Since the spark of crossdressing in the black continent, no Crossdresser has pulled the stunt of enchantment than Bobrisky – a dazzling smart icon that has charmed the human’s sphere and won the people’s admiration.
Born Okuneye Idris Olarenwaju on 31st August 1991, by his Ijebu-Ikorodu Yoruba Muslim parents that resided at Ejigbo/Ebute Metta Lagos, Bobrisky graduated from the King’s College, Lagos and University of Lagos (UNILAG) with flying colours – a feat that would later embellish his efforts and shoved him sky-high in the world of creativity, entertainment, and beauty.
It is not by accident that Bobrisky is the undisputed Queen of African crossdressing, he discovered and exploited his niches earlier than thought.
Unlike the carefree attitudes of most crossdressers before him, Bobrisky interpreted crossdressing as a boulevard to successful entrepreneurship and entertainment. He has not ceased to mesmerize his yawning fans with feminine mannerism, soft voice, and intoxicating luxury.
Prior to the birth of Bobrisky, and immediately after the Nigerian Civil War in Igboland in 1970, there was an Igbo super crossdresser nicknamed “Area Scatter.” He was attributed to being the pioneer of transvestite in Nigeria. He was humorous and stylish, and always wore native female apparel in good combination – “white smock, polka-dot skirt, and a shamanist bone necklace.”
According to “Beats of the Heart”, a book published in 1985 in the USA, Area Scatter was said to be a creative and soft voice musician, entertainer, and “a highly accomplished performer on his thumb piano which was decorated with a distinctive skull and crossbones.”
Area Scatter, a Civil service drop-out that later died in an auto crash, “explained how, after living through the civil war, he had gone into the wilderness for seven months and seven days and had reappeared transformed into a woman.”
It is highly unlikely that his story was real. What could be adduced from Area Scatter’s story is that, given the social stigma associated with cross-dressing those days, it is highly likely that he simulated the mysterious story to absolve himself from curse and ostracism from his Igbo people. There is no doubt that people could have seen his abnormalities as approval from the gods, which no human being would deride. Thus, he performed to the delight of the varying classes of people with no reproach to his unusual appearances and manners. What an ingenious thought from the forerunner of crossdressing in Nigeria called Area Scatter!
From the length and breadth of Igboland, the tuneful musician freely engaged in the countless musical tours without harassment. It could be from Area Scatter that some Igbo musicians began to engage male dancers costumed as female seducers to thrill and enthrall the spectators with stylish and seducing dance.
Meanwhile, the strict and conservative nature of Islam in the northern part of Nigeria and Africa makes it slowest for crossdressing to sprout out there. Such eccentric dressing obsession was not enshrined in sharia law. Hence, it is very risky to indulge in that habit in a Sharia state.
One of the major reasons for the skepticism of crossdressing in Nigeria and some African countries is that it “is linked by authorities to homosexuality, which is illegal in the country.”
In nutshell, it is temptatious and extremely difficult to be a Cross-dresser without indulging in homosexuality and lesbianism. Only a selected few could scale through such unorthodox social deportment without becoming gay.
Less than a score year, some male adults have shown their preference to cross-dressing either for entertainment or entrepreneurship or as nature made it.
Denrele Edun, Jay Boogie Anthony, Jay Buggati, James Brown, Bryan Nwakoro, etc, are the Cross-dressers that have surfaced in society. Among them, Denrele Edun is the closest competitor of Bobrisky, in terms of creativity, uniqueness, and entertainment.
Denrele, a graduate of the University of Lagos, TV personality, and purposeful Cross-dresser has, through his visible exemplary conduct, has shown a positive outlook of Cross-dressing in Africa. His appearances in adverts, programmes and ceremonies have shown his impressive approval of him by the people. Audacious Denrele has won more than 15 awards and “interviewed the likes of Akon, Beyoncé Knowles, Tyler Perry, Lil’ Kim, Snoop Dogg, Cuba Gooding, Amerie, and Lloyd. Edun hosted the movie premiere of Hoodrush.” His cross-dressing attitude is more of an entertainment. Denrele once told ModernGhana news, “I am just expressing my individuality. Most people ask me that question and I would say I just want to be me. Some people think I dress (cross-dressing) like this to attract attention, but I have always had attention from childhood.”
