A Nigerian, Eno Mfon, has received wide praise from social media users for shaming a lecturer who told her there was “no space” for black writers on her course.
Mfon, a Bristol University graduate reacted positively to the racial abuse after the same lecturer later paid to watch her performance that received rave reviews from theatre critics.
The Nigerian born who is basking in the euphoria of her success recounted her experience in a facebook and Instagram posts, that have gone viral, she said, “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.
“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,” Independent reported.
The British paper said Check the Labe, was 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,” she told Independent.
Dr Catherine Hindson, head of theatre at the university, described how she had spoken with Mfon about her post and “apologised that she had this negative experience.”
She told the Independent: “I’ve invited her to meet with me in September to talk through and get her feedback on changes we’ve made to the curriculum. She agreed her experience studying here was, on the whole, a very positive one, leading to many opportunities to showcase her talents.
“The university has made a strong commitment to increasing diversity in its new strategy, and we’ve broadened out the curriculum significantly across the faculty of arts.”