I was pretty intrigued when I first read the blurb for Blackass. A grown man, Nigerian and Black in every way possible, wakes up on the morning of his job interview to discover he has become a white man? Yes please, who would not want to know how and why this mysterious transformation happened? Turns out Igoni had other plans with this interesting idea.
Furo Wariboko the totally unlikeable protagonist, until his incomprehensible mutation had lived a rather dull and colorless life, living in his parent’s house at 33 years of age and still struggling to get a job after graduating from university. After his transformation though, Furo shows his true character, using the privilege of his new complexion to manipulate people and ultimately reap major benefits.
Set in Lagos, Blackass is a story that deals with race bias, white privilege and to an extent, transgenderism. It does not tell us anything we do not know already about these things but it does well in pointing out how sometimes we as Africans willingly let themselves get exploited just because we believe being white is superior.
A couple of things about the book did not sit well with me. The most important has to be the transformation to Furo in the beginning and also to Igoni at some point in the book. They both mutate through some strange and undefined phenomenon, essentially turning them into entirely different people and w ...