SPOTLIGHT: Visuals

This is the third post about the viral photo that everyone has now forgotten about. I would follow a “Where are they now?” TV show on internet sensation, like Terio.  Thought I would have time to write this earlier but my 50 page project report and living lavish took priority. I wouldn’t have bothered writing this but I took screenshots for the post and they’ve been sitting on my desktop for over a month now, so might as well write this so I can delete the screenshots.

These post just shows comments by internet people.

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The granny is Trump fan and her bio says “MOTHER GRANDMOTHER DOG LOVER, ARTIST_HAPPY BEING JEWISH AND FRUM_WORKING TOWARDS A BETTER PLACE_”. Why does she keep using underscores and_typing_like this

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Loool this is such a  great backhanded compliment it almost makes me forget it’s racist haha. Bio says “Sportsman, adventurer , oil N gas Guru….., eats raw meat ….all round good egg”. Another Trump fan

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Dress more normally??? Lool going to need this guy to show his working to be honest. Doesn’t even have a decent bio, some random Churchill quote. Dead guy

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I dunno, maybe there weren’t just 15 men accepted at Cambridge. Hope this is just sarcasm that has flown over my head

 

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Seems like a stupid question but it’s actually fair point I guess? But it’s like the whole “the best way to stop racism is to stop talking about race” trope. Michelle Obama’s thesis was on something like this I think

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Richgang

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This account actually scares me lmao

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I won’t lie I laughed so hard at this my eyes were watery hahah. Is it racist? I’m not mad at it at all haha. World would be a strange place if racist trolls were funny, thank God most of them are just the deadest guys

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Least Impressed Man Ever. Cryinggg

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Dennis arms got this man shook

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LOOOOL Deaddd because half of us probably used the same barber

 

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Show your working ma. Not sure how she could tell the religion from the pics

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There’s always gonna be that Oxbridge isn’t all that comment. Oh well

 

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Lool this was the funniest thread

 

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Honestly don’t understand what he’s trying to say

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Didn’t even clock this

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Didn’t know about this uno

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When white men gather alone like so so so many occasions in Cambridge

 

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A bit deep man.

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Deeper

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Wonder what a UK HBCU would look like.

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Enter a caption Why you always lying

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Loool this racism to gingers thing again

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Ott reaction perhaps?

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Cryinggg

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Deep convo

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Someone said I look like Sturridge lmfaoo

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Wow, triggered

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Lmao actually laughed at this. Dickhead

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Don’t think anyone in the pic has a white bae #FakeNews

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Me that I’m starving too

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This site is brutal lmaoo

Loads of love was shown though and it outweighed the hate easily.

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Who hurt ya?

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Genuinely the most disturbing site, I’ve ever seen

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Loool disturbing post but man gave me a “nope” why am I pained haha

 

The good outweighed the bad by farrr though. Made me realise that on the other side of the screen on the internet is a real person with real feelings. Still feel blessed to have been involved

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This pic made me shed some thug tears

SPOTLIGHT: BTS & Lessons Learnt

Since I was off twitter while this was going on, I wasn’t really sure how the message was being received. Think it’s a bit of  a blessing though because I’ve never really known how to handle attention and if I was on twitter I may have cracked some jokes just to deflect the attention from me but it meant I probably wouldn’t be staying on message. Anyways a few thoughts on the whole thing.

Where are the girls? Almost everyone has asked this question. Even my mum told me it wasn’t fair that we didn’t include girls.The answer to this actually simple, it was based of the Yale photo which was also all men. But I read other people trying to justify it and whatnot so I had a few questions. I’ll be honest here and say when people commented about “where are the girls” I sometimes read it as people (read white people)  trying to detract from the message when they couldn’t care less about diversity  but I do understand there is  legitimate problem of black women always being underrepresented and their problems being treated as secondary to white women and black men. . Male privilege does exist but the numbers are worse for black men than for black women. In such a case is it okay to promote only black men despite the privilege we already have over black women? Also doesn’t this question lead to whataboutism, what about black LGBTQ+, what about disabled people, what about mixed race people, what about other underrepresented minorities what about that. Is it really wrong for the focus to be only on black men? I guess this is a lesson for me in inclusivity. The fact I only found out about the photo shoot hours before and I was in the middle of exams is probably an excuse but in those hours, it didn’t once cross my mind that we should include black women. I guess I’ve learnt to keep an eye out being more inclusive in general. Sidenote: would the photos have been as viral if it had women as well? I honestly don’t have a clue, who knows why things go viral.

