An alter ego is a second-self created by the individual – usually to live out a better version of the self. A transgender is a good example of an alter ego. Two of such are Nigeria’s popular cross-dressers, Bobrisky and James Brown. In case you don’t know these dudes with female alter egos, then let me fill you in.
Born Okuneye Idris Olarenwaju on August 31, 1991. Bobrisky is a Nigerian internet personality who is known as a transgender woman. Take note, in Nigeria, LGBT rights are not recognized. According to Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Google’s Communications and Public Affairs Manager for West Africa, Bobrisky was the most searched individual in Nigeria from October 26 to November 2016.
Bobrisky’s rise to fame started from Snapchat. His audience on Snapchat, blossomed to over 400,000 views later spilling into other social media platforms. Bobrisky currently has over 3million followers on Instagram. Her female alter ego is her main attraction. She loves flaunting female designer clothes, expensive wigs, and jewelry. She is a shrewd businesswoman who owns a clothing boutique; an eyelash line called Bob Wings; Bobrisky Skincare beauty products, including skin-lightening creams. She also leverages on her social media persona promoting upcoming artists and products.
One time, Bobrisky claimed she earns over N700,000 a week from her businesses. When asked whether she would love to get pregnant, Bobrisky answered in the affirmative.
James Brown Obialor
Popularly known as James Brown whose alter ego is also feminine and as a result, is involved in the cross-dressing business. He is a Nigerian and was born on February 22, 1999. Obialor’s rise to fame began in August 2018 when he got arrested by the police, alongside 58 other guys in a night club, whom the police alleged were having a gay initiation party. James began trending after he vocally refuted his arrest on national television, at the same time revealing that he was HIV positive and repeatedly said during his arrest, “They didn’t ‘caught’ me!” He immediately turned into a social media sensation with “They didn’t ‘caught’ me!” becoming an internet meme.
Discussing his childhood, the cross-dresser revealed that he contracted HIV through his mother during birth. He revealed that every birthday reminded him how his mother rejected him as a baby, adding that his grandmother breastfed him. According to James Brown, “My mom is alive but dead to me.” As a growing child, he said he had to hawk sachet water for survival.
James Brown narrated how he got his eyelid bitten off by his aunt. He explained that at age 12, he was sent on an errand by his aunt and at the same time caring for his aunt’s 3 kids. After tripping along the road, he fell into the gutter but managed to save his aunt’s child whom he carried on his back. He also managed to save some quantity of rice his aunt gave him to cook. Hell broke loose the next day after the aunt found out; a barrage of beatings ensued and she ended up biting off part of his right eyelid.
After James Brown’s encounter with the police, Bobrisky became his role model. She helped James with N100,000 and tutored him on how to go about the cross-dressing business.
Cross-dressers at war
Late January 2020, James Brown accused his mentor of blocking him on Instagram. When we all thought all had simmered down between the two cross-dressers, come January 15, 2021, James claimed, Bobrisky had sent him a stern warning that he, James, should desist from using her content on social media. He added that Bobrisky said she would take his life.
Bobrisky immediately responded via Instagram threatening to send the ‘small rat’ to jail. The post has since been removed by Bobrisky. James Brown also responded saying that he was not scared of getting locked up in a cell which was not a new thing.
James Brown reiterated that he wasn’t competing with Bobrisky and doesn’t understand why she felt threatened. He clarified that he only cross-dresses on social media, never in the public. He added that he is still a man underneath all the facade and doesn’t need plastic surgery or any desire to take drugs in order to enhance his breast. He categorically stated that he was a comedian.
It was at this point that his Instagram page got deactivated. The action led James Brown and his fans to call out on Bobrisky, laying the blame on her for the Instagram deactivation.
Bobrisky denied having anything to do with the deactivation of James Brown’s Instagram, including that of social media personality, Tunde Ednut, whose Instagram page was earlier deactivated. This did not stop fingers from pointing at Bobrisky.
With regards to James, it was later revealed that Instagram had earlier on, sent a warning about community violation because his posts had some offensive and sexually explicit content. Very likely, James must have realized the true situation of things prompting him to make a YouTube video apologizing to Bobrisky while shedding tears.
These two men certainly have their bank account rolling in the greens. But the Nigerian society still seriously frowns at cross-dressers and homosexuality. Many such people are living among us. They are victimized and segregated. These two are a few of the lucky ones whose alter egos have translated into internet personalities. The effect of their activities can be felt as a gradual emboldening of a new generation of transgender, trickling in, via social media in Nigeria. Check out a video below that shows you 8 cross-dressers who are seriously trending in Nigeria.
By the way, if you happen to have a child showing traits of cross-dressing and transgender, what would you? Hit us with your comments in the comment section below.