A Nigerian born Bristol University graduate has been widely-praised online for giving the best “I told you so” reaction after her lecturer told her there was “no space” for black writers on her course.
In a Facebook and Instagram post, which has since gone viral, student Eno Mfon said she was “the only black kid” on her course and was told by one of the head lecturers that “there’s no space for black theatre makers on the curriculum.”She added:
“So you spend three years learning about Chekhov and Carol Ann Duffy but then realise that you can write your own stuff for lil black girls and so you do that, and sell out the Bristol Old Vic and the lecturer that told you there’s no space for you, pays to watch you perform.”
Mfon took to the stage at the Bristol Old Vic earlier this year with her “witty and thought-provoking” play, Check the Label, an intimate piece based on the student’s own experience of growing up “in dark skin.”
Told through poetry, childhood games, and music – everything from nursery rhymes to Dizzee Rascal – Mfon’s play was praised for exploring the “damaging effects of Eurocentric beauty standards” and the distance this creates between women of colour.
“During my second year, I decided to confront the experience of colourism and skin bleaching which permeates the black and Asian community.
“When I was growing up, I noticed visible changes in some of the women around me. There were little signs that revealed the use of lightening cream. I knew how to spot the signs, but I never understood the wider implications of this; it was a taboo subject that no one dared to address.
“Through Check the Label, I attempted to say what many young black girls, including myself, once struggled to articulate.”
Dr Catherine Hindson, Head of Theater at the university, later spoke with Mfon about her post and “apologised that she had this negative experience.”