Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Will There Ever Be A Black James Bond?


I can remember the following conversation (or something quite close) between my father, Perry A and the nine/ten year old Nimmo.

Perry A: .... Look, the British people take this their James Bond very seriously so they cannot allow anybody who is not one to act James Bond.
Nimmo: But I can do anything anybody else can do. I can shoot and I can say 'My name is Bond, James Bond' in any accent they want and even you say I do it better than anyone else...
Perry A: I know you do but ...
Nimmo: ... but George Lazenby is not British now and he did James Bond.
Perry A: Understand that Lazenby is an Australian, so technically he's still British.
Nimmo: So what does he have that I dont have?
Perry A: For one, he's white and you're not!

Ouch! I cried that day ehn! You would think someone killed me.

The Spy Who Loved Me
Ever since I could watch and understand movies, I have wanted to be James Bond. Later, I read all the James Bond books by Ian Fleming in my father's library and more. I wanted to be James Bond so much that I could repeat everything James Bond said in two movies 'Goldfinger' and 'Live and Let Die' which were the first two I watched and watched so often that the VHS tapes practically faded on me.

Live And Let Die
I hounded neighbors into exchanging films with me by loading my offers. I can remember offering one guy all the cassettes we had just to have their copy of 'Thunderball'. Even if he had wanted the TV, I would have offered. And there was the girl who gave me 'The Spy Who Loved Me' -it had just come out then- and asked me to return it in two hours! I ran like a mad man that day.

The World Is Not Enough
For those who know and even for those who don't, James Bond is the bomb! Almost fifty years after the first movie, he's still selling like hot cakes and the 22nd James Bond film - Quantum of Solace- is coming out this November starring Daniel Craig. The movies are reported to have grossed about eleven billion dollars in box office takings since 1962! It was the highest selling movie series of all time - until Harry Potter.

The Man With The Golden Gun
What exactly was there to love about James Bond? Everything, I would say. He is the quintessential action hero. Someone described it thus: In an action movie, ... the hero may be shaken, but never stirred. In an action film the hero should always remain calm, collected, he does not show fear ...

And then there were the Bond Girls. Damn! Their names alone was enough to give a teenager wet dreams. I still think such names could only have come from a highly sexed, masculine mind. Haba! With names like these ...

Imagine the ones like:
Mary Goodnight, Moneypenny, Solitaire, May Day, or Giacinta 'Jinx' Johnson

To the ones like:
Kissy Suzuki, Plenty O'Toole, Holly Goodhead, Penny Smallbone(r?), Molly Warmflesh (sp?), Honey Rider, Octopussy (!), and Pussy Galore (Damn!)

All Bond girls are, almost by definition, beautiful and follow a fairly well-developed pattern of beauty. They have splendid figures and make their appearances in evening wear, in bra and panties and sometimes, naked.

The delectable Halle Berry was already on my list of all time greats as far as female actors were concerned, but when she pulled off that performance as Jinx in Die Another Day, she booked her place among the legends in my estimation. Permanently.

So far only two Bond girls have been black - Berry above and Grace Jones as May Day in A view To A Kill -, but never a black James Bond. The thing dey pain me o.
(Correction: I missed out Gloria Hendry who was actually the very first Bond Girl who was black as Rosie Carver in 'Live And Let Die'. Thanks Allied and Solomonsydelle for the info.)

Safari for Spies
As with everything, the Americans have tried to come out with their own version of James Bond for a long time without much success.

Derek Flint (Our Man Flint; In Like Flint) had tried but James Corburn just didn't have the appeal or rather the movies story lines were just too phoney, too contrived to really gel with audiences. Unlike Bond who makes some stupid mistakes sometimes, Flint was just too 'perfect' for someone like me.

Nicholas J. Huntington Carter III, KillMaster, AXE Agent N3 would probably have been a hit if someone had been bold enough to put it in film. (The name Nick Carter was a pseudonym the writer Valerie Moolman got from a 19th century detective comic strip (itself modeled after Sherlock Holmes). A Nick Carter movie would probably have been rated XXX. And the guy lie lie too much.

But really, will there ever be a black James Bond?

As I grew older I lost my fascination for wanting to be James Bond and settled to being other things particularly when I discovered the Pacesetters series which had action heroes I could actually hope to 'become' like Commander Jack Ebony in 'The Mark of the Cobra' by Valentine Alily (Henri Valentino) or Agent Debomi Davies in 'Symphony of Destruction'. There was also Agent Benni Kamba 009 in 'The Equatorial Assignment' though can't remember who wrote that now.

When I saw a link on Unnaked's post about ablackjamesbond, I was curious. I clicked the link and went to read. The first think that caught my attention was the picture header. Cool dude in agbada sandwiched between two ladies, one carrying a sakabula (dane gun)and the other a pashan (whip) (?).

My own interpretation of the picture, whats yours?

21 comments:

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

oooh, tell me that I did it....

NIGERIAN CURIOSITY
IT WAS SO MUCH EASIER WHEN I ONLY HAD ONE...

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

yes, I did! yippee! First and second! Now, off to read about a black James Bond....

NIGERIAN CURIOSITY
IT WAS SO MUCH EASIER WHEN I ONLY HAD ONE...

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

Hey hold on, there was one more Black Bond girl...she died early in the movie,. The one based in Jamaica that starts with the 3'blind' men walking. Remember her? She had a low hair cut...

I watched a documentary on teh Bond series and they said they had to edit out most of her scenes because at that time the world would not have been very receptive to a Black Bond girl. Now, you have me on the hunt to figure out her name and the cahracter she played....

How body? Good luck on your quest to be the Black James Bond. Wetin you go call am?

NIGERIAN CURIOSITY
IT WAS SO MUCH EASIER WHEN I ONLY HAD ONE...

