I Just Saw District 9

First of All: Go read Mellowyel’s amazing post about District 9 on Stuff Nigerians Hate (her post has all the details. My post here is only for if you already know the back story)

And I was right.

80% of all South Africans are African.

Only 9% of all South Africans are Boer.

95% of all the people in District 9 were Boer.

Everyone disgusting, despicable, primitive, evil, and crude was dark skinned. Including the Aliens.

If you squinted your eyes just a little bit you might not even notice the movie was set in Africa.

Once again, Nigerians were portrayed to be the crudest and most disgustingly sub human of people.

I am not in the least bit surprised.

All I want to know is this: Why the fuck does Hollywood and every white filmmaker and his mama feel the need to put Nigerians in their TV show, film, advert etc, and then proceed to portray the grossest, most inaccurate, most imaginative misrepresentations of Nigerians conceivable?

Why? Did anybody BEG you? Did any Nigerian come up to you and plead with you to feature Nigeria in your film? If you can’t be truthful about Nigerians and Nigeria, then for the love of God, leave us the fuck alone. We don’t need to be in western movies. We don’t.

The Philanthropist, X-Men, now District 9. All in the space of 6 months. What the fuck is going on? You’d think Nigerians were holding a gun to Hollywood’s head and forcing them.

And Peter Jackson. I can’t believe you partook in this shit. And there I was singing your praises after The Lord of the Rings.

As for you Neil Blomkamp or Neil Blom-Blom or whatever the fuck you call yourself.

Up yours.

All of you that bet against me totally owe me something.

UPDATE: I just opened Hulu to watch something and I noticed there’s a brand new episode of Monk. Guess what? In this episode Monk is has an investigation that involves a Nigerian.

Here: http://www.hulu.com/watch/89912/monk-mr-monk-and-the-foreign-man

What the fuck is going on? Was there an internal memo that got passed around America/white filmmakers instructing all of them to include Nigerians in the most unsavoury ways in all this year’s productions???????

Correction: The Monk episode actually had a fairly good portrayal of Nigerians. He was helping the Nigerian with the investigation not investigating him. My mistake.

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  1. tlW5aAI6yPcBxgBP4dp2eyCXlwiXPuI-

    why are you like this eh sugabelly? you take all these thing too seriously… take it easy o.
    they got you swearing an all… na wa!

    abeg focus your energy MORE on the positive cos u’ve got a lot of energy that should not be put to waste with overanalyzing and stuff. biko

    i know you have to shed light on the wrong things, but again i say, take it easy o. calm down… cool temper!

  2. Racan

    Thanks for posting this. I just saw the movie and I’m extremely concerned about the portrayal of “Nigerians” in the film. Utterly ridiculous. I can’t believe Neill Blompamp got away with that, to the point that he’s actually being praised for this film. It’s shameful that people are claming this is some sort of profound cinematic experience. It’s just repackaged garbage and the same old tired cliches.

  3. pink-satin

    i guess u were right after all..
    fuck that!!!why they hell do they do that…d black folks just have to be the mean and abnormal folks abi?

    @ tlW5aAI6yPcBxgBP4dp2eyCXlwiXPuI- why dont you go and give the producer of the film a pat on the back…focus on which positive? what positive is there to focus one when 100% of d movie is based on LIES!!!LIES!!!With American based Hollywood movie everything is well researched and all but with movies set in Africa, they cannot even google up information..because it is Africa, they dont care!!!!

  4. yewande90

    Sugabelly is ryt tho and d ‘nigerians’ in the film weren’t even speaking a recognisable nigerian language like hausa or yoruba…it sounded like swahili or some south african language. Those producers need to get d facts for their research ryt b4 making their films about America, cos it just makes dem appear like they stupid or couldn’t be assed to do thorough research. And besides the film’s a bit cliched kinda like wat u expect of an alien film and whatnot.

  5. Miss Fizz

    This is a bit off topic but I thought it might interest you. It irritated me a bit. I’m reading this book called This Charming Man by Marian Keyes. It’s partly set in Ireland and one of the protagonists has a Nigerian assistant called Nkechi. They don’t make her look ignorant or unintelligent or anything like that but there is a bit where the protagonist is trying to persuade Nkechi to do something and she says, “Come on Nkechi… after all your name means ‘loyalty’ in Yoruba.” Now I’m not Igbo or Yoruba but that had to be incorrect right? And I know for a fact that Nkechi is an Igbo name.

