Please help me understand this Ghanan music video


 Jason McMackin implanted this song in my brain via the demon Facebook, and now I am periodically blurting out “Uncle Obama!” before falling into silent recrimination. It’s subtle, but this song about how a man named Uncle Obama has an enormous banana that Sister Deborah would like to feed to her monkey contains a double entendre. Yet so many questions go unanswered. It can’t be a coincidence that this Ghanan Milton Berle is named “Obama.” And who is Sister Deborah? And how is this song being received in Ghana, which has historically been kind of conservative?

The internet is very little help in these questions. From Buzzfeed we learn that “Uncle Obama” is, in fact, about penises. From a child who works at we learn that Sister Deborah is Deborah Vanessa, a model who has fun. Beyond that, I don’t know what this video means.

Even from my position of minimal understanding, there are some problematic moments. You think the image of the monkey furiously biting chunks off the banana problematizes the metaphor, and then at 2:16 we get a shot of the Uncle Obama guy doing the same thing. What could that mean? Does the man’s consciousness of his own sexuality obliterate his appeal? And what about the enormous shadows behind everyone in the dance shots? Are there no key lights in Ghana?

According to my B-minus Spanish, this Italian blog says that Deborah Vanessa is a model and television presenter who is better than Psy. At least one of those pictures hearkens to the shoving-your-fist-through-your-hand dance that they do in the video, and which is sure to become an international craze. Maybe then someone will tell me what the fudge is going on.

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  1. I think you’re asking far more questions than the writer of this song could even fathom. With a melody that stupid, why do you assume he or she would have even considered the semiology of nibbling off chunks of the banana?
    Also, you conflate sexual “conservatism” with Ghanian homophobia.

  2. who ever wrote this,i guess u have eaten a banana that how u hold ur banana when eating?it is boiled corn.sia

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