Yewande Biala has shared an emotional statement about “racialized re-naming”, amid her row with Lucie Donlan.
The Love Island stars hit headlines earlier this week, after Yewande claimed Lucie “refused” to call her by her name in the villa, because it was “hard to pronounce”.
The 23-year-old made the statement on Twitter, after Lucie claimed Yewande “bullied” her in a resurfaced Instagram comment.
The unearthed comment appeared on Reddit this week, but it was originally posted in 2019, shortly after they appeared on Love Island.
After their row hit headlines, the surfer confirmed she had “trouble” pronouncing Yewande’s name in the villa.
Speaking to MailOnline, Lucie admitted: “I said on the show I had trouble pronouncing Yewande’s name, it’s just what I’m like.”
“And I asked if I could use a shortened abbreviated version of her name instead as a term of endearment – there’s nothing sinister to it.”
Yewande has since explained why Lucie’s alleged inability to pronounce her name was so hurtful.
In a lengthy statement shared on Twitter today, the 23-year-old said: “I think one of my earliest memories of racialized re-naming was when I was exploring different secondary schools.”
This is the last thing I’m going to say about this situation….. pic.twitter.com/oIwvSaCG04
— #ENDSARS (@yewande_biala) January 23, 2021
“One of the schools I was interested in, btw I didn’t end up going, asked me for my full name. Which is, Yewande Elizabeth Biala.”
“After having difficulties pronouncing my name, she went forward and asked if we could just put it down as Elizabeth Biala, as it would be easier for everyone.”
“In that moment, all I heard was that I didn’t matter, and I was an inconvenience. From that day I made it my mission to make sure people knew my name was important, after all that is my identity,” she continued.
“Names are prominent identifiers that can often tell the story of one’s ethnicity and cultural background. My name means mother coming back, and I love it.”
“There is a tendency for White European names and whiteness in general to be perceived as normative, whereas racial minorities with names of religious and ethnic origins may be seen as an inconvenience.”
Yewande wrote: “Examples of name-based microaggressions include giving unwanted nickname[s].”
“As I became older and developed my multicultural competence, I decided to stop trying to make others comfortable at my own expense.”
“It’s important to recognise that asking for a nickname can feel invalidating, it makes me feel like a inconvenience also ascribing a nickname to a person or participating in racialized re-naming, can be distressing.”
“You as an oppressor, have stripped me of my identity, you’ve taken my power in choosing how I want to be addressed.”
Addressing claims Lucie had “trouble” pronouncing her name, the scientist turned reality star wrote: “I corrected her multiple times, I didn’t mind, because you are going to get it right.”
“There was a moment just before a challenge. This was after 3 weeks in. She mispronounced my name, I correct her again and her reply was ‘yeah whatever you know what I mean’ I remember one of the producers put her arms around me.”
Yewande continued: “Being black on TV means not rising your voice, not being too defensive, because you don’t want to creative [sic] the narrative of being an angry black woman or being a bully.”
“I am not a bully, it’s such a huge accusation and one that should be handled very seriously.”
“And lastly, I encourage everyone to be aware of racialized re-naming and name-based teasing. I think we should all be working towards being better advocates and creating a different dynamic around these narratives,” she added.
Lucie’s rep declined to comment on this story when contacted by Goss.ie.