America? Begging in Nigeria!

Courtesy of the folks over at This is Africa, I ran across this video of an (presumably) American woman begging in a market in Mushin in Lagos. If this is meant to be satire, it seems to me to fall particularly flat. It doesn’t help that the video was, as far as I can tell, posted without context or information, although according to TIA, it comes from Jelili Atiku, a Nigerian sculptor, performance and video artist (with whom I am unfamiliar). It is unclear whether everyone here is in on the performance, or whether the Nigerian people in the video are merely there to provide (unintended) comic relief. Judging from their reactions, though, most of them think (realize?) it’s a joke. But at whose expense? Perhaps, the woman at 2:19 sums it up best, “America? Begging in Nigeria! No you’ve come to cheat us.

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4 Comments
  1. This is great! Provides a great alternative to the MIA "Born Free" video and counterpoint to last Sunday's NBC Dateline about Nigerian Scamsters operating in the U.S.!!!

  2. I believe the lady is on a practical research project most likely on massive poverty in Nigeria or begging as a professional career in Nigeria. Watch out for the result.

  3. @Dave: I want to agree (I'm pretty ambivalent about MIA as it is, and, well, Dateline…) but I think I still need more info about what exactly is going on in this video…

    @Emmanuel: I'm intrigued. Do you know something I don't about this video and a potential result!?

  4. Atiku had called my attention to this, once again it has gone to show how we allow conotation to affect our judgment of art, I was in one of their engagements and there are a few other collaborative performances done by that American Artist and Jelili. Any one may wish to check this up in many nigerian dailies. From the background voices one hear "artist leleyi" : this is an artist among others.

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