If you’ve been on Bubu’s internet over the past few weeks, you’ve probably come across a meme with an ugly green frog making an equally ugly face. Originally referred to as the Pepe The Frog meme, this image has been adopted by Nigerians and rebranded as “Comrade” on the TL. With all the drama surrounding its use, we’ve decided to ask Nigerians what they think about this new meme for Love It/Hate It.
Ajoke — “The meme is for bullies. Periodt.”
Nigerians like to act brand new when you call them out on their bullshit. These memes have been used to downplay sexual assault and harassment, misogyny, queerphobia and every other unnecessary phobia under the sun. Now that we’ve clocked it for what it is, people are coming out to say we don’t want “poor” people to have fun? From where to where? If you want to be a bully on social media, do it with your chest, you’re not a victim here. Shift.
Jeremiah — “It’s really not that deep.”
First of all, I don’t find the memes funny. That being said, I think people are overreacting. Every meme has been used negatively and this won’t be the first time. If you don’t find them funny, unlook and move on. Everybody go dey alright last last. There’s no reason why anyone should be writing a thesis over a stupid meme. It’s really not that deep.
Uche — “Not you guys caping for a razz meme.”
Before people come for me and call me classist, let me start by saying I use a ton of memes you guys might consider razz, but you see this frog thing? Ewww. It’s a meme people use when they can’t defend or make an intellectual argument. You’re trying to say something serious and in comes a couple of random people with the bloody meme. We need to kill it with fire abeg.
Bello — “Women hate seeing men happy. It’s that simple.”
If you look closely at most of the people nagging about the meme, you’ll realise it’s the women on the timeline. How are you seeing misogyny and homophobia from a meme? The truth is, if you look for something, you’ll probably find it and I think that’s what’s happening here. There’s just a lot of bitterness, and for what? But like Buju said, “No come use your reggae to spoil my blues and rhythm now.”
Karen — “What the hell is a ‘comrade meme’?”
This is the first time I’m hearing of this and I’ve been online almost every day this year. Wait….the frog thing? Does it have an identity? Mad o! I don’t use it and I doubt the people close to me do, so honestly, I could care less. People are actually dying.
Chinedu — “It’s not funny at all. Those memes are dangerous AF!”
As a trans man, I don’t find these memes funny at all. It’s easy for the heterosexual community — especially straight men — to dismiss the meme because it doesn’t affect them, but that doesn’t mean it’s not harmful to other people. How does trivialising people’s experiences and sufferings sound like a good idea to anyone? We complain a lot about suffering at the hands of the government, meanwhile, given the slightest opportunity, we are always excited to shit on other people. It’s messed up.
Daniel — “A lot of things are funny to different people for different reasons.”
I’ve never posted a comrade meme before, but whenever I see one, I burst out laughing. I like how many times they mix it with a picture of something pop culture-related. For example, yesterday, I saw one where someone put the frog head on the “12 Years A Slave” movie poster and changed the title to “12 Years A Comrade”, and I just couldn’t stop laughing. I don’t see any reason to hate it, but I also understand that like many other memes on the internet, people may use it for bad purposes. It’s the internet though, you should expect it.