Salt from within. Some black students/ ex students didn’t seem to be too happy about the virality of the shoot. There were guys who never do ACS stuff, that were like “must have missed the memo”. To those people, gerrarahere my friend. There were those guys who do ACS stuff  who weren’t in it that supported it, to those guys, respect man. Not going to lie. I would have been pained if I wasn’t asked to be in it and it when viral. Would have been like that time H.D. bought JA shirts for a couple of people in our set and Akra and I didn’t get one. It pained me. There were people who come for ACS events and weren’t invited. I understand the sentiment. Would the post have hit home if all 60 (or however many of us there are) were in it? Again I have no idea but if I had to guess I would say no. All the logistics of handling 14 people and picking a time that work was already tedious (s/o to Ore again). Others didn’t support early on probably because we didn’t support them in their own similar endeavours, which again I think is understandable. No hard feelings with anyone in this paragraph, I’m not going to hate on anyone for not sharing anything on their personal pages for whatever reason. I, for one, am not comfortable promoting anything on social media apart from on Twitter and Snapchat .

The more insidious (not sure what this word means) group came from the “student activists”. Some criticisms felt way too personal so I’ll bare it in mind for future interactions. One of their criticisms was that black women are behind most liberation movements but never seem to get an of the credit. I get that valid criticism, but firstly it was a black lady (want to say black girl but that seems to young, and woman seems to old. At what age do you move from girl to lady to woman?) that organised it. They kept talking about women doing emotional labour for men, but in this case the women who organised it did not mind and did not share their sentiment. Taking panadol for another person’s headache. Secondly, the people involved that did interviews did point out the work being done by the black women in Cambridge so I don’t get it. Their second criticism was that we don’t write articles, lead protests, write petitions. My response to that is that not everyone is gifted enough to do that, not everyone has the time to do that, not everyone can do that and I think it would be a problem if everyone tried to do that (too much of anything is bad, diminishing returns etc). Secondly, that isn’t the only way to “make an impact”. I’ll happily speak to a group of kids if I’m asked, I’ve volunteered to help people with applications, internships,etc and many of the guys involved do similar things but we don’t shout about it. One of critics said [paraphrased] she would bend if any of us ran for CUSU Access Officer. Now I know the current access officer and I think she is a great person and is doing a great job but like why do we have to run for any post to prove anything.

Sometimes, the general sentiment felt like they were salty about the exposure we received and they probably won’t have been salty at all if the post didn’t get the exposure that it got. It felt like they were saying, do this activism thing but just don’t get more exposure than us. Someone accused us of doing the bare minimum. That is true but can’t hate us for being more efficient. What do you want us to do? Do things that require more effort and produce less results? The other criticism was that we don’t do enough, which is maybe true for some of us involved, but in my opinion your criticism of someone that doesn’t do enough should not come when the person is trying to do said thing. Like my mom saying, I never clean your room while I’m cleaning my room. Not saying some of this criticism isn’t valid but a lot of it felt personal, the timing and public nature of it also irked in all honesty. The student activism in Cambridge gets a bit too much for me sometimes, I won’t lie. Some people are very lovely tbh but some come across as very militant. I mean this to the point that one of them was literally standing next to me on a night out while I was talking to a mutual friend I did not even try to introduce myself before she calls me out for whatever offense I didn’t know I was committing. More on this at some other time. My theory is that is any of these people in this “group” planned to do this, not many people would have turned up because a lot of people are scared of walking on egg shells around them and their message would probably have been a lot more different.

Interviews. I didn’t do any interviews for two reasons. First, I had exams and my brain needs to be tuned in to a particular frequency during exams. Any interview I would have done would have been lacklustre and I could potentially have been caught out by random questions. Also it takes time for me to come up with my inspiring bars. The second reason was that I’m an international student so I wouldn’t have counted in the stats being touted around. More importantly, my experiences are vastly different from Black British students and I think it’s easy for people to forget that. I didn’t think I had the right to go in the media and tell people to apply to Cambridge. From what I’ve heard some black students do not have any support systems. Nobody telling them, they can make it at Cambridge etc. All my life, my parents, family, friends and teachers have always believed in me which rubbed off on me. It’s why I applied to MIT and other Ivies at 15 and hoped to get in (I didn’t). As soon as my mom told me I was schooling in the UK, I knew I was applying to Cambridge and Imperial, it wasn’t even a question for me. I know nothing about going into life in the streets, knife crime, etc. My parents can afford international fees (God bless them) and I’m not sure I understand the whole race-class-socioeconomic dynamics here well enough to speak on it.

To be continued…

Warriors just came back from 25 points down against Spurs wow. Started writing this at half time and I’m mad I missed the comeback lmao.

Spotlight: The Movie

 

“In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes” – Andy Warhol

Apologies in advance for the long article. This is just a timeline on how we ended up on National and International news. Teen Vogue, Stormzy and Ashton Kutcher posting about the movement as well

MONDAY: THE BEGINNING

20:25: Ore notifies us that the post is up so we can share

20:49: The Tab Cambridge tries to get in on it, asks if any of us will be willing to write an article for them. Air them.