  6. FIGE

    Lets just leave this peeps alone! It just shows what kind of people they are! i cant blame them…evn cases where nigerians have being on this set..these nigerians dint speakout. so lets just wait for some change.. it will come soon!

  7. TareX

    I’m an Egyptian and I too have absolutely no clue why Nigerians were portrayed so terribly in the movie. And it’s not like they were being referred to as “thugs” or “criminals”. No, it was “the Nigerians did this”… “the Nigerians did that”… “The Nigerians eat aliens”…etc.

    And YES it is racist. Because the writer/director is implying that South Africans are civilized because they’ve been living among white poeple (who happened to inflict the worst treatment upon them for decades), whereas Nigerians are brutal savages because, that’s their default nature.

    And that protagonist, can he get any more obnoxious?

  8. mellowyel

    Okay, so in Monk’s defense, there is a Nigerian character who’s not evil or under investigation in that episode. Coincidentally, portrayed by the same guy who acted as Dr. Eko in Lost (another terrible portrayal of Nigerians).

    I’m going to write a post about this issue on SNH/L. Y’all should check it out.

  9. pink-satin

    Sugabelly i just saw district 9 and i was appalled by the portrayal of Nigerians…i mean first of all it was meaningless to the story….the nationality of the alien eating people was very irrelevant to the story so why did they have to be Nigerians?…the continuous reference to Nigerians as inhumane nko? despicable to say the least…totally uncalled for….How can you just take down a People in a stupid fictitious story like that? Also the poor people in the movie were the black South Africans while the ones in the office looking fresh n all were the oyibo ones…FUCK THAT!!

    i also watched Mr Monk…that Mr Eko guy from Lost (Adewale Ajagbe) had a very horrible yoruba accent!The wife nko?it sounded like she was speaking another language not yoruba!!!at least there were not portraying us in the wrong light

  10. The experiences of an achiever.......

    that was what I was about to ask o..like I heard snatches like oko mi *my husband..but it totally sounded foreign..like a different language or something (even though I’m Igbo, i’m sure I realize when yoruba is being spoken)…my motto is if u’re gonna do something, DO IT RIGHT…and I so wanna slap Marian Keyes upside the head..ever heard of freaking research???? jeez!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! all she needed was google!

  11. Lita

    they can’t ignore us, aren’t most black people on this planet nigerian (or some such statistic)?, and there are a lot of nigerians in the arts in the west. hopefully this is a teething issue and they will start having to get things right. this can only start with black actors non-cooperation with white hollywood on these negative/stupid portrayals.


    Didn’t know Nigerians were ‘portrayed’ in District 9. Your analysis of the movie could be accurate and lends itself to the sometimes tense relationship between South Africans and Nigerians, but I will wait until I see it to come to any conclusions.

    As for Monk, what are you complaining about? That was one of the better portrayals of Nigerians on tv that I have ever seen on American tv. ‘Lost’ takes the cake in portraying a complex Nigerian character that was mostly inoffensive, thankfully. Anyway, back to Monk, yes, there were inconsistencies and imperfections which were played up for comedic impact, but they were not degrading in my opinion (at least in comparison to other portrayals of Nigerians) and thankfully, there was not a single reference in the show to Nigerians as unsavory characters as is the typical stereotype.

    Apart from the fact that the character, played by a Yoruba actor, could not even speak decent Yoruba, and his name was actually a Swahili name, there isn’t that much to complain about. He was portrayed as an honest foreigner, new to America that helped a ‘brilliant detective’ (which Monk’s character is supposed to be). We might not like the simplistic portrayal but they made up for it with the character development during the show. The Nigerian character was a strong ‘Nigerian’ man, seeking to honor his murdered wife. His wife was portrayed as beautiful, worldly, educated and the envy of the American business owner she met.

