Ever wonder what our nation looks like to folks from afar? In this feature, Home News From Afar, we look at how a uniquely American story--the kind of news we have trouble explaining even to ourselves--is being told overseas.
Kim Kardashian went to Nigeria to promote a party. Stop, we can feel your eye roll from here. That said, we were wondering what her reception was like and (surprise?) it appears Nigerians dislike Kardashian as much as most Americans do—but for completely different reasons.
The reason Kardashian was there was that she was co-hosting something called the "Love ... Like a Movie" event with an R&B singer who isn't as famous her—and she stayed all of 45 minutes. With that, we present how well her visit went over in Nigeria and African media:
Kim Kardashian Is Proof People Want to Go to Nigeria
Never mind that there are rumors of that Kardashian was paid $500,000, at least one Nigerian newspaper sees Kim as the sign that Nigeria is a draw for the rich and famous. This Day's Eddy Odivwri writes:
Despite what is considered as Nigeria's many drawbacks, the nation remains yet a destination point to several international personages, including entertainment celebrities, music stars and exponents. The latest to visit Nigeria is 32-year-old Kim Kardashian, the world's most famous American reality show celebrity.
"World's most famous American reality show celebrity," kind of sounds like the way you'd describe the best house on a terrible block.
Kim Kardashian Is a Lot That's Wrong American Morals
Though Odiviri seems to laud Kardashian and think her visit is a good thing, he quickly points out that the reason why Kardashian initially famous in the first place isn't lost on Nigerians. "But many families are not exactly comfortable with her lifestyle, as she hardly cuts the image of a role model to a generation in need of a moral dress up," Odivwri writes, and adds:
Those who so believe, point to the name of her blog 'Wetpoint', which they say, is suggestive of a lewd nuance. Many families drew their conclusions of Kardashian’s moral rating after she produced the controversial sex tape which was considered a promotion of loose moral fibre.
That's curious because in America, Kardashian has more or less shrugged off the ill-effects of that sex tape and is better known for annoying us through her plethora of reality television shows. And apparently, Nigerian are either big fans of Kris Humphries or just don't like divorcees. "It is uncertain how much Kim is loved in Nigeria as she fell sour to a lot of her fans after her divorce with former hubby Kris Humphries in a marriage that lasted barely 72 days," writes Charles Mgbolu for AllAfrica.
Kim Kardashian Is Scamming Nigerian Scammers
"As the disgruntled tweets flowed out on my timeline, I thought of Special K, comfy in her jimjams, the plane rising gradually above the Atlantic, safe from all Lagos harm, smiling to herself that she’d actually 419’d the 419ers," writes Jeremy Weate for the Africa Is a Country blog. There's a tad bit of explaining here. The 419ers he's referring to is the slang for the Internet scammers from Nigeria who send us all those emails with elaborate stories that promise us riches for just a little cooperation (and money). By getting paid a ton of money but only staying at the event for a little while, Kardashian had pulled off a bit of a scam herself:
The rumour was that she’d been paid 500,000 Benjamins for the honour of mixing with the petro-class. She arrived on Saturday evening (on Air France), and left within twenty-four hours (someone Instagrammed her back at MMIA). Prole class tickets were apparently N100,000 ($640), although quite a few got in gratis on the guest list.
So essentially, Kardashian swindled the people wealthy enough and dumb enough to spend a lot of money on tickets to see her, the way Weate believes wealthy Nigerians have screwed the poor.
Kim Kardashian Is Why Nigeria Needs to Foster Homegrown Talent
Over at GhanaCelebrities.com, a Ghana-based celebrity photos site, they were upset with Kardashian's appearance, but for a different reason: national pride.
My questions is; what is wrong with us Africans? When did Kim Kardashian become so good at hosting that she has to be paid thousands of dollars and be brought to Nigeria to handle a concert? Couldn’t Nigerians have found a beautiful lady with far more skills than Kim K. to do the same job?
Entertainment blogger Obehi Okoawo, felt the same way but that isn't stopping Okoawo from posting pictures:
Why waste so much fund in bringing the almighty Kim K to Nigeria when we have better, finner, sexier, funnier and more intelligent celebs here? Was she worth the money spent in shipping her to Naija? I seriously doubt. SMH...anyway as soon as I can lay my hands on more pics, I 'll definitely post them.
Who Is Kim Kardashian?
Is she a reality show freak? An A-list celebrity? Perhaps the most knowing Kim Kardashian responses were the trolls on the Nairaland Forum—which sort of seems like a Nigerian version of Reddit, where they played a simple game of "Who Is Kim Kardashian?"
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.