22:00: Unnamed Cam black boy who doesn’t not attend any ACS events, replies to a comment mentioning him “must have missed the memo”. Of course you did when you’re always airing guys. [Slight detour, this guy added me on Facebook, when we had never met, the messaged he to vote for him for something. So shameless with his plugging. I said fair play, I respect the hustle, I’ll give you my vote. I saw him on the road one time, thought he’d stop to say wassup or at least thanks for the vote, but man aired me. Lmao I was actually pained].

22:07 64 shares and 319 reacts of the Facebook post

22:11: Some of our big hitters on Youtube had retweeted, Imani and Courtney so the post gain some traction on Twitter

22:38: 150 reacts in the last 35 mins. Facebook doing much better than the twitter on. Someone jokes that Stormzy retweets us.

TUESDAY (DAY BEFORE MY DREADED DOUBLE EXAM DAY)

08:21: More than 1,000 reacts on FB. I genuinely thought this was as far as it would go. Little did I know.

11:48: Buzzfeed the first big one to pick up the story. DM a couple of us for comments, the message you’ve got for young black boys out there and a bit about your experience as black guys at Cambridge. I’m trying to pass my exams so I give it a pass I trust the boys to take care of it

This means we need to come up with a consistent message to the public . The consensus to keep the message positive. Not to be anti-Cambridge and just encourage more people to apply. 

12:39: As at this time some guy called Jack May has essentially hijacked the tweet.  Sort of remixes the story saying

The tweet had about 300 RTs by this time. More than the ACS account. Not all of us were from the 2015 admissions cycle. But if more people are sharing that can only be a good thing, right?

13:25: Channel 4 News contact one of the boys and says they’re interested in making a video. It begins to feel deep, didn’t know it would get this far. Bez decides to take it. I think he does a wonderful job in staying on message

14:30: The Guardian wanna speak

14:51: We’re trending in London

We begin to be weary of the media just quoting the stat and painting us as anti-uni. And why does every one think we are the 15 from 2015? Try to control the message all from one source. People on the group chat seem to be more wary of the media than I was. I would have been happy to give interviews but didn’t for reasons I’ll go into later. Consensus is settled on keeping it positive and doing media to get the ACS exposure and hopefully cash to host some access events to help prospective students

16:00: Bez does the Channel 4 interview

17:55: Buzzfeed article is released

18:59: BBC wanna talk but they want quotes

19:05: Varsity, a student newspaper want to talk but people have had bad experiences with them so we say nah

19:18: The Channel 4 video drops on Facebook. Why are some white people so salty. I’ll talk about the comments later

20:25: Fifth trending article in Buzzfeed

20:55: Word is some of the black students at Cambridge aren’t too happy about the pictures.

21:05: Questions from the BBC “Why did you decide to pose for this photo? Whose idea was it? It has been liked 1.8k times in 24 hours – what’s your reaction to this? What message do you want to send out with this photo? What encouraged you to apply for Cambridge? The post mentions only 15 black, male undergraduates were accepted into Cambridge in 2015 – why do you think that is? How can more black men be encouraged to apply to top universities?” Man has got his double exams tomorrow so I ain’t got time to answer the questions

Note of caution to everyone to be careful about what they say on social media as these media people would pick it up and use as part of the story

23:00: Man has to switch off and try to stay focused on the exams

23:13: BBC say “it should be published overnight or early morning to reach our commuter audience”

WEDNESDAY: DAY OF MY DOUBLE EXAMS

05:19: BBC article is published

05:32: See AlJazeera tweeted about it 5 hrs ago. Tweet had 1,000RTs at this point

06:50: There’s a twitter moment about us

07:35: BBC Two want to speak

08:02: BBC World Service want to speak

08:09 BBC Want us on TV this morning

How do they have all these guys numbers and emails??? Sort of makes me feel safe nobody reached out to me on my email or phone number

08:11: Peter and Jimi volunteer to do the interview for TV

08:20 BBC wants to book a cab to take some of the guys to the studio

Second stab at it, this time mention the stuff black women have done behind the scenes as well, etc.

08:35: Some of the guys agree to meet at Ore’s for some interview prep. Meanwhile I’m cycling off to the department to write my first exam. I spot one of the Peter on his way to the interview. Wish him goodluck briefly before going to face my exams

09:00: BBC ain’t gonna write this exam for me so I gotta write it myself

09:26: Dami does a Radio interview

09:50: Mashable messaging everyone on FB

10:15: Ore is in the studio on live TV giving an interview with Jimi and Peter. Absolutely slays it.