    Babe, my hubby loves himself some Monk, and when I knew that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje would be on, I had to watch it. Yes, that male Nigerian character could be better, but lets not blow things completely out of proportion. They should have paid one of us to be consultant on Nigerian culture to make things better but let’s encourage better portrayals of Nigerians by pointing out what was good in addition to what was lacking.

    Anyway, now, you have me wondering whether or not I should actually watch that District 9 movie. And I wanted to support it because of the African connection but to think that it actually took advantage of that connection by bashing Nigerians on the head, per usual.

  13. leggy

    i made up my mind a longgggggg time ago not to see that movie..i guess i was damn right…americans have no problem bashing nigerians who half of the time are smarter than they are.

  14. Ijaw

    @Sugabelly: You’re right once again! But you forgot in your list of offenders “Wolverine”! That was just plain BS!!!

    My take on this recent spate of Nigeria-bashing is that Hollywood needs a set of “bad guys” to fill the gap left by the Vietnamese (remember when every other film was about going back to Vietnam to “win the unfinished war”?) and the Russians (who wanted to take life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from the “peace-loving” people of the west by forcing Communism down their throat!). Action movies are no good without convincing bad guys, so you need to create one that people will be genuinely afraid of and show that your political system can and is producing the people needed to crush the threat, no matter how strong and invincible it is.

    Due to the political climate nowadays, Hollywood can’t use the natural option as their bad guy, you know, ARABS!!! So you invent the new Boogeyman, NIGERIANS (you know, the email people!!!) from that horrible place called AFRICA where they EAT PEOPLE AND (the sheer horror of it) ANIMALS!!!

    We should continue to fight these negative representations of black people and Nigerians while fixing our country as well. Both must be done at the same time. If you do not respect yourself, nobody will respect you, end of story!!!

  15. Zena

    It was a good portrayal in monk, but my gosh it still made me frigging angry, A couple of friends and I were just talking about it,

    I’m completely tired and frustrated about it, isn’t there any other country in Africa?

    But what can be done?

    I love you and your blog girl

  16. sugabelly

    @SolomonSydelle: I made a mistake with the Monk thing. I’ve corrected myself in the post.

    I actually enjoyed the Monk episode. Sure the Yoruba wasn’t the greatest but at least it was a good portrayal of a loving Nigerian couple.

  17. ChinChin

    Yes hollywood goes overboard 90% of the time with their stereotypes…
    But, it’s not only Nigerians they do it to.. They do it to Arabs, East Asians, and South Asians too. They even do it to themselves, the average American man does not look like Tom Cruise or dress like Angelina Jolie.. yet in movies they are portrayed this way…

    However, Nigerians constantly give themselves reasons to be attacked..
    Enough with the get rich quick schemes already.. and the mentality of oppression… It’s the hardworking educated ones that suffer the consequences of Western stereotypes, not the illegitimate ‘business men’…

    But instead of pointing out all the crap they do and say.. we could prove them wrong… except a country of 140 million people running on 2300 kilowatts of energy is definitely not helping…
    greasy leaders with selfish agendas aren’t helping… and a people who aren’t ready to get up and do something about it can’t help solve the problem either…

    All in all, it’s a fantastic sci-fi movie…

  18. All4Naija

    @Sugabelly, are you passing through any lack of self esteem in the US? I can’t understand why you don’t want to accept fictional movies for what they are. You know quite well that I like so much but I most disagree with you on this one.

    I think actually you have some points but those are not what those films are meant for. The are fictitious stories. Anybody can form up any story yet the way Westerners portray Africans is really appalling, not from those films. Plz, beautiful angel Sugabelly, just try to be that angel you are and use you energy to focus on something that will bring good to Africa.

    Let’s accept this oddity and negative portrayal of Africans by the West as subhumans with all equanimity rather we have a lot to do to change this,imperatively as humans do.

  19. sugabelly

    @all4naija: I don’t see any reason why we should quietly accept the way we are portrayed by the West. The West is not God. Nigeria is just as good as the West and it is cowardly to meekly trudge on never uttering a word in protest.

    Sure, we have a lot we need to change, but we also have self-respect, and this is disrespectful.

  20. All4Naija

    @Sugabelly,I mean films. They aren’t real, they are formulated stories. There scenes like those in District 9 about countries that far developed than ours.

