Warzones are sacred… Hollywood is a cake walk
Last year, among several other mammoth achievements, Lupita Nyong’o made the cover of Vogue magazine.
She looked stunning as always. The interview was refreshingly honest and open, with the doe eyed Ms Nyong’o very much coming across as the Hollywood ingénue, caught in the headlights but determined to give a good showing.
Her perspective on everything was very fresh and untainted, despite the whirlwind of a year she was having.
During the interview she spoke about the awards-show circuit and how grueling it had been, given that she had never really walked the red-carpet on such a grand scale before.
“Nothing can prepare you for awards season,” she said. The red carpet feels like a war zone, except you cannot fly or fight; you just have to stand there and take it.”
For some reason, Americans didn’t take kindly to the warzone comparison. As soon as the mag hit the stands, the Internet was ablaze with all manner of criticism.
“Lupita Nyong’o always seems so poised and politically correct in interviews. That’s why we were shocked when the 12 Years a Slave actress became the latest star to compare celebrity life to a warzone,” ranted hollywoodtake.com.
“Lupita Nyong’o thinks walking a red carpet is similar to fighting war on a battle field … only the Oscar winning actress says the press line is WORSE … because you can’t fight the media,” thundered TMZ.
I didn’t get the backlash. There are many wars to be fought in life and not all of them are on an actual battlefield. But hey, I guess it’s an American thing to raise celebrities up and then shoot them down.
Closer to home, I was talking to a friend who was dealing with some New Year househelp drama. He was trying to reach the girl and her phone was off.
“Heh. That one is not coming back,” I said to him. “Just start looking for a plan B.”
“You women just like complicating matters. Why must you assume the worst?” he asked. “I’m going to stay positive because there must be a reasonable explanation. I’m sure she’ll call back.”
I looked at him sympathetically; resisting the urge to pat him on the head like you would a puppy. Rarely have I witnessed such unyielding faith in the goodness of humanity. It was so sad to think that his hopes were going to be dashed.
And then: “Ama, I get a houseboy? A guy might have less drama than a woman.”
“Well, you could try, but then there would be two men in your house.”
I was joking. Obviously.
But then: “Enyewe, you’re right. Can you imagine me sitting in the living room and then a man comes in and starts cleaning? Aiii. Hapana. And then he’ll be wearing what? An apron? I can’t even picture it. Ati a man washing sufuria ya ugali. No. No. No. I would feel like my species was under attack!”
Ahem. Lupita is not the only one in a warzone. Kenyan men who dare to don an apron are also under siege. I daresay that theirs is a battlefield of the mind.
Still, to all the men in the hospitality industry, the guys serving women in restaurants, making beds in deluxe suites and washing large industrial pots and pans in hotel kitchens, man up. The survival of your species depends on you.