10:40: Done with my first exam

10:48: BBC Radio 4 want to talk. Just how many BBCs are there??? At this point, it is a question of I got a message from X, who wants to take it

10:48: There is another interview on BBC Radio 5

Chelsea, one of the girls involved reminds us we don’t have to say yes to everything. Media people will publish a story with or without you is what I learnt from this. They’re on a race against the newscycle. Gotta say something about the trending topic while they can

10:53: Mashable reporter persistent

11:22: The University still unlooking the whole campaign

11:34: A recent grad, got a call from BB3. Like I said  media people will find anyway to get a comment on their story, if they can’t they will go on without you. I guess I can’t hate on them for doing their job

11:40: ITV article

12:00: Ore, the coordinator says she’s ghosting for the next 4 hours. Understandable because we all have degrees.

12:10 BBC Cambridge wanted one of the guys on the breakfast show tomorrow. As you probably predicted, people start mixing up the BBCs haha

13:00: Sunday Times want to talk. Other orgs wanna get in on it as well. RARE, a BME empowerment organisation want to.

13:44: Theres a Channel 5 News Interview at 17:30 apparently

13:49: Another BBC interview. Sky News also want to talk

13:51. Ijeshop promise us Jollof on social media. It’s been a week, contacted them but still no Jollof issokay.

14:00 BBC ain’t gonna write my second exam either

14:52: Set up some meetings with potential sponsors

15:05: Daily Telegraph wanna talk. Ore says not to talk to them, that they are cancelled. I think it’s a bit harsh but I probably don’t know UK media as much as she does

15:29: CEO of Amos Bursary is doing an interview and wants some comments

15:30 Done with exams for the day. Flopped the second one, first one wasn’t too bad. One more left

16:43: Stormzy posts our pic! Like he didn’t quote. Like he screenshotted it to his phone and posted it and tagged the ACS account. Actually put thought into it! A few days ago we were joking about Stormzy posting it

17:04 We’re on the MSN homepage

17:26: Guys start getting facebook messages from guys, girls, and namesakes . “*Pretending my name is rare* bloody hell mate, we have the same name and we both study engineering. We should be friends! haha”- Actual message sent by someone[not to me], “Looking Hot Dennis”

17:27: Someone shares a tweet from a Cambridge female recent graduate essentially slating us for not recognising the work black women to in activism. It felt more like a personal attack on us for not doing enough. I’ll talk about this more later but if you feel someone doing something for the first time, seems a bit mean to critique the person for having never done it before. Would have linked the thread, but the account is padlocked now.

17:47: Some even said we didn’t support their Youtube channels

17:57: My mum messages me. Wondered how long it would take to reach her haha. “My momma called, “seen you on TV, son“”

18:15: Word is Oxford are about to do one with girls

18:17: Some guy from talkRADIO (what even is that) messages us. Calls one the guys the wrong name lmao. Like the time I sent a cover letter to a company with a different company in the address. Lool Cut and Paste can be a bitch

19:21: FADER wanna talk. I had just spoken to my mum and she asked why I didn’t do any interview so I was just gonna do this one to please her and because Davido entred Fader and said I cover magazine I cover magazine. They aired me in the end

21:49: Some girls wants to take a train from Brighton to take a photo of us at the weekend for her dissertation. Random

23:00 Turns out [name redacted] didn’t share the ACS post as well until later later.

THURSDAY: AFTERMATH

00:25: Find out CAmbridge Uni finally posted something about the campaign

06:09: Shortlist offering ££ for an 800 word article

09:36: Chemical Engineering Board wanna talk

09:37: Someone spots the HuffPost Black Voices article

09:39: Teen Vogue caught wind of the story!

10:00 More Messages to various members of the group,

“Nice to meet you here could know longer get you on your phone, everything okay?”

“You just came up as a suggested friend..,”

“I love you”

“I know you think I’ve forgotten about you and all but I do think about you sometimes, I just forget to text 😳”

14:19: CUSU article gets published. Some good points. Didn’t get the part about black men can “more easily inhabit a ‘cool’ aesthetic”. More on that later

14:40: Our twitter hater comes back again with more. Attack feels way too personal now wow

15:35 Telegraph is really cancelled. Ore was right. Telegraph. Cancelled. One of the guys spoke to them and they twisted the headline to

‘Don’t blame Cambridge University for lack of black students,’ says students’ society

What a betrayed

15:59: ACS gets a sponsorship deal out of it

17:05: See Washington Post Article

19:12 Oxford shares their own post. Theirs has a more militant tone to the message I feel.