    Meanwhile, I agree with you that we shouldn’t accept this negative portrayal yet the best thing for us to do is fix our own issues first so that we can have evidences to prove our point. Develope our continent and educate the people first. I am really furious with our leaders, for their non-chanlant attitude toward development.

    On self-respect that’s true but how much in this modern time have we done much to really earn this respect.Mind you, the bone of contention here is fictitious stories.

  21. pink-satin

    @ All For naija…since it is fiction they could have come up with a make belief country like Zamunda(coming to america) or something….it was like they paid the folks extra to keep saying Nigeria this, nigeria that…the people who were suppose to be nigerians sef were speaking some other language…it wasnt a 9ja language, cos i could hear the click sound, probably a South African Dialect…

    i am almost agreeing with Chinchin..i think now we really shouldnt give a fuck what they say about us or how we are portrayed…we should proove them wrong instead…its like we r begging for their approval…like really!!

  22. David Numba-one God'sfave

    @ sugarbelly, i feel your passion on this…

    But the problem really comes from back home, the Nigerian government’s inablity to protect its citizens (home and abroad) much less its the projection of its or its citizen’s image.

    No country can do that about America or its citizens because the American government won’t stand for it…diplomatic procedures would have to be employed to settle such a thing.

    Now what I feel is for “us”, the younger generation living outside Nigeria to do the positive projection and ignore the negativity.

    God help us…you can read this article I posted if you wnat and you may better understand my point about the government thingy…


    But nice article btw…LOVED your rakin…lol!

  23. Really Random Name


    I don’t see why the west should have to accept Jim Iyke’s bullshit portyals of the returning migrant. His accent is fucking off FFS.

    If you are going to jump on this and get all aggro, you should also consider the other side of the river – the east’s portrayal of the west.

  24. sugabelly

    @Really Random Name: Jim Iyke’s portrayals are irrelevant because Jim Iyke portrays returning NIGERIANS. The roles Jim Iyke plays are no indictment on the West but rather on Nigerians. His characters are insulting to NIGERIANS not to Americans. His characters are ridiculous stereotypes of NIGERIANS not Americans.

    Any non-Nigerian that watches a film of Jim Iyke will come out thinking negatively of NIGERIANS not Americans.

    So, I don’t think that’s a very good example. The East doesn’t portray the West even half as badly as the West portrays Africa. I can’t speak for the middle east or asia, but I can speak for Nigeria. Nigeria tends to GLORIFY the West rather than the other way around.

  25. culturesoup

    I think Ijaw has absolutely hit the nail on the head. I thought i was the only one noticing that whenever Hollywood needs a bad African, they make the character ‘Nigerian’. Never mind that the character has no discernible relation to Nigeria.

    It seems we are watching the formation of an awful perception about Nigerians.

  26. All4Naija

    @Pink-Satin, I have watch several films where the Nigerian images do not look so bad. The African -America movies were a Nigerian as a rich guy who came to lavish his money, the dirty pretty things(not too bad),Tears of the Sun,Even in LOST,etc. These are films with Nigeria scenes yet not with bad intentions.So, I would have loved all of us to steer clear from this portrayal thing and focus on what we have to offer.

    Complains are not going to be a solution but I know it’s right to air one’s opinion(Am not against anybody saying something about it-all am saying let’s get it over with). Afterall it’s our country, if we don’t speak out for it who’s going to do it for us!

    I love you all!PEACE!

  27. histreasure

    @ All4Naija..well. life is about perceptions..potray Nigerians in a bad light long enuf and that’s all people will know abt us.. sure we gat a lot to fix in our society but we aren’t savages or all dupes and movies such as this perpetuate these stereotypes.

    we know movies are make-believe but they always make so much noise abt how much research have been done bla-bla so people tend to take it at face value more than u know.

    they really did not need to make them “nigerian”.

  28. Lita

    interestingly, i’ve spotted some reviews of the film in the UK that concur somewhat with your view of the racism against Nigerians in the film:


    my favourite quote:
    ‘In a subplot which undermines the film’s anti-apartheid pretensions somewhat, he is also pursued by some angry Nigerians, who are black, as in blaxploitation, and seem to belong to an alien species derived from the DNA of Mr T.’

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