As good as Danrele may be, Bobrisky the dazzler is an impressive personality with a magic torch. He is the primus inter pares (the first among equals) in the African world of crossdressing. Bobrisky is endowed with a high sense of intellectualism, aptitude, and creativity.
He has eight siblings of which two of them are from the same mother (3rd wife) with him.
Since his childhood, Bobrisky has discovered himself and worked relentlessly to achieve his goal. Fondly called BOBO, he has a penchant for taking RISKY adventure (even in failure), which gave source to the nickname BOBRISKY – when he was a UNILAG Accounting student. He was conscious of the meaning of his surname OLARENWAJU -wealth is moving forward or increasing (progressing). In essence, Bobrisky is an enigma destined to have limitless wealth through a risky venture called CROSS-DRESSING.
As a kid, he was inclined to dress in female clothes, cook, and do female chores. Her mother he stayed with since he was 12 years old would always scold and caution his feminine habits but to no avail. Later on, his mother stated to accommodate his feminine disposition.
Around 2009, his caring mother died. The death of his supportive, affectionate, and fashionable mother during Hajj (Muslims Pilgrimage to Mecca), devastated and exposed him to limited resources. Worst still, his father’s booming car transport enterprise was declining faster. It was a period of risk and uncertainty for him.
It was during that interval at the Ejigbo area around 2011 that his friend called Idris lured him into a risky cross-dressing bet. He promised to give Bobrisky about N3000 (three thousand naira) if he would dress and put wig like a woman and walk openly for some distance. Bobrisky was not hesitant and agreed. As he was walking as a crossdresser in an agreed street, a lustful male admirer, crippled by his female shape and the two sachets of water he disguised as his breasts, made him an offer. His suspicious reaction with the admirer’s sister at the scene revealed his true identity which caused the man to involve the police force. That was the prelude of his crossdressing.
Bobrisky was a very brilliant student – an assertion that his contemporaries could attest to. He commenced his studentship at UNILAG in 2012, and as of his 3rd year in that university, he had owned a boutique at Ikeja, Lagos – dealing in unisex apparel.
By 2014, he grew the appetite to change his dark skin complexion to a fair skin complexion. Dark skin was a tone that has not satisfied his desired personality. The first attempt to whiten his skin in Dubai ended unpleasantly. His body was dotted with uneven skin tone. Nightmare nearly set in until Bobrisky morphed into an even “snowish” physiognomy – an enchanting ambiance that has not ceased to flap his ego and fascinate the gladiators of beauty.
A personality filled with ingenuity, Bobrisky has not hidden the fact that his newfound complexion was the selling point of his cosmetics business. His cosmetics, which were alleged to have no reactive contents that could damage the skin, were got from the United States of America. According to a source, a package of his product contains body shower gel, knuckle cream, face shoes, body scrub, and face cream. He was always grateful to Linda Ikeji that used her world-viewed blog to advertise his products.
Bobrisky, contrary to perceptions, had said he was a non-supporter of gay marriage and also denied being gay. In the interview he granted to Adesuwa Onyenokwe of Today’s Women Magazine, on 24th September 2016, Bobrisky denied that his Bae was his intimate boyfriend and avowed he had no boyfriend but friends, like Tonto Dike whom he acknowledged for being supportive of him during thick and thin. In his words: “I am having fun at Snapchat and people are fu*king reading meaning to it and I don’t care.” He revealed he had a girlfriend called Bimpe, and during the aforesaid interview, declared to marry a lady in 2021- a wedding which he said would be ceremonious, pomp, and pageantry. Time will tell if he will stand by his words, especially, as he has allegedly undergone surgery recently to enhance and make his hips curvy.
A lover of travel and devoted Muslim, Bobrisky does not smoke nor take alcohol but loves dancing, tweaking, and entertaining his fans lavishly and grandly. He believes that he is not a bad model to the youngsters. He is proud of his originality which has made him famous and acquired the properties of his dream.
Bobrisky, whether you call him Bobcrosser, Bobdresser, Bobgender, or Bobbeauty, the fact is that he has left in the trail of cross-dressing in Africa a yardstick that may be extremely difficult to surmount.
Photo credit: informationng.com