FRIDAY: STORM IS OVER. EXAM ON MONDAY

Basically get offered a chance to do a live TV show programme with some company. Ore talks to them. Feel it will be too political and discourage applications so she says no. She tells us to say no to them because she feels we’ll be contacted behind her back. She was right. About 5 was us  were asked behind her back to go on the show. I just aired them. Media can be snakes

REST OF THE TIME

A couple of BBC Radio interviews by other people not involved in the photo, we had a meeting with an alumni guy that wanted to see how he could help out and bounce ideas. Cool guy. More messages from strangers, mini-beef, some KPMG guy on LinkedIn messaged most of us. Ashton Kutcher posted about us. Our picture was the subject of a lecture on critical race theory at the University of York

To be continued…

Spotlight: Prequel

Photo shoot fresh, looking like wealth. I’m ’bout to call the paparazzi on myself“- Jay-Z

The cool wind whistled through the dark night as I sat at my desk studying for the two exams I had on Wednesday. It was my day of reckoning of my exam season and I had dreaded it since seeing my timetable for the first time. A loud sound of glass shattering breaks my intense concentration. I figure out I should take it as a sign and like a white person in a horror movie I decide to investigate. The sound didn’t feel like it came from our house so I felt relatively safe. Walking down the stairs to the unlit lounge, I confirm my suspicions. No one had broken into our house. Slowly, I open the front door to the house to see what had happened. Shattered glass is sprayed all over the pavement two houses away. As I return to the house, various representatives, like me, from each house had peeked out their windows and come out. Conversations commence between houses across the road and I get the gist. There was a scuffle between two guys in a room on the first floor and they broke the window. The two guys happen to be post grads as well. So much for Cambridge being a bastion of knowledge I guess.

I return to my room to a group message “Wow please how did you guys allow me to forget [insert author’s name]”. At first I think it was about the formal dinner one of the guys was organising for us. Then I realise it was a girl who sent the message. Curious, I open it to see it was a new group. There was a photoshoot going on the next day in the late afternoon. It’s a great idea but I agree because it’s happening a stone’s throw away from where I live and I knew all the guys involved already and she promises it won’t take too long. All the guys on the group talking about how they’d gotten haircuts. Snakes, the lot of them haha. I cannot afford the take a break from revision to get a haircut because the barber’s is a bit far and you have to shampoo your hair after etc. Every minute counts during revision. Remember, my day of double exams is still around the corner.

Now that I’ve called it a night, and I know my trim will be the deadest I decided to consult my fashion expert friend, Google on what to wear so at least I can rescue myself. Smart side of casual and neutral colours are part of the loose dress code. I’ve always hated “smart casual” because it leaves so much room to stunt on/be stunted on. I’m looking for the right balance. Can’t use my fresh ass coat because I already rocked it for my FB profile picture and I don’t want people to think it’s the only coat I have and it was actually way too hot for that (although I sort of hoped nobody would realise from the picture). My other coat, which I could have rocked had one button missing and I followed the rule I always do before I go anywhere I can have a photo taken, “what would mummy say if she saw you wearing that”. That rules out my second jacket. Third one had a broken zipper, which wouldn’t actually matter in the shoot but my mum hates the jacket. She’s told me to throw it away several times.  So with what I have left and the help of Google, I settle on an outfit that I think will be “somewhere between psychotic and iconic, somewhere between I want it and I got it”.

Second thoughts still linger in my head the following day. I think everyone is going to stunt with fresh fades and suedes. Mink fur and the likes haha. TMI but I almost miss the photoshoot because I take a dump and the toilet gets blocked lmao we’ve all been there don’t judge me. Luckily we chose (on my request, foresight vision 20/20) a house with 2 toilets, so I stuck a note saying “out of order”, changed into my clothes and left for the photoshoot. I arrive there on time, I am one of the early ones, I think I nailed the dress code, not overdoing it. Takes a while for everyone to arrive. Porters at the college mistook some of the black students for another black student who had his picture in the news the previous day. The whole thing takes about an hour. It was good fun while we were doing it. After the official shoot, we’re taking photos on the grass which has a sign saying “Keep Off The Grass” when a porter spots us so we disband and I go back to revision. The coordinator, Ore tells us the photo will be out by 8pm and we should all like and share it. Was a shame I had left Twitter for exam season, if not I would have shared it as well

To be continued…

Hanging Up My Jersey

This is gonna be a short one because I’m only typing this because I can’t sleep right now. Today marked the last official game of my basketball career at my college. It started 4 years ago, I always knew I wanted to play continue playing basketball at uni. At Sixth Form I was a bit of a star. I had flourished getting the boards as a centre and as an elite defender, on the offensive I wasn’t all that useful tbh. In freshers’ week there was a college sport’s freshers fair. I could have taken a chance to pick up a new sport like Netball or Ultimate Frisbee but I thought nah, let’s stick with what we know here. There were trials/practice in one afternoon and I balled I won’t lie. I did a lot of drives and big man moves to try and reinvent myself as something more than just a centre (eventually that’s what I became)

First Year. “Sticky Defence”: We started in Division 5, and Paul, Hatem, Yingbo and I as the new members of the team. Paul, Yingbo and I were starters, Hartem hadn’t really played ball before but he was tall. Only played for about a term but he made some buckets in the game. We had Sammy who was the old timer of the team, Brandon as captain, Ashwin (I loved feeding him fastbreaks) and Markus (aka Dr. Shotz), another old timer. We had practice with Caius college for most part that year. First season, we didn’t make playoffs, we got crushed by the Lithuanian Society as well. The next season, Yingbo, one of the best shooters on the team had to go home for a few weeks and missed the whole season but we managed to win all our games and got promoted to Division 4, we won our games by hardcore, gritty, sticky defence. Built character haha. We made the cut for cuppers, the internal uni basketball cup. Hugo, a uni team player joined us for the cup run. We faced Jesus College, who were ranked way higher than us and we actually beat them, then we faced Wolfson, the number one seeded college, and undefeated Division 1 champion, no shame in admitting we were destroyed by them as I think they eventually won the whole cup.

