not okay)

Dear Mr Nutella Blackface Guy (if I may call you that),
“For A Few Seconds I Felt Worth-Less … Not Very Human”
Yesterday, less than 24 hours ago, just after lunchtime, I sat behind my screen at work and burst into tears. I’m not a crier and nothing could’ve prepared me for this sudden and foreign emotion. I was hurt. I was disgusted. I was angry. Most of all I was shocked. I know I startled two of my colleagues who were sitting behind me interviewing an applicant for our events team. Everyone knows Tobi doesn’t cry.
But there I was crying and as I cried, I shook with anger trying to explain myself to my creative director who ran to my side before I truly realised I was indeed crying. She wanted to know what had happened, but I was new to this and was still trying to figure out how to speak and cry at the same time. She managed to understand the part where I told her to “look at my screen”. When she did, she understood and with that understanding reminded me of my worth. For a few seconds I felt worth-less, meaning-less and not very human.
The cause of my tears...

That’s my tweet on the left, (my caption, my picture) and on the right sits your tweet (MY caption, an image of a Caucasian-looking male in black-face induced by Nutella).
This is not oka.
“I had no idea that tweet would go viral”
In September I graduated from university after five difficult years in university. I went from being promised a first class degree in three years to spending an extra two painfully crawling towards that goal for so many personal reasons, reasons I do not wish to share with you. I had promised a lot of my followers an article detailing my journey (a promise I now wish I didn’t make as it’s taking me so long to summon up the strength to complete that article).
On the day I graduated, like the rest of my class, I tweeted a picture of myself a few hours later with the caption you can see there (I know you know of the tweet because you interacted with it a few minutes before you did what you did … and you know what you did). I had no idea that tweet would go viral on multiple social media platforms. I also could never have imagined 140 characters would have me invited to share my story in and on multiple media publications, nor did I know it would lead to me speaking at events in and outside of London. I quickly became a mentor to many and I’ve spent the following months advising people of all ages on the art of overcoming failures and the beauty of perseverance. Both concepts are a major keys to life (word to DJ Khaled).

I didn’t want the attention and I still don’t. My tweet alone, according to analytics, has been seen almost half a million times around the world and at one point I was trending in South Africa, a country I have no affiliation with culturally or even biologically (in case you were wondering or had made an assumption that I was South African). As much as I despise the attention (I cherish my privacy), I am grateful that my story has touched so many lives.
Naturally, my tweet has seduced and encouraged keyboard warriors (like yourself) to feel audacious enough to ridicule me or send me hate. I’ve ignored every form of negativity thrown at me for the last five five months. Which hasn’t been easy as I’ve been told to end my life on multiple occasions and on a good day I’ve been called retarded or been told that this is the reason why “women, especially blacks, should not go to university”. This is the first time I am responding.
"Did you not know that you veered into racism?"
You saw my tweet, and sarcastically asked me if I was going to write an article about “How to fail uni multiple times?” and then you tweeted that image. I did my investigations, I know the photo was “nabbed” from the internet but that does not make it any better.
Using a photo of someone else in blackface doesn’t eradicate the fact that you used a photo with blackface to mimic me, a black woman.
Blackface is not cool during Halloween and it’s not cool in February. Did you not know that you veered into racism when you turned me into an object of ridicule using blackface? Did you not know that blackface is a form of entertainment used to dehumanise black people so they would continue to view themselves as slaves and feel less-than-human. This is why I cried. Did you not know that what you did sits at the root of so much of the cultural contempt that has been used to oppress and stigmatise my people for centuries? Before you ask, it’s impossible to separate blackface from it’s history, if you choose to wear it or use it, you are oppressing an entire race. Fact. Did you not know that Mr Nutella Blackface? If not there are a few things I need you to remember …

Nutella Blackface, I would appreciate it if you would think before you tweet, behind every screen is a person.
Nutella Blackface, I have no intentions of trolling you (as you did with me)
Nutella Blackface, what you did was wrong.
Nutella Blackface, you can’t claim innocence due to ignorance.
Nutella Blackface, this is not about sensitivity. It’s deeper than that.
Nutella Blackface, as I typed the last sentence a friend of mine showed me an apology you tweeted to a news publication dedicated to tackling racism in the media. (smart move!)
Nutella Blackface, what you did was racist. Whether you would like to accept that or not.
Nutella Blackface, I acknowledge the fact that just before I hit publish on this article you apologised to me. Your apology came after hundreds of twitter users reported you to Twitter, dragged you across the timeline and threatened to contact your work place. Isn’t solidarity such a beautiful thing?
Nutella Blackface, as weak as your apology was, I accept it. Why? Because I have a life to live and harbouring unforgivness does nothing for my own sanity. There is no way I’m letting the actions of an ignorant Twitter warrior stay rent free in my head.
 
