December 5, 2022

Did sex education just usher in a new wave of Nigerian representation in UK television? – Pulse Nigeria

  • November 27, 2021
  • 3 min read
Did sex education just usher in a new wave of Nigerian representation in UK television? – Pulse Nigeria

After negligence and subtle remarks, Nigeria finally deserved attention in Netflix’s British teen drama ‘Sex Education’.
The third season’s fifth episode sees Eric Effiong, Otis’s best friend, fly to Nigeria for a relative’s wedding. One would assume Eric will be missed for an episode and then returns after another, but that’s not the case. Netflix and the ‘sex education’ crew actually flew down to Nigeria to shoot. And it was a fabulous traditional performance that captured the energy of a typical Nigerian wedding.
We are taken through shown aesthetic aerial landscapes of the third mainland bridge and other sights, and you can tell with the look on his face; Eric is present and enthralled by the motherland. Eric is home.
This Nigerian representation is appealing and progressive, one executed to cultural splendor: the attires, the mood, the slangs, the music and the energy. ‘Sex Education’ really understood the homework of taking on a demanding role of representing a country with an inferior image and painting it for the beauty usually hidden by the foreign media.
In its accurate depiction of Nigeria, Sex education highlights the queer experience in Nigeria and the conservative view on pride. This exploration shatters the gay best friend cliché we assumed Eric’s role to be and establishes him as a character in his own right. Some fans have even taken to Twitter to demand a spin-off titled ‘Eric in Nigeria’; Now, that is one show I’d love to watch.
After decades of misrepresentation, it’s winning that finally Nigeria is being portrayed positively. In a progressive world of diversity and cultural representation, it is only suitable for the other UK and American television to follow suit. Not just for the sake of pleasing a vast Nigerian audience, but because it’s the right thing to do.

Israel Olorunnisola is a freelance creative. When he is not writing about Film, Music, TV or Pop culture he is telling stories on Wattpad.

Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.
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