Second Year. “We undefeated”. Hartem, Ashwin left the group but we had more members, Justin, Fabrice, Cillian, Takis and Matteo. All ballers in their own rights, think I could have all of them one on one on my day though. But the last two were coming for my spot. Takis was a very tall guy with post-moves, Matteo was a big guy with sheer force and power. Thankfully, Takis wasn’t really committed to the practice, which the new captain did’t like. New captain in Paul, he was a no-nonsense sort of captain. Ran stuff more seriously, the more free spirited members of the team like Sammy and I weren’t always happy but it worked we won every game in the first season, got promoted to Division 2 then won every game in the second and got promoted to Division 3. Paul tried to teach me how to shoot, Matteo taught me how to box out, felt a bit patronising sometimes but these guys took love of winning to the next level, which is something I could get behind. Biko, a uni player and my homie, got injured by some idiots so he couldn’t play uni ball for a long time, he played with us while he recuperated. I thought he would take my spot, he sort of did in the cup games haha, guess it was my chemistry with the team members that kept me in. In the cup, we got help from Takis, who had picked up boxing but came back to help us and Luka the best player in the uni but still got knocked out to the eventual winners, Pembroke.

Third Year”Rebuilding/Deep Cup Run” . Sammy left to do Law things and the other OG Brandon also left, Matteo, Fabrice and Takis were only here for a year so they were gone. We got new players in Adam,Aaron, Ryan, Nas, Bartek, Padraig, J.R and Josh. Justin made the blues so wasn’t there for most of regular season. Paul had a knee injury so didn’t play for a lot of it. Padraig had never played basketball before so he had an unorthodox stance but he became an important player later on. Josh and Bartek were my main competitors for my spot but Bartek and I found a partnership that worked as Big Men. So essentially from the we undefeated era, we had only Markus,Cillian and I as regulars. It took time to rebulid the team and develop chemistry. By time, I mean a whole season, we lost every game in the first season and got relegated back to Division 3, there were some tense times in this season not gonna lie. The next season we bounced back, and got promoted to Division 2. For the Cup game, we had big guns coming in in for of getting Justin back, Biko and Luka again and Gabriel from Kings. We beet 2 teams and made the semis where we sort of all collapsed in the second half and lost to Robinson, it was never even close. We played like the OKC-No Durant team. For the third year in a row though, we lost to the eventual winner of the cup so I can’t be too mad. Thought if we would do it any year, it would be that one.

Fourth Year. “The Promised Land”: Biko and Paul (2/3 of the big Three. Me being the last lol) graduated and left to work in Tech in the City like me hah. Padraig left as well. We got Bargav, Jon and Michael. We had the same core of players so we had better chemisty. A New captain in JR as well. He is the nicest guy ever. Did I mention New Jerseys. Anyways Jon and Michael could potentially compete for my spot but I was a better rebounder than both but Mikey was more of a guard despite his height. Trinity were our regular sparring partners in training. The first season was heartbreaking, we lost two games back to back by like one point, which was so sad. We remained in division 2 in the first season, in the second season, we finished second and played a promotion game with Kings, the team that beat us by one point in the previous season. They were missing players but we had our revenge with the highest scoring game I’d seen in my time 68 points!. We finally made Division 1!  In the cup we had Justin and Luka back, Biko came back from retirement to play as well and we broke our record and won 72-24. The next game was against the team that knocked us out last year. They had an 8 point lead at the half and it was looking like a repeat of last year but we hustled, tied the game with like 10 minutes to go then we just collapsed again. The team and I missed some easy shots. We got knocked out again.

Was a pleasure playing with every member of the team. I learnt a lot from the boys. Special thanks to the captains, I know it wasn’t an easy job. Thanks to our scrimmage partners, Caius and Trinity as well. Happy we eventually made it to Division 1 even though we never managed to win cuppers. I had fun playing which was one of my aims when I joined the team. I didn’t manage to reinvent my playing style because as many of these players will attest, I’m addicted to getting boards and hard defence. Baba Out.

 

Accountability and Generosity?

