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Aanu Ayoleke: On Oge Okoye’s Blunders & Lessons From the Charade

Aanu Ayoleke

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We all know about the whole Oge Okoye debacle. I do not need to do a recap. Uche Maduagwu already defended her by writing an epistle on the gram chiding us to support our own. I do know what supporting our own has to do with all this. Are Nigerians quick to savagely mock others online?  Yes. That’s not the issue. Look, Aunty Oge carry your L, and learn from it. Nothing softens people more than accepting wrongs and moving on from them.

The honest truth is that as a country, as a collective culture, we have a very lax attitude to intellectual property. We steal from each other and steal from others.

How do we do steal from each other? Forget 2Baba/Blackface allegations, the fact the P-square’s “Bizzy Body” stole an entire verse from The Fugees’ “Ready or Not” (which used its famous “Ready or Not” line from the Delfonics). Gbagbe gbo gbo yen (Forget all that!) Everybody knows that if I hear P-Square’s Bizzy Body, I will still bend down and dance. That song was an essential part of my childhood. All that underground singing I did as a(m) MFM shaid cannor come and waste. Let’s talk about something more recent.

“Lashed by Annie Idibia” is not eerily similar to “Lashed Cosmetics” by Blac Chyna. Could the similarities be coincidental? E fit be ordinary mistake.  Apart from the fact that both brands share a name, it is as if whomever put together the brand concept for Annie Idibia was either brazen or lazy. The logo is exactly the same, except for differences in font color. Annie’s brand while less prominent,  has been used by prominent Nigerian media personalities. Her brand promises “real luxurious 3D Lashes (extensions), cruelty-free, silk..Best Lashes in Africa” while Blac Chyna’s “Lashed Cosmetics” offers lash extensions, makeup, micro-blading” among many other cosmetic services. While the “best lashes in Africa” is highly questionable, and those lashes could be that amazing,  Annie Idibia’s team should’ve done better research to prevent this from happening.

Proof:
Here is a link to Blac Chyna’s “Lashed Cosmetics” instagram account: Lashed by Blac Chyna

Here is a link to Annie Idibia’s “Lashed By Annie Idibia instagram account: Lashed by Annie Idibia

Legally, ignorance does not equal innocence. This is why Marvin Gay’s estate could sue Robin Thicke and Pharrell for sampling the song “Got to Give it Up” in their song “Blurred Lines”. This is why both Robin Thicke and Pharrell were both required to pay $7.5 million.

Far be it from me to knock another woman’s hustle. Get your coins/notes/ bills, sister. However, it is possible to succeed as an entrepreneur, musician, actress without ripping off another person’s creativity. Every time, things like this are mentioned, it is easy for society to defend the guilty party. It’s hard to criticize those we’ve gotten used to idolizing. Sadly, it is easier to blindly follow popular opinion.

Lastly, we allow others steal from us, and allow them to profit from it. It’s truely saddening that our markets are filled with imposter “traditional” fabrics made in China, the Netherlands, etc. Instead of reviving our textile, we flock to wear these knockoffs. Of course, I understand that it is easy to criticize, I am guilty of doing this. In the same vein, I agree with Oyemykke, that the Weeknd should not be able to use “Starboy” for branding purposes without permission from Wizkid. In this same vein, I believe that Michelle Williams should not have been able to sing “When Jesus says Yes” without at least acknowledging its African origins. It enrages me when a German company will claim to create “leaf plates” and Nigerians/Africans will be saying “our forefathers knew better… We did it first.” Ki lo de ti a trademark kini yen? (Why didn’t we trademark it?)

The problem is we do not trademark or legally protect intellectual property. We underestimate possible sources of income and watch others do so. But we do the same to each other. I cannot act as if Nigeria’s judicial system doesn’t fail us daily. We should at least try to fight when things like these happen.

Aanu Ayoleke is a shameless, melodramatic foodie, whose hobbies include TALKING, acting, singing, traveling and reading. She describes herself as a hustling creative. Aanu is happiest when she's eating akara and surrounded by loud laughter.Blog: www.jadedunni.comInstagram: @jadedunni

22 Comments

  1. Me

    March 9, 2017 at 10:59 am

    It’s their ‘Aba’ mentality. All the examples you’ve mentioned, no offence, but what’s their background? What education do they have? Money never has/ never will buy class.

    • ceetoo

      March 9, 2017 at 11:59 am

      My dear i don’t blame you, it is the ineptitude of the Nigerian govt. (over the years) I blame; they let a city like Aba that was supposed to be one of the drivers of Nigerian industrialisation become what it is today… This gives you the right to equate the city to poor background and lack of education. No be ya fault my jare.

    • Grace

      March 9, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      But it is the not the Govt’s ineptitude, it is tribalism.

      God forbid that ABA in eastern Nigeria gains that much prominence.

      Same reason, Ibos are one of the biggest importers but there is no port in the east.

      The backward reasoning is that if Igbos that much financial strength, they won’t just ask for Biafra, they will sell Nigeria.

