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Cisi Eze: BamBam, Her AMVCA Dress & Average Nigerians

Cisi Eze

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Bamike “BamBam” Olawumi

Because I hardly watch television, I could not watch much of this year’s Big Brother Naija. Besides learning the names of the contestant, I saw that everyone seemed to hate Cee-C. They said Miracle was amazing. There was talk about Ifu.

Aside Cee-C, there was another housemate who caught my attention: BamBam. I felt and still feel she had potentials. I was over the moon when I saw her in Falz’s latest music video Child of the World. This, to me, was an indication that she was meeting the right people and putting herself out there.

The morning after the African Magic Viewers’ Choice Award (AMVCA), I saw pictures from the event. There were different beautiful dresses by Nigerian fashion designers on Twitter. It was truly heart-warming. It is not as though we are not immensely talented in Nigeria: we lack a conducive and enabling environment where people can explore and express their talents to the fullest. I saw BamBam’s dress and my first thought was, “This is edgy and different.”

I was stunned when I went through my Twitter timeline few hours later to find people were ripping BamBam’s dress apart. I was shocfused. Lady Gaga has worn something similar to BamBam’s AMVCA dress. Everyone seemed to adore it. It crossed my mind that Rihanna could have worn the same dress, and as usual, we all would slather accolades on the dress. Why was it different with BamBam?

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Lady Gaga and Bambam, who wore it better?

A post shared by Nigeria Wedding & Lifestyle Co (@weddingplusnigeria) on

First, The Average Nigerian lacks his/her own mind. (Explaining this with Nietzsche’s “Beyond Good and Evil” is so tempting.) We have many people who are not willing to process ideas for themselves. How else can we explain most Nigerians cling to religion at the expense of human rights in 2018? I can wager that a sizable number of those people hating on the dress do not have a reason to hate it. But as their favourite social media influencer has dragged the dress through filth, they are willing to join in the jamboree.

Secondly, I do not think The Average Nigerians have forgiven BamBam for fornicating on live television. How dare she disregard our social norms and express her sexuality with such blatancy? Average Nigerians froth at the mouth when they see a single woman embodying happiness while living her best life. They would rather you sand-paper yourself so they can easily hold you in their palms. Was she having sex alone? What did they say about her “accomplice”?

Thirdly, they said she was fake the same way they said T-Boss was fake. The Average Nigerian (TAN) is not used to people being collected and composed. How dare you live in a place and Nigeria and still exude grace and serenity? Why are you not a razzite*? You must be pretending-o. When you mind your business, smell good, and look good, The Average Nigerian would say you are haughty, even though it is not your fault they have a low self-esteem.

In addition, The Average Nigerian is angry. People who live in a country with a trashy economy are angry (depressed) or frustrated, or both. As Freud wrote, “Depression is anger turned inward.” For the masses who are angry, they cannot channel their anger at the people who deserve it. In turn, we see them picking on people who are systematically disadvantaged. It is no surprise that Third-World Countries are highly homophobic and misogynistic. Nigerians want to march towards Aso Rock and demand justice, but as we cannot, we are angry with people who are not hurting us.

BamBam’s dress was not the worst of the dresses at the AMVCA, neither was it the best of the dresses. It was different. It was daring. It was pretty. The colour complimented her complexion. Her hair was well done. She had a pretty smile, as usual. Her dress is not the reason for us having an unfortunate economy: it is not hurting us. Would it not be better to direct our anger at the people who have decided to wreck our economy by viciously stealing from us?

P.S. Cee-C’s dress was gorgeous! Plot twist: some people said her dress was ugly because Cee-C has a bad personality. This is all shades of hilarious. Have they met the woman? Did you know: Although you have a personality, you behave differently based on the social context? If you are in the same house with people who annoy you, you are bound to act out. “We see people as we are, not the way they are.” I should also add that the difference between aggression and assertiveness is sex: from a man, it is assertiveness. When the same act comes from a woman, it is aggression.

Cisi Eze is a Lagos-based freelance journalist, writer, comic artist, and graphics designer. A media and justice fellow of the Bisi Alimi Foundation, she feels strongly about LGBT+ rights, feminism, gender issues, and mental health, and this is expressed through her works on Bella Naija and her blog – Shades of Cisi. Aside these, she has works on Kalahari Review, Holaafrica, Mounting the Moon, Gender IT, Outcast Magazine, Rustin Times, 14: An Anthology of Queer Art Volume 1 and 2, and Sweet Deluge (Issue 2). Cisi’s art challenges existing societal norms.

