I am Nigerian and wasn't offended by the BA stewardess rant. But here's what did offend me

Snapchat allegedly voiced by a British Airways hostess Joanne Wickenden before flight to NigeriaScreengrab

It was one of the shortest crash-and-burn comedy routines in history. It lasted just 60 seconds. It featured a gregarious airline hostess mimicking some of the colourful characters on her "flight from hell".

Welcome to the new mirthless world where whatever you say in jest or tongue-in-cheek could lead to your utter damnation and ultimate ruination. Walls have ears - especially on social media.

When I watched Joanne Wickenden's Snapchat impression titled 'I can't cope with this flight' about her stressful flights to Abuja Nigeria's capital, and her obscure sexual 'BBC' innuendoes, I just burst out laughing. My overriding emotion was shock that a British Airways hostess could put the near century-old reputation of that venerable broadcasting institution in such jeopardy even before we had reached the watershed.

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During the one-minute clip she revealed how she was going to cope with the demanding passengers on the six-hour flight while her mates were painting the town red. She said: "Alright, so all of yous [sic] are there getting ready for your Friday night, getting in the pre-drinks, you know, as you do.

"And I'm here, getting ready to go to work, put on a yellow life jacket, point out the exits, hand out chicken or beef, what sort of Friday night is this for me?

"The upside is I'm going to Nigeria and there's gonna be bare BBC, I'm joking, I'm joking. All the Nigerians are gonna be there like 'gimme Coca Cola, gimme me beef, why you have no beef left? I want beef."

"And I'm just gonna be there like, 'Sorry sir, we ran out of beef'.

"All the Nigerians are gonna be there asking for f****** upgrades because they haven't got enough leg room because their BBCs are in their way. Big d**** like this swinging from side to side."

A general view of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on February 24, 2016AFP/Getty Images

Cue air rage and bedlam. It was no longer one of those many alphabet soups confined to the seedy reaches of the world wide web known only to the initiated. It was now, complete with asterisks, the print equivalent of a broadcast blip.

Her gravest lack of judgement? She was being broadcast to the entire world, not as a comedienne, but in her day job as an air hostess in full garb. It did not take very long before she was put in the modern-day equivalent of the stocks where offenders are locked, right bang in the middle of the town square, pelted, pilloried and exposed to public ridicule or assault. Bish, bash, bish, bash, bosh, biff!

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Reactions across Nigerian media have been mixed. While some criticised her for her lack of decorum and judgement, others felt her portrayal of a typical flight to the country had been quite tame. Perhaps the most ingenuous suggestion I came across was for her to be made to remain on the Abuja route and make eye contact with all future Nigerian BA passengers in a 'shaming' exercise.

The media in England however went into overdrive. She was racist. She had insulted 186m Nigerians with her stereotypes and utter disrespect. She had brought shame and opprobrium on herself and her employers. She quickly became the most wanted and hunted villain in the country splashed across the front pages of some the most read tabloids in the land. We were soon trawling through her bio on the dating site, Plenty of Fish, courtesy of the Mail Online. Her fate was sealed.

Thousands of worldwide reader comments, tongue lashings and tirade finally swept her out on her ear. She was initially suspended from work and promptly dismissed. All in under 48 hours. No wonder she feels chastened by the whole furore as she reportedly said "I don't want to fly anymore".

But was I offended? No, absolutely not.

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Non-conformist: Fela's forthright songs against corruption and abuse of power resulted in several arrests and beatings by government forces. He also sang about social issues and the realities of human existence in lyrics laced with streetwise wisdomfela.net

I am not so thin-skinned that I am unable to take some ribbing about my clamour for an upgrade due to the size of my...erm.... even if it is based on a stereotype. (Now whisper this query to all the men in the world, even the non-manspreaders, and ask if they would be horrified to be paid this 'anatomical' compliment even once in their lifetime. If they answered in the negative, they could well have been economical with the truth.)

But where will it all end?

We have become judge and the jury in this orgy of excoriation meted out to those who speak out of turn or offend our sensibilities. By the way, I am Nigerian and for me laughter still remains the best medicine. Blame it on all those formative years of soaking up the gritty, character-forming lyrics of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.

Fela, as he was known to his millions of teeming fans across the country never suffered fools gladly. Taking on everybody from the United Nations, corrupt politicians, military juntas and global corporations. No respecter of societal taboos or the establishment, he created Kalakuta Rebuplic where he railed against social injustice and only his commandments held sway.

The King of Afrobeat, is known by many as "the man who married 27 wives". On 18 February 1978 he wed the entire female entourage of his band in a ceremony conducted by a Yoruba priest. His motto was live and let live and freedom to outrage. His eccentricity aside he made a lot of common sense singing defiantly: "Je 'nwi temi." [Don't gag me].

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