Signed with sweet and glorious melanin,
Tobi Rachel Akingbade

77 comments:

Alexander Precious said...

Hmmm

Ngene Olivia said...

Hmmmmmmm














#It WiLL oNLy gEt beTTer
#iT MuSt eNd IN pRAisE

Davido's driver said...

The world is full of crazy people

anita gold said...

No kind of story wey Linda ikeji no dey carry.

anita gold said...

No kind of story wey Linda ikeji no dey carry.

Juliet Iwuno said...

Oropo biko! Linda take note!

Charles Okafor said...

Can u imagine.. Nawa oo














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azeez adeola said...

Enter your comment...
Awwww... But these oyinbos can be mean and irrational at times sha.

Anonymous said...

Crazy.. Big Ladies dances Naked in Public Eye all in the name of tradition and festive (please be 18+)

olumide abiodun said...

The thing about social media is that it is filled with depressed people who want to drag you down to their level, so they would say or do anything without caution. This is one of the reasons I don't want fame...just give me the fortune.



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Anonymous said...

Really odd. South African Lady steps out Naked in Public and guys videoed her(please be 18+)

THELMA BLACK said...

Never let the critics get to you

Nnenne George said...

Hmmmm... Odiegwu o!

loveth ugwu said...

Lol fuck

U-C-J said...

Congrats to her, it pays to keep the hope alive.
Linda mee k'anyi fu anya! @uchemacj

Fyna said...

Toh

Anonymous said...

As am here am seriously angry with myself right now.Please my fellow bvs, in the spirit of ash Wednesday am pleading for financial assistant from you all my lovely family here to go learn how to makeup, rather than sitting at home idle. irendwel@yahoo.com

Psalmuelle aka Samstone. said...

Hmmmmmmm. Racism is alive and well.

#LIB ADDICT#

Ivy Godspower said...

Hmmmmmmm




PEPSI ADDICT

Anonymous said...

Really odd. South African Lady steps out Naked in Public and guys videoed her(please be 18+)

Lilian Ijitola said...

they made her popular already

kevwe esegba said...

Wow!!! So impressive and inspiring. Solidarity indeed is a beautiful thing. Shame on you @mr nutella blackface lol. Big Congratulations @Tobi. You're such a strong black woman...

Lilian Ijitola said...

they just made her popular.....crazy racist

Adejoke fasasi said...

Congrats deary



#Hajia Mufliat

Adaobilinda her sexcellency said...

Racism may not stop

otee elizabeth said...

Pele dear

Bettina Abugha said...

I love d "signed with sweet and glorious melanin" part.

dee boi said...

Someone with my skin colour will say and do worse things... dee

Anna Dickson said...

Foolish Nutella Blackface

SongsOfSUSSAN said...

My dear, that guy is a sad and degraded fellow so in order for him to be happy, he had to degrade someone. Sorry, just ignore.

Julie- babe said...

Thumps up to Tobi, no matter how hard life try to knock you down, don't yourself down for so long, just get up and keep moving

Busolami said...

WOW.Kudos to you Tobi

Anonymous said...

Lmao @ signed with sweet and glorious melanin!

Keep going girl. Don't let them get to you.

Signed with another sweet and glorious melanin. Lol

Efy Udosen said...

hmmmm so sad n heart breaking

Anonymous said...

I was racially abused by a white (Albanian ) man at work yesterday, he said awful things to me not knowing the other guy is a mixed race of Nigerian dad and English mom, the lad reported him to the management and was sacked few hours later. Funniest thing is I tried to protect the racist from being sacked, the managers were shocked cos I pleaded with him

Jane Abiuwa said...

