Prof Frank Ozoh, a professor of economics, has described Black Friday as an insult to Africans in general. Prof. Ozoh noted that the history of the term – Black Friday – is one that holds highly uncomplimentary and denigrating associations for the black race. Consequently, he revealed that this was the reason behind his decision to shop exclusively on e-commerce giant, Konga, which had christened its own sales, Konga Yakata.
The erudite scholar made this disclosure on the sidelines of an event held in Lagos on Saturday.
‘‘Many of those going about postulating Black Friday apparently do not know the etymology or origins of the term. Black Friday is an insult to all Africans because of its negative connotations which is a throw-back to the dark days of slavery and forced labour.
‘‘In fact, I carried out all my shopping during the period on Konga Yakata. I must also state that I got value for all my purchases because, in spite of the fact that it was a time renowned for heavy discounts, Konga made it even more rewarding for me as all the items I shopped were delivered same day and with freebies attached. Heavy discounts and quality services are what we should be celebrating.
‘‘I made it a point of duty not to associate with that term – Black Friday. Same as my family and everyone associated with me. So, renaming the popular, inglorious ‘Black Friday’ to Konga Yakata makes sense,’’ he disclosed.
Throwing more light on the negative history of Black Friday, the academic revealed that the term is historically associated with the day after Thanksgiving back in the 1800s when slave traders would sell slaves for a discount to assist plantation owners with more helpers for the upcoming winter. He added that Southern plantation owners could buy slaves at a discount on the day after Thanksgiving in the past, hence the origins of the term – Black Friday.
‘‘Although contemporary historians tend to gloss over this dark piece of history, I must emphasise that it does not detract from the sordid events of those times. Therefore, as Africans, we must reject any associations with such inglorious relics of our past. The term – Black Friday – as it is presently used to describe what is undoubtedly the most popular shopping period in the annual global calendar is highly mischievous, unacceptable and belittling to the African race.
‘‘If I had my way, we would expunge the term from the collective lexicon.
‘‘I must also commend the management of Konga who have shown uncommon sense of history and respect for the dignity of not only Nigerians, but Africans the world over by renaming it Konga Yakata. It is also a good thing to see that Konga Yakata attracts very huge patronage from Nigerians, many of whom see it as the biggest sales event of the year.
‘‘We must take pride in Konga as Africans for giving us a solid and more befitting identity with Konga Yakata. As a world-class company, there is even a greater sense of pride and confidence in a brand that is causing a silent revolution in the business terrain,’’ he concluded.
Friday, November 29th 2019 saw the global celebration of Black Friday around the world. In Nigeria, the day was ushered in with a vigil by bargain-hungry shoppers on major e-commerce platforms including Konga.