The Police Is Your Friend

Instagram Comedy and the Defamiliarization of the Postcolonial State

Authored by: James Yékú

Routledge Handbook of African Popular Culture

Print publication date:  May  2022
Online publication date:  May  2022

Print ISBN: 9780367483869
eBook ISBN: 9781003080855
Adobe ISBN:


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Police-themed Instagram comedy skits sometimes exhibit logics of defamiliarization that enable a rhetorical reading of the popular enunciation of friendship by the Nigeria police through Tejumola Olaniyan’s 2016 assertion that the postcolonial state in Africa ought to be encountered as a stranger. In this chapter, I correlate this understanding to the 2020 #EndSARS protests that dramatized the morbid reality of police brutality as the ruthless face of the postcolonial state in Nigeria. The chapter examines new digital genres of popular culture circulating on the social web as performative deconstructions that enact cultural netizenship.

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