“When is your life never not funny”, said a friend to me. I thought, wow, that’s actually true. In fact my friend asked me that question as I told the story of how I tried to get out of buying a copy of Big Issue from those guys outside malls and supermarkets. I told the guy I left my wallet at home (which was true) so I couldn’t pay him. However, the seller noticed my phone and told me he had Apple Pay. So I used my phone to buy that magazine. They make about £1.25 on each copy sold. I wonder how many copies an average guy sells in a month and I think you could make more money from begging

Anyways, I wanted to write this post like 2 years ago. But never got round to doing it. This incident with the Big Issue guy reminded me about it. On the same day I did that it broke in the news that a Cambridge Student tried to burn a £20 note in front of a homeless guy. Now for some background. I imagine most parents in the world want their children to live better lives than them. I also imagine most parents want their children not to be spoilt, they want them to be streetwise so they are not cheated. So there begs a question of teaching generosity to kids. I think most parents teach you to share stuff with you siblings, friends and relatives, which is a nice stepping stone. But what about strangers and those less fortunate than you. I think those lessons are less explicit. Let’s examine a couple of scenarios

My main scenario is what do you do when you see some who needs the money more than you try to cheat you of money. Do you let it slide? Or do you stand your ground on principles of honesty etc? Is there a middle ground? For instance, if I go shopping with my driver for a bunch of stuff. Sometimes some change gets missing, a lot of the time I cover the difference because I don’t mind losing money. But my parents demand accountability from everyone, me included, and usually want every penny accounted for. Does that mean my parents are less generous than me? Or do I value money less probably because I didn’t have to earn it, it was given to me as pocket money?

Another scenario is the situation where a Nigerian store doesn’t have change, are you going to fight for your change or let it slide. I usually just let it slide, some people never do. Or if they overbill you by a little amount at a restaurant, are you correcting it or just going to allow it. Tipping is another area of discussion for me, if you want to know my views on it, Mr Pink in Reservoir Dogs breaks it down quite nicely. Are you being a scrooge if you only tip when service was excellent. Or you know how restaurants sneak in that 12.5% that is optional into the bill? Are you stingy if you decided to remove it? The answer varies from person to person. Service in restaurants is one place where I value accountability over generosity.

One thing my parents, have taught me is to be nice to the drivers and help. Never to be rude to them and treat them with respect. Even from a young age, at owambes, my mum would make sure that the driver always got food. If we’re paying wages, should we be concerned about that? No. But it’s an act of kindness that goes a long way. It’s why whenever my driver takes me to the island, I usually make sure he gets food if there’s food at the place or I buy him something form the road on the way back. One time, I offered a driver Gala and a drink because I was getting some for myself, and he said he would prefer money. It took me aback but when we got home I gave him like 400 Naira. My mom independently decided to tip him as well and gave him 100 Naira. That was one of the times I realised the difference in generosity.

Another example is haggling prices. Does that 100 Naira you save make a big difference to your life? It could make a difference to the sellers life though. I guess maybe because in Nigeria, you always have to be careful because people will try to cheat you, you get used to the fact that the first price is an inflated price so you cut down to get the real price. Another point is that all the little savings made here and there add up.

*This post got derailed and I forgot the point I was trying to make because I went to watch all-star weekend. Can’t believe Klay Thompson didn’t win. Steph 0/10 from half court after saying he would only make 3, DJ Khlaed made a 3 and Reggie Miller didn’t hahaha*

That’s only one form of generosity, I know my parents are probably generous in other ways. In the church especially, my mum helps run a creche for the church and they both visit like elderly homes and stuff like that. I guess the point I’m trying to make is how if you haven’t made it yet, you normally shouldn’t be so free with money but as a parent, you  want your children not to worry about money as much as you did. How do you then reconcile that with making sure, they’re not spoilt, they save and don’t just spend money anyhow. i.e they know the value of money. I think I’m generally more generous when it comes to beggars, homeless people than my parents are but that may be because I’m still a student and not entirely independent. Or maybe the f

Another question is how much do you give to those that need it before it starts to affect you. Like how do you decide on a daily basis to whether to give a beggar money. I have another view that there’s no such thing as genuine altruism but that’s a discussion for another day. I’ve lost the plot of this because of the all star game (it wasn’t worth it). I guess the point I’m trying to make it that sometimes you have to forget about niceties when you’re trying to hold someone accountable,

 

y tho?

“When is your life never not funny”, said a friend to me. I thought, wow, that’s actually true. On the theme of how funny my life is, I met a special girl on the Oxbridge ski trip. Thought she was Oxford so I didn’t want to make a move. However, first time I met her was just before Lethal Bizzle’s set at the event. I struggled to hold off the moshpit and its aftershock to protect me and this lovely girl who was now at the front of me and just in front of the barriers. After the concert, we spoke for a while in front of her room.  I thought I would see her during the ski trip but I didn’t sadly.

