RIM should sponsor a blockbuster-style Nollywood spy movie
November 27, 2011 9:54 PM   Subscribe

BlackBerry Babes: A Nigerian Movie About A Group of Girls Who Love BlackBerry

For the past few weeks, a movie poster for a Nollywood movie titled “BlackBerry Babes” has been making the rounds on social networking sites and Nollywood fan sites all around the web. The initial fascination was based on the assumption that “Nigerians have become so addicted to BlackBerry devices that we just had to make a movie about it”. However, as clips of the movie began to emerge online, the questions got a little bit deeper. The story follows a very common theme that we have seen in a thousand and one Nollywood movies – wayward young women trying to live above their means. In this case, the focus is BlackBerry smartphones. The movie “premiered” via YouTube last night as has received over 27,000 views. It seems as though having a “BB” has become a “standard” that Nigerians expect people not fall below. Case in point, several young ladies and gents have mentioned that rather than asking for your number, intending suitors ask for their BB Pin and if they don’t have one, they get a blank look and then “see you around”.
posted by KokuRyu (20 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Better than having it as the Nokia ninnies or the Apple a*holes, I suppose.

Still, disturbing me on a deeper level. Will go rtfa and google more.
posted by infini at 9:58 PM on November 27, 2011

[A few comments removed. Flag it and move on, please; that goes for posts you don't like as well as comments you don't like.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:16 PM on November 27, 2011

I learned from this that textese for Nigerians is 9ja, which is awesome.
posted by Diablevert at 10:17 PM on November 27, 2011

I love the fact that the third (probably?) film in the series, after 'BlackBerry Babes 2', is 'Return of BlackBerry Babes' - apparently they did not return in the second film. However, they loved returning so much that the fourth (I guess) film is 'Return of BlackBerry Babes 2'.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:28 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oho, ironic that the 411 frauds are what initially led to the rise of the BB in Nigeria per this indepth article on the phenomenon,

National Mirror investigation reveals that the demand for BB is on the increase throughout Nigeria. This trend was confirmed by the Business Development Manager, Slots Systems Limited, one of the biggest phone retail outlets in the country, Mr. Patrick Egbulefu, in an exclusive interview. According to him, more Nigerians now throng the company’s outlets daily requesting for BB, a situation he descriobed as not surprising because of the enticing features of the phone. “Blackberry phones are more secured when you send email especially, if you have the PIN number of the other Blackberry owner. The information and messages sent on Blackberry are encrypted and cannot be easily prone to being hacked as the information is shielded from possible online tracking.

it also goes on to add this tidbit on the Blackberry Babes movies:

Now, the BB has become a status symbol gadget in Nigeria as it has been turned into an index for measuring class status. National Mirror investigation reveals it is also being linked to criminal activities in the country. For instance, apart from its widespread use among business executives, political office holders and a number of celebrities in the country, some young Nigerian ladies have become so addicted to the use of the device that a minute parting with the gadget seems like dismembering them. Their addiction to the device and desire to go extra miles to own a Blackberry phone was captured in a Nollywood film titled: Blackberry Babes by Simony Pictures. The movie, which runs part 1 and part 2, is a hilarious exposition of the Nigerian reality and growing BB addiction.

It is the story of a group of university friends, all female, whose social and private lives are centred on the supposedly fascinating world of BB phones. Unable to fund their addiction, the girls rely on rich men to buy them the latest models. But phones, money and other treats come at a price: In return, the girls offer these men sex and/or companionship and the whole thing turns into a rather pathetic competition – the aim being to get the latest Blackberry model before everyone else and “flaunt” it wherever they go. The use of Blackberry phones as a tool for prostitution and other licentious activities is another negative development that has become a reality in Nigeria today.

A social media analyst, Bayero Aganbi, said: “We all know that some use their Blackberry phone to get involved in some socially unacceptable acts such as prostitution and other criminal acts. For instance, criminals use their Blackberry phones to communicate by calling each others on phones, sending texts and or using the internet and I think those interested in prostitution also do same.” Aganbi, however, pointed out that using ICT tools for perpetrating antisocietal behaviours is not peculiar to Nigeria, adding that “Much of criminal activities are also perpetrated with IT especially with the use of the internet on-the-go offered by the Blackberry phones where people can communicate securely and access social media websites. We can only advise that we use this gadget for activities that are economically productive.”

I guess that in a way those activities may be considered economically productive, but cheap shots aside, the googling also turned up this interesting research study on "Gift of agency" where sex may not necessarily imply professional sex work, particularly in exchange for things like the Blackberry.
posted by infini at 10:38 PM on November 27, 2011 [3 favorites]

It's hard to remember now in light of the unbelievable crappiness of Blackberrys, but there was a time when they were the "it" gadget in North America too. Remember "Crackberrys?"
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:00 AM on November 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

Nigerian movies can get pretty crazy.
posted by delmoi at 12:06 AM on November 28, 2011

When I was in Nigeria (six months, back in '80-'81) there was not yet any local film industry. The movie houses in the center of town (I was living in Benin City) showed Bollywood movies, exclusively. Once I went to a cinema there, cause I'd never seen an Indian movie, and also I just generally wanted to check out the scene. It didn't seem to phase anyone that, as the film started up at the scheduled start time, they showed the second reel of the movie. It played out until The End, then they played the first reel. No one batted an eye!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:40 AM on November 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

Wombat, you're a dad aren't you? That is soooooo dad humour.
posted by taff at 4:19 AM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

You know, flapjax, when I was young (60s), my parents would never bother what time the film started. We'd walk in half-way through and then go on sitting there until it started again and we saw the first part up to where we had come in. They never cleared the theatre and they showed each film on a kind of loop, so I think this was standard behaviour at the time. For some films, I still remember 'where we came in'.
posted by Segundus at 6:37 AM on November 28, 2011

Wombat, you're a dad aren't you? That is soooooo dad humour.

No joke I'm about to send this link to three dads.
posted by odinsdream at 7:16 AM on November 28, 2011

I was really hoping for a sequel to Baby Police.
posted by dr_dank at 7:42 AM on November 28, 2011

Easy to mock until you realize how close this is to just being The Real Housewives Of Ogbomoso.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 7:47 AM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Those look like women to me.
posted by butterteeth at 7:52 AM on November 28, 2011

re: Easy to mock until you realize how close this is to just being The Real Housewives Of Ogbomoso.

Naa so! How about "Bight of Benin Shore"? One big wahala!
posted by zaelic at 10:08 AM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's hard to remember now in light of the unbelievable crappiness of Blackberrys

The 9900 is one of the best phones imaginable, so fuck you.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 12:52 PM on November 28, 2011

Two things I noticed while I watched BBB:
1. In the opening credits, a lot of people drive in the middle of the road.

2. Those women look like a hot mess.
posted by Sweetmag at 2:45 PM on November 28, 2011

2. Those women look like a hot mess.

Seconded. The low quality video and bad sound makes it feel like watching porn with all the sex scenes removed (or an ESL video course).
posted by hanoixan at 7:36 AM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Wombat, you're a dad aren't you? That is soooooo dad humour.

Given that my dad was a comedy writer, I'll take that as a complement.
posted by w0mbat at 12:35 PM on November 30, 2011

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