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This New Show About First Generation Nigerians Is So On Point

“Harvard or nothing.”

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Sonoiki has now written and directed his own comedy pilot called African Booty Scratcher. And it's an absolutely hysterical and pretty accurate portrayal of the African immigrant story.

Excited to launch a new series I've been working on, #AfricanBootyScratcher -- africanbs.con

He started working on African Booty Scratcher after he wrapped for Black-ish. "I had some free time, so I wanted to do something to keep myself occupied," he explained to BuzzFeed News.

In its first week online, it was viewed more than 3 million times on Facebook.

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And although Sonoiki has never seen Everybody Hates Chris, which is based on the childhood of comedian Chris Rock, he said the comparisons made him feel like he must be doing something right.


"We're making jokes [about] Will Smith, so we knew [the accent of Ayo's dad, Tunde] had to be on point. I knew the dad character was key," Sonoiki added.

The original actor cast as Tunde had an accent that didn't "sit well" even though he was a "nice guy", Sonoiki said. The writer then filmed the show again with Harris in order to make the accent "perfect".

"I was born in America, but I lived in Nigeria 'til I was nine. My first school [was] in Nigeria. That's why the accent is still in me," Harris said.

And one of his character's most hilarious lines – "Harvard or nothing!" – was actually something Sonoiki's own father would say to him in the sixth grade. Basically, if you don't get into Harvard, you're a failure.


Harris said Ayo’s story represents a lot of Nigerians who move to America at a young age. “I am Ayo as well. The writer is Ayo… We are all Ayo in [a] nutshell… [Rapper] Wale was Ayo," he explained.

No pressure... @dsonoiki #AfricanBootyScratcher

The trailer totally struck a chord with some viewers.

Son💀💀💀 THIS HAD ME CRYING😭😭😭 MY parents are exactly this way

I have never seen a more accurate depiction of my childhood with African perents. This wild

I am so here for these shows about the African immigrant/diaspora experience #AfricanBootyScratcher #AnAfricanCity *mosquito claps*


Sonoiki has received criticism for the name of the show, but said he and his friends were called "African booty scratchers" growing up. He said: "It's almost taking a negative thing and putting a positive spin on it, and reclaiming it."

Originally, he was going to go with the name "African Times" as a play on the stereotype about Africans always being late, but after discussing it with his team, he changed his mind.

Harris said: "Being called [an African booty scratcher] has subconsciously been a drive for a lot of Nigerians in America."

Regarding the show's future, Harris hopes to see his on-screen son "going all the way to the top".

Instagram: @africanbs

"Ayo could become a doctor, or an athlete, or a musician," he said, just like the successful Nigerians who appear in the intro, including US rapper, Wale, and British-Nigerian actor, John Boyega.

"The goal is to get it on a network, and we have a Kickstarter to promote it and raise awareness," Sonoiki added.