31 Comments

  1. Jen

    September 3, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    I thought if you were going to write about bbn housemates why not mention all the other ones that was criticized too like Nina, Alex’s hair. I think this write up is very biased. My opinion tho.

    • S

      September 3, 2018 at 9:45 pm

      You might want to check the title of the article

  2. Amaka

    September 3, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    I didn’t watch big brother I don’t know them or their names. But the dress doesn’t suit her. She’s too dark to carry it off. But I agree it’s a pretty dress-just not for her….

    • tunmi

      September 4, 2018 at 7:03 pm

      Actually I find that she carries it beautifully because she’s dark.

    • seriously

      September 4, 2018 at 9:55 pm

      Damn, we going by skin color now to be able to carry a dress. Not okay. What about the dress is just plain ugly. first of all, lady gaga, rihanna get a slight pass sometimes bcos they are known for their fashion statement and being edgy. People are not necessarily feeling their ugly clothes but bcos its rihanna who makes everything look effortless. It’s like me trying to copy Amber rose bald head, I’ll look a mess. Some people rock certain things better than the other

      My observation is, the dress is wearing her, her pose makes her look uncomfortable.

  3. S

    September 3, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    Those slating her outfit and creating memes were getting loads of likes and retweets so a lot of people jumped on the bandwagon. Plus some people had personal beef from her time in the BBN house so they took full advantage.

    I personally loved it (after the initial shock wore off lol) and i’m glad she brought something different to the red carpet.

  4. Mo81

    September 3, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    Dress was a show stopper, colour suited her perfectly plus her confidence was so infectious, she is one of the very few people that can pull this off, Bambam you rocked this look, looking forward to all the amazing things you are about to do in future ?

  5. Tutu

    September 3, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    THis is not a nice dress. Average Nigerian or not! If Lady Gaga was the inspiration, they are waaaay off the mark. Look at the picture na.

    • Dame

      September 4, 2018 at 9:31 am

      Dont mind them Lady Gag’s Dress had form. There is a demarcation between the upper body to underneath her boobs, you could mark out the silhouette of the dress.

      Bam bam dress was just a big ball of feathers, it should have stopped at underneath her boobs or waist and then continued not a big ball of chicken feather,

      Cisi Eze, your article is disjointed….How do you know what they average Nigerian Thinks if you think you are not TAN???? are we talking about the dress form or BBN ???

  6. Amaka

    September 3, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    I LOVED the dress! Didn’t watch BBNaija but I heard of her. The dress was lovely and breathtaking. You go, girl!

  7. Diamond

    September 3, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    I totally love the dress! And the color suits her well.

  8. Hebe Caspian

    September 3, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    The problem is not about the Average Nigerian. You are worse than the average Nigerian you have described here. A lot of people do not even remember that she had sex on live TV.

    Don’t be clueless and wager on what you know nothing about, The dress didn’t sit right on her that is why a lot of people hate it and not because an influencer did.

    The outfit is either terrible on her or she did a bad job of posing in it. Something was not right somewhere! So all these rants you have posted would have been better directed at the things you wish other average Nigerians directed their rant to.

  9. Nkem

    September 3, 2018 at 11:38 pm

    The dress is beautiful and I love her confidence

  10. Jummy

    September 4, 2018 at 12:35 am

    Cisi, you REALLY need to get off your intellectual superiority high horse. You’re just as bad as “the average Nigerian” you’re always whining about.

    Any attempt to actually make valid points in your post is usually lost because you seem to talk like you’re better than “the average Nigerian”

    • 9ja

      September 4, 2018 at 4:54 am

      @Jummy, thank you that it was not only me who thought this fluff was dripping in sheer condescension. On the other hand, like Cisi herself said: “We see people as we are, not the way they are.” I just hope she was holding a mirror when she wrote those lines.

      PS: Btw, I personally thought that most of the comments that I read about the dress on BN (I must confess that I am not a regular Twitter user, if at all) were light-hearted and facetious, rather than mean-spirited.

    • I_I

      September 4, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      Honestly, as soon as I saw the dress, I remarked that it reminded me of candy-floss. This one that this sub-par writer is conflating everyone who genuinely didn’t like the dress into her ‘average hateful nigerian’ bucket, is a bit irritating. Since Cici is being so uppity, didn’t Rihannna’s dress to a met gala a while back get compared to a chicken laying eggs?

  11. Nike

    September 4, 2018 at 12:59 am

    I loved the dress on Bambam. It was different and unique. Bambam is not your regular girl.that lady is going places

  12. Anon

    September 4, 2018 at 4:09 am

    Well,this article stung a bit…

  13. Sadique

    September 4, 2018 at 7:53 am

    Who ever her managers are, they are smart. Here we are talking about her dress. They wanted us to, good for her PR. Go girl!.

