You know that moment when you see someone else trying so hard to do something but they just aren’t hitting the mark and you jus want to crawl up into a ball and cringe for them because it makes you feel SO awkward!


Well here are 5 celebs that elicited just that reaction…

These international celebrities tried so hard to channel Africa but didn’t quite hit the mark.

First up we have:

1. Omarion

Omari Ishmael Grandberry or as we all know him as Omarion is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actor and dancer.

In his music video “Distance” he really does channel South Africa as best he could with the scenic views and the wild animals such as giraffes, elephants and even some huts were included!

Seeing Omarion putting too much emphasis on being “tribal” was a bit cringe worthy.

He attempted a mixture of hip hop with the traditional Indlamu dance, which is a dance that is mostly associated with Zulu culture.

He does some weird dancing all by himself for half of the video so you HAVE to be focused on just him; which makes it even more awkward.

The video goes onto pan the beautiful village which he’s in and features some ACTUAL traditional Zulu dancing and culture.

But then the music video takes another painful turn when he steps out of the hut in traditional Zulu attire.

(Like why did he have to do that though…)

While his “Zulu Warrior” outfit and theatrical “African” dance moves make for a good laugh-the song itself isn’t bad at all.

But, check it out for yourself; you might even like the interpretive dance:

2. Beyonce

I’m sure we all know THE Beyonce (and if you don’t you probably live under a rock or don’t use any form of social media whatsoever).

I will most likely get hate for putting Queen B on this list but I honestly was not feeling the African themed push party.

Not knowing what a push party is I did the first thing any intellectual would do…Google. (It initially sounded like a party where everyone just danced around the mother while she was pushing out her baby but obviously not).

All that came up was “Beyonce African Themed Push Party” which wasn’t that helpful really.

But the in”formation” (see what I did there, LOL) that was all over the internet was praising how amazing the entire soirée was.

I looked for the brilliance in it all and of course any A-list event would be considered glamorous; but I just wasn’t feeling the whole African theme.

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

The couple was happy and everyone had a blast but the internet referring to Beyonce as being an “African Queen” just because she was all dolled up as one; doesn’t mean a thing.

It isn’t necessarily a fail because the event was such a success but using someone’s culture as a theme when it suits you is disrespectful to many.

3. French Montana

Karim Kharbouch AKA French Montana; is an American rapper and singer of Moroccan and Somali descent.

Very African if you ask me…so what exactly is his unsuccessful African attempt? Well…

He went over to Uganada for his “Unforgettable” music video and the video itself is beautiful and catchy with the kids and people interacting and dancing in the street together, makes you want to get up and dance yourself.

Even French Montana attempting the dance moves as well (which wasn’t as bad as Mr. Omarion btw) was watchable.

The video goes on to highlight the fun that everyone is having in the street and just as you think the music video is coming to an end…BOOM!

In true “movie cliche African story line” Montana gets kidnapped by armed militia which was so totally irrelevant but hey it’s Africa and that’s what happens right. WRONG.

Watch until the end and see for yourself:

Related Article: Looking into a fashionable African future

4. Katy Perry

In Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” music video it just screams FAIL.

The entire music video is based around Egyptian culture with Katy herself coming off as Cleopatra or Nefertiti (they were the real African Queens FYI).

The music video is just way too theatrical…

Lastly we have…

5. Ms Meryl Streep


Meryl Streep is an American actress and is cited in the media as the “best actress of her generation”.

Now America is known for its lack of diversity in the film industry, but when the world’s most praised actor was asked to weigh in on the issue at the Berlin International Film Festival last year, her answer was trifling.

Her answer was this: “I’ve played a lot of different people from a lot of different cultures,” said the actor when asked whether she understood films from North Africa.

“There is a core of humanity that travels right through every culture, and after all, we’re all from Africa originally,” she continued. “…We’re all Africans, really”.

Wow. She just missed the mark completely.

No Meryl. You and we are not all “Africans, really”. You are very much far from African.

When celebs have so much influence on so many people; everyone will automatically think it’s okay to end up appropriating not just African cultures but all cultures in general.

It makes one feel useless to put it lightly; because that African person can think to themselves “Why is okay for that celebrity to be praised for wearing MY traditional garment; but when I do it I get looked at funny because I’m not Western enough?”

Think about it…

Every action has an effect on someone.

Zuhaa Isaacs

Categories: Celebrity