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For Black-ish writer Damilare Sonoiki, African Booty Scratcher is barely the surface of the world of Nigerian immigrants.

A day after Damilare Sonoiki saw his black-ish penned episode, “Super Rich Kids” air, he took to YouTube to reveal the trailer for something he had personally been working on. We’d spoke previously about his ideas for pitching TV shows in Hollywood, the result of him dropping his New York stockbroker ideas and going out to Los Angeles to canvas other dreams and ambitions. When the initial response to his comedy, African Booty Scratcher arrived, Sonoiki knew he had tapped into something.

Armed with a Kickstarter fundraiser in order to shoot more episodes, Sonoiki’s ideas behind African Booty Scratcher are some of the same that Houston’s large Nigerian population have known and understood. The tales of strict households, education being seen as a priority, the cultural differences between Africans and African-Americans, who has the better jollof rice, etc. It’s a show about growing up, without losing the identity of where you come from. Sonoiki, who can still recall the day his childhood Alief home had bullet holes inside as the result of a wayward drive-by knows what a show like African Booty Scratcher can pull off.

“Sometimes people try to reduce it to immigrant work ethic … but there are certain structural things that limit opportunities,” Sonoiki told The Grio in a recent interview.

At 24, Sonoiki can recall all of the times his parents forced the idea of going to Harvard on him. He can recall telling friends of how just getting a B wasn’t enough to satisfy his parents who wanted As and nothing else. The trailer, which focuses on a recent immigrant family who relocates to America details some of the awkwardness of not only being Nigerian and having to contend with American ideals but maintaining those practiced and preached in America.

“I learned that you can simultaneously tell culturally specific stories and appeal to universal themes,” Sonoiki said in a Blavity post detailing African Booty Scratcher. “As I meet white parents who say their daughter is just like Zoey or their son reminds them of Junior, I realize it’s possible for a white couple to say their son is just like someone named Ayodeji or their daughter reminds them of someone named Olamide.”

The show is audacious as it is funny, raising light on small topics to larger ones. Sonoiki’s lessons learned from Black-ish and even sister show Fresh Off the Boat are just cobbled together as much as his Harvard Lampoon days when he wrote jokes to pass the time. His documentary on life in Alief released in 2012 detailed the life of the area that helped raised him before he left for Harvard, New York and Los Angeles.

Now he’s telling the story from a lighter, first-person perspective.

About The Author

Brandon Caldwell is the founder & editor-in-chief of Day & A Dream. His work has appeared in VIBE, Complex, EBONY, the Village Voice, the Houston Press, Houston Style Magazine, DJBooth, The Sports Fans Journal, and more. Follow him on Twitter: @_brandoc

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