By Joy Isi Bewaji
Your best value for 30 minutes happens every Tuesday on Men’s Corner, Ebony Life TV. There’s Andre Blaze, Mazino and Ebuka Obi-Uchendu – three men with not-so-strong opinions about things that affect men, women and, well, more men.
Yesterday I caught the show by 10pm. Mazino has a handsome haircut (he finally cut his ‘fro). Even that is an understatement, the man is hot… so hot, he could pass for Denzel Washington plucked from his 1984 movie, License to Kill. Killer looks, I tell you. I had to catch my breath at some point.
Ok, moving on.
Andre is… well, Andre. Hard-hitting, sincere, and always about to burst at the seams with a load of burning truths stuck in his throat. His koolAid is Ebuka – unflustered, trouble-free intelligence, who manages to swerve conversation away from troubled waters.
They are the best recipe on TV (sorry, Bolanle, Toke and Michelle); a very unpretentious trio with a silent pledge never to hurt women. Which makes it quite predictable sometimes. Not a bad thing altogether, especially when there’s just enough sauce to their exterior.
They are, after all, married (at least two of them). They will return home to their wives; best not to aggravate that gender.
Last night they had Chauvinism for dinner. As usual, they were very careful not to be controversial or notorious, no need to rock the boat. And as usual, Andre felt the urge to slam someone’s head on the wall. His restlessness compliments Ebuka’s subtleness and Mazino’s polish.
30 minutes obviously isn’t enough to do any justice to a topic as contentious as Chauvinism. They made an attempt. Not bad. But not deep enough.
During the show I realized even I wasn’t so sure why Chauvinism gets a bad rep. I like how fluid and untainted their opinions are. They get along quite well, agree often and disagree affectionately.
Mazino thinks men should wear the “chauvinist pig” tag proudly, just as women proclaim feminism. Andre thinks that’s a bad idea, but believes it is ok for men to embrace their masculinity without fear or compromise. Ebuka doesn’t understand why chauvinism can’t exist without dishonour. In this gathering, Chauvinism escapes a punch. For once, it gets to sip Champagne and be understood.
You will enjoy the banter because it is always a pleasure to watch fine men talk about stuff intelligently. They are almost always kind to women, which I doubt would be the case if the tables were turned. A “women’s corner” will raise carnivores – women eating men; and it will be accepted as colourful, interesting and forward-thinking. It will be male bashing at its gruesomeness, and people will applaud; those who don’t will be called, well, chauvinists.
Men, however, do not have that many privileges when it comes to expression. If at all they fight for that expression they’d be treated as brutes. With that in mind, I think this fine-looking trio understand their Nigerian audience pretty well.