    • The Real Oma

      March 9, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      Ehm, are we now going to push all the ‘copy copy’ to those with the so called ‘Aba mentality?”
      Is Mai Atafo also from Aba?
      What of that actress who posted fake shoes and when called out asked if we actually thought she would spend so much buying the original, is she also from Aba?
      No need for more examples.
      Let us try, really try to not make these things about ethnicity and rather judge people as individuals.
      and I am not from Aba.

  2. funmilola

    March 9, 2017 at 11:00 am

    what about the dress mai atafo made for adesua?
    nothing beats originality, and there’s always room for improvement in one’s skill, you don’t have to copy.

    • OGOOOOO

      March 9, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      So desire to make a replica of a design is a crime? All aso ebi being worn to parties every Saturday are all original design of who? Like Mai doesn’t have designs of his own? So if people approach him to make something similar or same style he should reject in this RECESSION??? Abeggy Live and Let other Live, life is not hard. you commit a crime when you claim what is not yours as yours or dont give credit but for fashion i beg to differ oh.

    • fafa

      March 9, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      What u just typed out doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. So it is okay for the self acclaimed king of nigerian bridal, womenswear and menswear fashion to outrightly photocopy the design of an American couture designer just because there is recession? Please take several seats, and while you’re at it, get wisdom even if it is as small as a mustard seed. If Marchesa mistakenly sees Mai Atafo’s Adesuwa dress hope u know he will be sued. That’s why he has not posted it on his IG till today. And Adesuwa does not have a full picture of the dress on her IG either. LOL.

    • Anon

      March 9, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      OGOOOOO – you need a short refresher course on Intellectual Property.

  3. Jokebabs

    March 9, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Great article but lets not forget that Americans also steal and ‘rebrand’ from us all the time.

    • Derin87

      March 10, 2017 at 7:26 am

      Did you finish reading this article? Or you just chose to ignore the part where he mentioned the foreigners that have stolen from us. *sigh*. People always to quick to comment

  4. Nurumba

    March 9, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Excuse me, are you saying we should copyright our pictures on instagram. Abeg that wasn’t a blunder oo. It was online dog kidnapping

  5. Ifeyinwa Atuanya

    March 9, 2017 at 11:40 am

    hers: blac chyna are individual eye lashes

    hers: annie idibia are normal eye lashes

    @AanuAyoleke, I’m trying to figure out your article

    Please next time, without sounding offensive or rude, please use bullet points to outline the points you are making, for example

    I think using bullet points will make your article clearer, but I could be wrong

    • Aanu Ayoleke

      Aanu Ayoleke

      March 9, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      I’ll definitely take your idea into consideration. I really assumed that the links would pop up not as videos, not links. I definitely need all the creative criticism I can get.

    • pheberry

      March 9, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      please compare the logo on both products. that’s what she was referring to

  6. Kay

    March 9, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Immediately I saw Annie’s lashed I thought it was ridiculous she’s no different from. Oge. I hope she doesn’t complain of her husband’s songs being pirated

  7. mimi

    March 9, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Ifeyinwa, did u read my mind or what?
    Bullet points are very essential. When i didnt see them i skipped the whole article.
    Learn from other writers on BN abeg Madam Writer.

    • Derin87

      March 10, 2017 at 7:28 am

      Bullet points? Really? Are you 5?

  8. Nicki

    March 9, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    This was such an amazing read! This was an important social topic discussed with much easy understanding! Please when did bullet points start becoming an essential part of understanding an article? Do academic journals and education materials always have bullet points? If they cant understand such a simply and well composed material just because of bullet points, then let them have few seats or better still rewind to where they learned to read! If people want to read and understand, they will! My dear, carry go! an amazing one, not a waste of a second! ❤️

  9. Tee

    March 9, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Oge Okoye actions and stealing of designs are two different things biko. Oge is not selling a brand rather she wants to show off and she lied to do that. Others above are business people trying to sell their products and stealing designs is allowed in the business world not just in fashion but in technology sef, architecture, you name it your car and phone follow join sef, but what she claimed on IG is just blatant lie. No wonder they do anything to outshine themselves in Nollywood especially the female actors. Oge next time borrow Ruky Sanda dog if you no wan spend money.

  10. Ifeyinwa Atuanya

    March 10, 2017 at 10:34 am

    @mimi, thank you ooooo

    I don’t know it all, but I’m learning

    @Derin87, bullet points are not always for 5 year olds.

    Sometimes; people need simplicity in reading.

    @Nicki, I never said she wasn’t a good writer.

    There are different genres of writing.

    Allow people learn, please.

  11. Abominable snow girl

    March 10, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    While we are on ‘the’ matter, where did the dance step : DAB originate from?
    Because everyone is doing it,whites, Chinese, Latinos… I thought it was an African specifically Naija thing. Just “for my info”?.

  12. Yinka Ademola

    April 2, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    I understand that people can be inspired by someone else’s design or lyrics and they may sometimes tweak those to suit their own purpose. I understand the infringement of copyright/trademark laws and that in Nigeria the penalties are almost non existent.

    I DO NOT UNDERSTAND why someone will steal pictures of somebody else’s dogs , claim them as hers and even proceed to give them names! God have mercy….

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