Will Smith and 15 year old me

At this year’s Oscar’s, Will Smith gave Chris Rock a slap across his face because of something he said that displeased Jada Pinket. Jade Pinket has a benign condition that causes the loss of hair and hence she wears low cut hair that seems fashionable. On the flip side lies a famous film played by Demi Moore in which she played a courageous woman called GI Jane. In the GI Jane film, Demi Moore scraps off her hair as she battles the villain. Then here comes Chris Rock at the Oscars remarking that Jada Pinket should feature in GI Jane 2 and all hell break loose. Will Smith barges on stage during a live TV to give Chris Rock a slaptacular before walking offstage and yelling obscenities across the hall. Chris carried on the event and reactions have trailed the event since it occurred.

Some think that Chris shouldn’t have joked about Jada’s medical condition. Most people think that the slap was uncalled for, while some applauded Smith for standing up for his wife. Smith himself has since apologised to Chris and other people involved and Chris is not pressing charges. One of the few life lessons that have stuck with me was when Anthony Robins said that, ‘nothing in life has meaning except the one you give to it’. It’s a life-changing quote for me and has given me a degree of equanimity that is rare in most people. This is where perspective comes to play. As some referred to Chris’s joke as a sensitive joke, I saw it as a job recommendation to the executive producer to feature Jada Pinket in the sequel of GI Jane 2. It didn’t even strike me as a joke but more of a job hint. If Smith has seen it my way, perhaps the evening would have gone differently.

When I entered secondary school, I joined the press club the very week I resumed and read the news to the school that same week. So I became pretty popular very quickly. I represented the school in debates, essay writing and sprinting. It was fair to say that I had a sterling resume by the time I was in Jss three and a fifteen-year-old girl. Another flip side of me was that I was afraid of nobody or let me say, I show courage to anyone who wants to intimidate me. So here was I before a senior prefect who was trying to intimidate me before a JSS 2 student that I disagreed with. To prove to the overbearing male perfect that I care less about his presence, I geared the altercation into a full-blown fight with the junior student. This drew the attention of a particular teacher to the scene. When the crowd parted and the teacher saw that I was the one in a fight, the look of disappointment on his face was heartbreaking. I remember little of our conversation afterwards  but I made up my mind that day, that no matter the provocation, no one will push me into a fight. I will rather turn the other cheek. So when I saw Smith in all his glory, bow to the temptation to go physical, he reminded me of the girl I used to be. I am proud of the woman I have become. I hope Smith will be the man he can be proud of too.    


Ibukun Adenuga in General
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