The issue in this story is about the continuous attacks on Peter Okoye for not speaking “good English.” It’s funny, Oyinbo (White) people who own the English language do not attack Okoye for not speaking their language right. But, the Africans who were forced against their will to learn and speak another man’s language are the ones beating Okoye over the head with his inability to speak a White man’s language. As you will see below, and in my view, it was unnecessary for Okoye to respond to these tweets. To engage persons who make such attacks is to give life and power into meaningless conversations. It also seems to suggest he is self conscious about what they say. Arguably, for some of you, his responses fall into the AML category of ‘Celebrities Behaving Badly,’ but I am not sure it fits that neatly. So, I am classifying it under ‘Music Business,’ instead.
I agree with Okoye’s position in rejecting those who attempt to belittle his inability to speak “good” English. Since when did English become our mothers or fathers’ first language? Sey na English we go chop? Okay, I’ll make a case for him speaking “good” English, for the sake of debate. Arguably, he should learn to speak “good” English because of the nature of his work, his celebrity status and his travels across countries as part of his job. Is it a life and death matter if he does not speak good English, absolutely not. Should he have to defend himself on or offline, no. He will learn when he is ready.
As Nigerians and Africans in general, we get too caught up in unnecessary ridiculous issues. When was the last time “good” English supplied basic electricity for 150million citizens, or built better roads, healthcare and other real nitty gritty issues of life? Below are Okoye’s tweets in response to those pestering his life about speaking the language of a White man, fluently, in his own country.
Photocredit: Peter Okoye Promo pic
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