The ‘Caitlyn Effect’ Hits Nigeria | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


The ‘Caitlyn Effect’ Hits Nigeria

Posted: Jun 4, 2015 at 3:21 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Hazeez Balogun – Lagos


On Tuesday, the world was awoken to the birth of a new being, ‘Caitlyn’. She is 6’1 tall, with broad shoulders and a bounce to her steps. She is the remake of a two times athletics gold medalist, American ‘hero’, and television superstar, Bruce Jenner. For some months now, Bruce had revealed to his family that he is a man trapped in a woman’s body and said he will be undertaking a sex change soon. But nobody knew it would be so soon.

She unveiled her new look in an exclusive interview and photo session with the popular Vanity Fair Magazine, to the awe of the whole world. People were not all that shocked, partly because he had hinted it earlier and also because, anything that comes from the Kardashian show is usually ‘weird’. We can remember that just some months ago, a married Kim Kardashian posed totally nude for a magazine.

Owen G and ibu

Owen G and ibu

As for Caitlyn, she is probably the most popular transgender in the world at the moment. She broke the world record after the magazine came out. She is the fastest person to reach 1 million followers on Twitter in the history of the social media. The record was owned by President Obama who broke it last month when he was finally allowed to own a personal Twitter account. Caitlyn broke it in four hours. Obama also happen to be the first person to congratulate Caitlyn for her ‘bravery’. “It takes courage to share your story,” the president tweeted. Obama has always been an advocate for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

Like all trending topics across the world, Nigerians are not left out of the frenzy. There have been numerous comments posted by Nigerians online and on various social mediums. Most of them as expected are negative. A comment reads: “I thought this whole thing was a joke not until today. Kai! Why are people making mockery of their creator? Lord save us all.” There are many more similar comments online. There are however a few who praise Caitlyn. Openly gay Nigerian, Kenny Badmus said in Caitlyn’s support; “Why do we judge someone else who wants to make her life better? It is Caitlyn’s life, it is her truth, go and find yours.”

Also, many Nigeria celebrities have been making fun of Caitlyn by dressing up like women and posting the pictures on their social media handles. The picture of Michael Collins popularly known as Don Jazzy was the first to appear. He wore a flowing wig and a lot of make up in his picture. He asked fans to call him Dorcas Jazmin (a play on his name Don jazzy), or Nosemary (he also has a big nose).

The next picture to appear is that of musician BEZ. BEZ whose real name is Emmanuel Bezhiwa Idakula posted a picture of himself covered in Hijab and wearing heavy lipstick. He said they should call him Hajiya Bezlinna Buhari Jenner.

Actor and comedian, Owen Gee also posted a very funny one. He did not cross-dress but he wore heavy make-up and also posed like a woman asking for a kiss. He wrote; “Akon is providing electricity for 600 million Africans and didn’t get a million followers on twitter for it or media hype. Bruce Jenner transforms into Caitlyn and gets all the hype plus a million twitter followers in four hours! Okay then say hello to my feminine transition, Aunty Monica Gee.”

Perhaps the most popular of the all the celebrity pictures posted is that of John Okafor, aka Mr. Ibu as he is mostly known. He did not post anything online but his fans went ahead to post one of his pictures on set and put it side by side that of Caitlyn Jenner. In the picture, Mr. Ibu was dressed in a blouse and wrapper. Instantly the picture received more favourites in Nigeria than Caitlyn got.

A former college football player, Jenner came to international attention as a decathlete, winning the gold medal in the men’s decathlon event at the 1996 Summer Olympics Montreal,  Canada and setting a world record not beaten until 1980. Jenner subsequently starred in numerous movies and television specials including several TV movies.

Jenner was married for 23 years to Kris Jenner (formerly Kardashian). The couple and their children appears on the television reality series Keep With the Kardashians. Following their divorce in 2015, Jenner came out in a television interview as trans-woman, initially preferring male pronouns until her transition was more complete. We are sure to still hear more from her as time goes on.