No more 'Big Mjohnana' - Twitter reacts to Chicken Licken ad ban

19 December 2018 - 08:14 By Ntokozo Miya
A screenshot from Chicken Licken’s banned commercial about the adventures of Mjohnana.
A screenshot from Chicken Licken’s banned commercial about the adventures of Mjohnana.
Image: YouTube/Chicken Licken SA

The Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) has canned a controversial new Chicken Licken advert - but many people on Twitter are not backing the decision.

The commercial tells the fictional story of an African man named Big Mjohnana, who sets off by boat in search of adventure. At the end of his journey he "discovers" white people working in a harbour.

Big Mjohnana tells the workers: "I like this place. I think I will call it 'Europe'."

The ad is a spoof of colonisation, with the African man being the coloniser and Europeans the colonised.

Sandile Cele complained to the ARB that the advert was offensive because it trivialised colonialism, a traumatic subject for many Africans.

Chicken Licken defended the promo. The company said: "The commercial stems to show South Africans that Chicken Licken believes this country has all the potential to conquer the world and rewrite history from an African perspective."

The ARB ruled in favour of the complainant and ordered Chicken Licken to stop using the advert in "its current format" with immediate effect. 

But the ruling did not get much love on Twitter, with many lashing out at Cele for initiating the process. One said he "saw nothing wrong" with the commercial, while another felt it was "the best ad this year".

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