Allied said...

Rosie Carver (Gloria Hendry) was a Black bond girl in Live and Let Die

Ms. Catwalq said...

u know i only just realised that Michelle Yeoh was a Bond Girl? I had planned to marry her before but now, I will even have her child.....

I think Bond is boring.How come he is not yet dead or better still stricken with gonorrhea with all the gbenshing that he does? Not my kind....at all

But I remember sneaking to watch one particular one. i don't remember the title but there was a scene involving a zipper and a magnet in a watch. I was banned from it so when no one was home, I gave myself a treat and subsequently had to forfeit my meat for two days as bribery for Omo Mummy not to tell.

Naija Chickito said...

really nice read. love the details. what a thorough job

Afrobabe said...

lmao @ cat...gbenshing diseases??? abeg leave the man...some things we can leave to the whites...e.g James Bond and somethings they need to leave to us...eg Mandela...Imagine the riots that would break out if manedla was acted by a white man!!!..

Now that said, I am off to see the black james bond....

Nimmo actually updated...hmmmm..

guerreiranigeriana said...

lmao...i liked this read...i was always intrigued by the way the man introduced himself...too smooth!!!...they even had a cartoon when i was younger of a bond, james bond, jr...

...i am sad your father crushed your little dreams...that part of your story touched me...when your child comes to you with big dreams of playing james bond or whoever, what will you tell them?...

...guess who i'm listening to?...i can't get enough of her voice!!!...especially 'jailer'...

N.I.M.M.O said...

@Solomonsydelle: *Bell-o-blessing ring*. Thats for being first, second and third. I remembered that and actually searched for her too. I think Allied educates us on it below.
@Allied: Many thanx for the info. I saw the name but did not just make the connection.
@Catwalq: O Baby, na waa o. You and Michelle Yeoh? She'd have been a handful for you. Gonorrhea ke? Haba, live and let live now. That scene were from The Man With The Golden Gun.
@Chikito: For details just check Wikipedia. Many thanx.
@Afro: Haba, I updated since. You're right about the riot that could have happened. Many people I know have refused to watch the 'Mandela' film because the actor was not African. (Poor Danny Glover). They're still waiting for the authentic Mandela movie.
@GNaija: I guess I just frustrated the man with my questions and he told me the 'truth'. Great that you caught the 'Asamania' already.
@ALL: Many thanx for stopping by.

guerreiranigeriana said...

hmmnn...was reading your response to afrobabe about the mandela movie...interesting considering in the us there have been two films i am aware of in which a role, which should have been played by someone of african/black descent was played by a white person whose skin had been darkened...i remembered being annoyed that the lead in memoirs of a geisha was a chinese actress and that keanu reeves played the last samurai...hadn't even thought about the fact that africans often don't play other africans-mandela, coming to america, last king of scotland, any movie about cleopatra or egyptian pharoahs/kings...interesting...

N.I.M.M.O said...

@GNaija: Looks like you were here while I was on your own blog dropping a long comment. I agree with you on this. The Americans will say its about the market. An African actor in the lead role may not sell as much as an established American actor. And I agree with them. Their primary market is still the US, whatever story they are telling. Until we Africans decide to tell our own stories ourselves, we cant complain.

One of the most ludicrous things I have ever heard was a Naija musician saying he was preparing his music for the 'foreign' (read US) market'. Of course, he never made it past one album before he ran back home with his tail between his legs.

Moral: Charity begins at home.

Afrobabe said...

Imagine...controvercy (correct the spelling) over the fact that it was still played by a black man, just not an African...so Imagine James Bond being played by an African or Indian....

Uzezi said...

i am not a bond freak and not sure i have seen two, so excuse me from this post. But I saw Hally Berry in the Bikini sha. So do ur warri post.

Ms Sula said...

I think Americans are trying to compete with James Bond with the Bourne Series... We'll see "how far" it goes...

Meanwhile, I'll enjoy yummy Daniel Craig as James Bond.

ablackjamesbond said...

Come on man!...there is a blackjamesbond!! Moi!!!

*smiling*

...detailed as usual

I should charge you for using that picture...but ...its all good...you and i are cool...

thanks for your comments on my blog...am still preparing a worthy response to your comments on 'Reminiscing III'...the 'feud' is not yet over!

guerreiranigeriana said...

so, how about those falcons against ghana?...i hope they can qualify for the olympics...

Nine said...

I wanted to be Nick Carter!With his pistol Wilmhelmina,his knife Hugo and his gas bomb Pierre.I'm sure Freud would have books to write on the symbolism:)

Lol@catwalq
Gonorrhea?For Bond?No way!His health plan includes vaccinations for all existent STDs.After all,he's Bond.

N.I.M.M.O said...

@Afro: Unthinkable. As said, its for us to tell our own story, our own way.
@Uzi: As if I know say you would rush here immediately you see that comment. I am working on it right now. Watch out! Many thanx.
@Ms Sula: I actually love the Bourne series but I only wish they can sustain it like Bond. Many thanx for stopping by.
@Black007: Dem wan try you? Na you biko. Our very own James Bond. Its like the 'feud' is still own. Check out my next post.
@Nine: Nick Carter lie lie too much abeg. Wetin, with all those instruments sef. many thanx for stopping by.
@GNaija: As long as its African Women football, I have no fear for the Falcons. I knew they would win. They won 2 - 0; so they are on their way to China.

UndaCovaSista said...

Colin Salmon (a black british actor) was 'considered' along with Daniel Craig and some others when Pierce Brosnan was given the boot. Given that he is actually (in my opinion) posher than Daniel Craig, suaver and definitely finer i think he had a good chance (on merit). I actually think Britain was ready for a black James Bond then, but not the rest of the world...therefore, it went to the blue-eyed, blond guy :(

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