Jackie Aina, who is she? Explaining the Sr. Sókè candle scandal as a Nigerian YouTuber faces backlash
In honor of Jackie Aina’s 34th birthday, scented candles were released on August 4 by the beauty, cosmetics, and self-care company Forvr Mood, owned by the Nigerian-American YouTuber. Sr. Sókè, No Wahala, Soft Life, and Spice of Life are the four perfumes offered by the collection.
Nigerian youth have organized large-scale rallies since 2017 in opposition to police violence, calling for the dissolution of the contentious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Online campaigns used hashtags like #EndSARS and #SrSókè during the protest.
Numerous tweets condemning Jackie Aina pointed out that she had misappropriated the delicate tagline to promote her goods. Aina allegedly remained mute during the protests themselves or when the protest’s casualties were disclosed, according to some.
Why was Jackie Aina so upset about the Sr. Sókè label for the candle collection?
Many young people ran campaigns against them because the original protest was against the alleged brutality of the Nigerian police, particularly from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) units. As of July 2020, there were approximately 28 million featured tweets being shared on the network, according to Quartz Africa.
After the SARS unit was disbanded on October 11, 2020, protests against the alleged deaths, assaults, and continuous harassment by SARS officials in Nigeria are still ongoing.
However, the protests allegedly resulted in a substantial number of fatalities barely nine days after the dissolvent, according to the BBC. President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria reportedly claimed that 69 people had died as a result of the protests, according to a BBC News report. 51 citizens, 11 police officers, and even seven soldiers were among those killed.
As a result, the word “Sr. Sókè” and its hashtag have become connected with a tragic event and a divisive protest in Nigeria. Since protests have continued for about five years, some people of Nigerian descent are sensitive to the use of such slogans and hashtags.
How well-known is Jackie Aina?
Jackie Aina is a former professional makeup artist turned YouTuber, according to her website. The 35-year-old had been interested in makeup since she was a teenager and entered the field on a professional level in 2009.
After graduating from the Vidal Sassoon Academy and earning her license as a beautician, Aina went on to work with MAC and Bobbi Brown cosmetics. The US Army veteran reportedly spent five years working as a freelance cosmetics artist. She enlisted in the Army in 2008, serving two years in the reserve army.
In addition, Jackie Aina launched her makeup and beauty YouTube channel in 2009, and over the course of 13 years, it has amassed over 3.56 million members. The Los Angeles native, who is of Nigerian origin, was born there in the United States. Aina’s father is from Yoruba, Nigeria, while her mother is African-American.
This might explain why the YouTuber used the moniker “Sr Sókè” to describe the scent of her candle collection. According to Hellogiggles, Jackie Aina has collaborated with a number of cosmetic and clothing companies, including Sephora, Sigma Beauty, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and e.l.f. Cosmetics.