I am so sad right now i wish to see the idiot to show him what blacks can do to racist like him.

Anonymous said...

Dear Rachel Akingbade,
You are a nice person who trust people too much. Some black people are just as bad and pray never to meet them. Learn not to open your mind online. Keep your problems to yourself or keep friends who are good listeners. Keep off twitter for a while if such tweets hurt you but just ignore the fools who may not have qualifications anyway. They envy you, can't you see that? They were never admitted into university anyway. Congratulations!!!

nachi ukeni said...

I cried then smmiled.
People should really watch thier mouths unless they need cheap poupularity.
I'm happy you are overlooking it and not giving him free possession

daniela desmond said...

They way ppl treat u, is just exactly how they feel about themselves... Celebs know this

Pretty face said...

Hmmmmm

Bethel Ekemita said...

Wow


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Town Crier 247 said...

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Di Mateo Xavie said...

Hehehehe...but why u go fail three times.....

Joyous babe,Linda ikeji first cousin said...

Na wa .

Oshios Baba said...

Okay

JENNY IKEJI said...

Hmmmmmmmm very inspiring I must say!!so so good.

Jenny Kalu said...

nice n matured response to mr nutella blackface

Anonymous said...

don't u Nigerians always call people from other African countries.."So black"....when most Nigerians use bleaching creams...Leave Oyibo out of this..U guys are even worse

Anonymous said...

I'm telln u..especially Nigerians. .They are quick to call other African black..lol.

Anonymous said...

It cos u have inferiority complex..If it was ur fellow black..U wld ve fought him. .Albanians are foolish, and not even white..Can't stand them

Peace Alfred said...

Must the Nigerian reply?? Albino dey insult you, you dey cry choi she dey fuck up I swear, u nor get bad mouth like we wey dey here.

Eddy Ogbunambala said...

Hmmmm

Anonymous said...

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moruf ishola said...

See goobee.

Bibian Obunse said...

Hmmmm...

Ogbukwa Blessing said...

Very inspiring

Ogbukwa Blessing said...

Very crazy people out there. Very inspiring

YOUNGBUHARI said...

Crazy mofos everywhere.

Vivian Reginalds said...

Awww
-D great anonymous now as Vivian Reginalds

Aso said...

Tobi I blame you for this.It's not everything you share with the whole world.

theresa urateh said...

Lenten season is here

Repent !

lamide green said...

i really love this article. mr nutella blackface is really a racist indeed.

Maureen Mordi said...

Dis is crazy

Elektra Ray said...

The things social media can cause

Ifechukwu Chioke said...

Am I supposed to read all that?? More Instagram followers for you

Owakah I said...

Dont mind them, they r insecure

owakah (A.K.A. Innosometin) said...

WOW!!!

ukaha david said...

u for ask d idiot how many times d albino girls have won d miss world contest.join all d colours in d world,u go c black.

oh-G said...

And this is why social media shouldn't be for everyone. Blacks and women smh.this post will still haunt him. It's oyibos after all.

Posh Queen said...

Linda Pls summarize

Anonymous said...

Why would you try and stop them from firing him? Coon.

Anonymous said...

Shut the hell up

Anonymous said...

Tobi well said. We go through so many challenges in life for a reason and by God's grace we pray to overcome such challenges. It's written in the bible
"I will bless those that bless you and curse those that curse you"
Leave the chap in God's hands,may he ask God forgiveness before the wrath of God descends upon him and his entire family.
Also Tobi,i know you wrote your experience to encourage others,maybe you need to change the caption to prevent such incidence from occurring.

Anonymous said...

Racism is genetic and hereditary, and runs in the veins of anything white. However, some keep it cool and burst whenever the need arises, some come out open to express it without minding the environment, while other hide theirs in the shadow of the night and uses the flashing light of the camera to preach oneness. Above all, they have a limit to how far they can accept blacks.

Anonymous said...

Racism is genetic and hereditary, and runs in the veins of anything white. However, some keep it cool and burst whenever the need arises, some come out open to express it without minding the environment, while other hide theirs in the shadow of the night and uses the flashing light of the camera to preach oneness. Above all, they have a limit to how far they can accept blacks.

Ade Olasengbe said...

why did they ridicule her

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