Last year, one of the most divisive swallows, Semo, sat down with us in a bid to try and clear its tainted name. It didn’t go well. Now, with Fufu’s ongoing PR nightmare, the unassuming swallow is trying to do the same.
In this interview, Fufu shares how it feels about being relentlessly dragged by African-Americans, being defended by only a few Nigerians and how it wants more people to be Fufu advocates.
Zikoko: Thank you so much for coming in today. We know how tight your schedule is.
Fufu: Well, when the reputation you have spent countless years diligently building is about to destroyed for cheap laughs, you have to put everything else on hold.
I agree. Who are the people trying to tarnish your name?
At this point, who isn’t? Every day, someone will just wake up and think, “Let me tweet hateful lies about Fufu.” Is it that you people don’t have work? Is Nigeria not stressing you enough, abi what?
Then, to add insult to injury, African-Americans have now joined in on the slander. Those ones are making videos and doing their mouth anyhow when they taste me.
We are in the middle of three pandemics — coronavirus, Buhari and Trump’s last days in office — and people still have time to be making fun of how I taste. Have we forgotten that a symptom of corona is a lack of taste.
Listen, you do not get to where I am today by tasting mediocre. I am enjoyed in many African countries, from Ghana to Liberia. If you think it’s easy, how come Semo has not achieved that level of success?
Semo in the mud, again.
All the swallows know Semo is trash. That one is not a secret.
Name any soup and see if I don’t work well with it. Is it Egusi? We make a great team. Okro? Buddies for life. Efo riro? My ride or die. I don’t choke people, I don’t stick to fingers. What else do you people want?
You are all so ungrateful.
Honestly, I think you’re doing great. But…
I… I think you would do a lot better if you did not have such a… um, a distinct smell.
You want me to shrink myself.
We teach Fufu to shrink itself, to make itself small. We say to Fufu, you can have ambition but not too much. You should aim to be white but not too white, so you don’t threaten Pounded Yam.
Because I am Fufu, I am expected to aspire to public perfection. And yet, I am not recognised enough. Nigerians don’t even serve me at parties. What manner of disrespect is that?
But you are recognised. In fact—
You call international dragging recognition? African-Americans talking about me and making videos, not for enjoyment but for laughs, is that recognition?
There have been people coming to your defence though.
I know and I’m grateful, but they are not nearly enough.
To be honest, I’m more focused on the sheep — the people who hate on me because of peer pressure. People who have never tasted me, but swear I am trash. People who can’t look beyond my smell.
How do you think we can fix this?
Well, we can all start by becoming Fufu advocates.
Who or what is a Fufu advocate?
My own definition of a Fufu advocate is simple. A Fufu advocate is any person who says, yes, there is a problem with how Fufu is being represented these days and we must fix it. We must do better.
Even if you don’t like me, you shouldn’t just sit by and watch people from other parts of the world drag me. You’re the only one that should be allowed to drag me. Honestly, you should all do better.
Check back every Friday by 9am for new stories in the Interview With… series. Read older interviews here.
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