Americans think they invented the mannequin challenge but Nigerians have been on it since the 80’s

Americans think they invented the mannequin challenge but Nigerians have been on it since the 80’s – Financial news Nigeria


What is the mannequin challenge?

It’s a game/challenge where participants stay still like mannequins, while someone else captures the moment; more like a freeze frame in a movie.

Okay? Why are we talking about this?

Why not? The mannequin challenge has gone viral; social media is obsessed with it. And it’s a lot of fun. It’s so much fun, Hillary Clinton and her team had to partake in it. (This was before the election results were announced, though.)

So what if Hillary does it? And do we now talk about every trend on social media?

Heeey!!! Lighten up, will you? What side of the bed did you wake up on? Anyway, I’m not writing about it just because it’s gone viral; planking went viral, so did the ice bucket challenge, I didn’t address those. But the mannequin challenge is different.

How so?

If you would just refer to my title, you would get an idea.

Errr… What do you mean Nigerians have been doing the mannequin challenge since the 80’s?

Yes! We just didn’t give it a fancy name. In America, this started  two weeks ago with a group of high school students in Florida. But Nigerians have been on it as far back as I can remember, we called it “Change your style.” Remember that?

Oh yes! I do remember. A game where kids challenged each other to strike and hold a pose for as long as the challenger demands it right?

Absolutely. Now you’re catching the drift. I’m sure every 80’s and 90’s kid can relate.

There was also another similar challenge called “Statue/Freeze” where participants have to keep their fingers crossed at all times, or risk being asked to freeze at any time of the day, wherever they were, and irrespective of what they were doing at the time.

Those were fun times…

Are you being nostalgic at the moment, because that would make two of us?

Yes, I am. However, while you’re right about Nigeria being way ahead of the trend, I think the French pioneered anything ‘mannequin challenge related’ with their Tableau vivant of the 18th and 19th centuries. No ?

You are right. I was just coming to that. The Tableau vivant, which means living pictures, was a form of art and entertainment in the 18th and 19th centuries but became popularised late 19th and early 20th century where it started being used as a form of protest.

You can read more about it here.

The bottom line is this when one seriously thinks about it, the mannequin challenge is nothing new, but thanks to the internet, social media, and a group of high school kids, a long existing culture in various parts of the world has been revolutionalised.


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