  14. koko

    September 4, 2018 at 9:56 am

    I find this article very insulting. Doesnt BN have someone who reads articles before they are posted at least to censure the tone?

    First of all, I am Nigerian and Cisi needs to explain this line – “First, The Average Nigerian lacks his/her own mind. (Explaining this with Nietzsche’s “Beyond Good and Evil” is so tempting.) We have many people who are not willing to process ideas for themselves. ” Who are the average Nigerians? Is it the person reading this article? or are there ways they can be identified? How do i know if I am one of them?

    Second; i like to think that people are entitled to their opinions just as you have come to express your feelings for BamBam’s dress. Personally I did not like BamBam’s dress for reasons known to me, and i am sure that there are other Nigerians like myself who without being influenced by others reached this conclusion on their own. Pray tell, did you consider this? Or are all Nigerians expected to like the same thing all the time? Isn’t that the beauty of diversity?

    Thirdly, your article suffers from too much generalization that I can continue to puncture holes if i want to. The part about Rihanna and Ladygaga, do you know that there are spheres of people who didn’t like their outfits? Do you know that the outfits mentioned above were worn to the MET Gala? Do you know what goes on at the MET Gala? Do you know that outfits to be worn fit certain themes?

    Yes BamBam’s dress was different, it wasn’t the norm and people liked it for being that, but for others who didn’t, my question is aren’t they allowed to have those opinions without being called average?

    Finally, just for saying sake, I really do not care what happened in the house between BamBam and Teddy A and neither have i ever held it over her nor written her off. and I would like to think that there are people just like me who feel this way and genuinely don’t like the dress

  15. Made

    September 4, 2018 at 10:11 am

    “Average Nigerian(s)” sounds condescending..I’m not sure i like the direction of this article

  16. Sunshine

    September 4, 2018 at 10:45 am

    The writer clearly has a bias for BamBam so this is not a well balanced piece. That being said I think it was an awful dress and the feathers looked cheap. Lady Gaga’s dress is not great either, in my opinion, but at least her feathers look like good quality.

    BamBam needs to step it up at her next event and wear something spectacular to make us forget this headache causing feathered monstrosity.

  17. Bowl

    September 4, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Cici Eze the above average Nigerian and below average Westerner .
    My dear pls fix your shit ! Your condescension stinks to the high heavens.

  18. Bowl

    September 4, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Wo BN Post my comment. Your blog accepts for Cici to call us average Nigerians
    And we are not allowed to get back to her !

    • koko

      September 4, 2018 at 12:15 pm

      I’m waiting for them to post mine too.

  19. zzzzzzzzzzz

    September 4, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    Cee-C’s dress was beautiful Bam Bam’d dress makes here look like a ball of fluff. Mind you I stopped watching Big brother after Katung won

  20. Average Nigerian

    September 4, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    This article is dripping condescension and unfortunately in the process the author comes across as the kind of Nigerian she’s describing.

    1) Did it occur to you that it could very well be that the style and execution does not sit well with your “Average Nigerian’s” style aesthetic? Every culture has theirs. French people are not fans of certain executions of extravagance. Pinning mass dislike of an outfit to a “Nigerian Phenomenon” is kind of ignorant.

    2) Comparing Lady Gaga’s look with Bambam’s In terms of quality and execution is laughable. I don’t hate Bambam’s dress but to be clear they are not mates. Bambam’s dressed missed the mark on the silhouette execution and I mean again, their fabrics of choice are not mates.

    3) The one me I took super personal. What is it with this pseudo-intellectual, Afro-Western Movement where adherence to religion equals being dumb. Your forefathers before you may not have been Christian or Muslim but they were religious and you’re not smarter than them. Even those Human Rights you are referring to drew their origins from Christian values in the West so what are you on about? Please if you want to be irreligious do so in peace but don’t come on here and pen an article pretending to be something you’re not, while berating other Nigerians.

    Oh Advanced One!

  21. omomo

    September 4, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    why do we use foriegn people as our standard ..and please when did nigerians ever say they “loved’ Gaga’s dress…this is my first time of even seeing the gaga dress sef…so when abeg..this is a stupid write up sorry

  22. Jane

    September 4, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    I really love this dress on her. If I were bamike I wore this for two reasons 1. Because I like it 2. Just to get people talking.
    That being said I really don’t like people making others seem low because of their likes or dislikes. This is a clear case of one man’s food is another’s poison.

  23. Fizzy

    September 6, 2018 at 3:08 am

    She can do no wrong in my eyes. BamBam wore it so, I like it. Shoot me.

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