One of my favourite things to do on nights out is actually make new friends, talk to people (boys and girls). I usually add a couple of these new friends on Facebook. I once added this guy, because his name was Daniel Jesus (what a name, amirite?) Anyways I rarely message them unless I think there was some connection. I usually just let life do its thing. Call me superstitious/naive but I believe if it’s meant to be you’ll cross paths somewhere else and if the the circumstances are right, you’ll make that connection again. It saves heartache, money, etc. By crossing paths it could be any thing: In the club, lectures, tinder, mutual friend, house party, events, bars concert, first and second dates etc. Sometimes, you cross paths and they completely air your existence (issa beef), other times the connection isn’t there (issa shame but still talk or do smalltalk whenever we see), sometimes it’s still there but so you text but it dies down (issa one that got away or issa side hustle). On a few occasions, you cross paths and it’s as lit as the first time, that’s when imagination starts to run wild and your mind tells you issa wife or issa good friend.

Next term in at Lola Lo’s, a nightclub, there was an event for Syrian refugees, and surprisingly, I saw her again, she’s with her friends so don’t want to but in. At the end of the night I went up to her and then we spoke for a while again. Then we saw a movie and did other stuff. For me, the “second meeting” is what does it for me.

Anyways, I start thinking I’m in love with someone that responds back equally for like the first time in like 5 years. As soon as, I start thinking it out loud, its like a batsignal was switched on and I was getting visits from Ghost of Relationship Past, Ghost of Relationship Present and Ghost of Relationship Yet To Come. y tho?

One was probably my closest female friend for a time. She was sooo bad with texts though and she cheated on her bf with like 2 of my guys lmao. Although I didn’t want to, I had to dead it because that was a dangerous game to play. She dropped me a text innocently just checking on me and asking to hit her up when next I’m in London. It’s strictly platonic at this point so I can handle this one. Ease of Resist: Medium if I hit her up, Easy if I don’t

Next was the one #3  from my Summer of Love haha. Phone and face to face convos with her were amazing, but she is the most haphazard texter ever. Like she randomly messages me then airs and doesn’t reply for weeks. Lmao like who does that. Already marked her as a one that got away. She sent me a Happy Valentine’s Day message and ask me to hit her up when next I’m in London. I told her yes, but probably won’t  message her because that one sparks might fly so best I avoid it. Ease of Resist: Easy if I don’t hit her up, Hard if I do.

Third, One of my Twitter crushes randomly DM’ed me first. There’s nothing in this one but I have to let the convo come to an organic end. Probably the only way to cut it off without being a dick or seeming like a dead guy. Giving it a week for it to end. Ease of Resist: Should be Easy if she’s not persistent.

Fourth one was on a night out last night. One girl I always thought was cute was at the club and she was looking extra nice that night. I danced with her friend who I wasn’t interested in at all to wingman my boy so he could try his luck with her. Lmaoo she left him and came to me. Yawa dey o. We spoke for a while, a bit intimately. She was giving me the look, she was staring into my eyes like she wanted to snatch soul but was waiting for me to make the first move. I tried sha, I stayed strong and left with my friends as they went to  a different club. Ease of Resist: This was JAMB level hard. I failed a little but I held strong for most of it

5th one, was one I had spoken to while. Didn’t pursue at all because her friend (roommate) asked me out for drinks shortly after we met sometime last term. She walked up to me and was trying to make convo, very friendly still. Luckily, I was looking out for my boy who was still a bit angry that some guy punched him in the club. Didn’t want man to get in a fight. So as soon as he stormed into the club, I had to leave the girl to go make sure it was okay. Ease of Resist: Easy because I had a legit excuse but probably could have held my own regardless.

6th was one that has expressed her love for me many times. Nice girl, when she came to Cam this year, I met up with her briefly and she tried to get me to go to a club with her. I said nah (I had diarrhoea tbh odikwa very risky) then she texted me at like 4am asking for my address. She sent me a snap that she was coming to Cam this weekend. Ease of Resist: Just air her snaps till after the weekend. Or flat out tell her I can’t see her this time. Should be easy. 7th was one, that we DM’ed for a while but there just wasn’t a connection. She was also at the club that night. Ease of Resist: Easy, I transitioned to the Big Brother-Lil Sis type relationship effortlessly

Point is that why is it now that your boy thinks he’s in love that all of these are popping up. It’s like I’ll just not leave my room at all. Dangerous world out there. Why lmaooo. The most I’ve ever been complimented by strangers in my life as well. I managed to weather them relatively well though. Only a few scratches, I chopped grinds from a random babe and the 4th one was a little too close for comfort. I still feel guilty about them for someone I’m not even official with yet. Lool why thoooo? Chiomizzle has a good theory though. She said it’s like Valentine’s day passed and they were like “I lowkey didn’t enjoy this single on Feb 14 ting, let’s correct this for next year” Still y tho?