The Nas Daily and Whang-Od saga has gripped not only the Philippines but millions of Nas Daily followers worldwide.
“The Grace is also an apprentice to the tattoo traditions of the Bubut people. —took to social media to warn people away from signing up for a Nas Academy course with her great-aunt’s name attached to it, calling the Whang Od Academy “a scam”.
Grace is herself a tattoo artist. Whang-Od chose her to pass on the art of traditional tattoo. In another post on her Facebook page, the younger artist expressed her worry that outsiders would exploit their art. Unfortunately, that post is no longer available.
Nas Academy responded with a Facebook post on their page. They claimed that some of Whang-Od’s family members, including her niece Estella Palangdao, had helped translate the contents of the contract to Whang-Od. Unfortunately, that post is no longer available. In conclusion this has resulted in hate comments on the Nas Academy page.
Who is Whang-Od?
Whang-Od is a Filipino tattoo artist from Kalinga, Philippines. She is currently 104 years old. She has kept the ancient art of Kalinga tattooing alive by tattooing visitors and tourists.
The traditional method is to use thorns and charcoal and hand-tap the thorn into the skin.
Whang-Od is described as the “last” and oldest mambabatok (traditional Kalinga tattooist). She is a member of the Butbut people of the larger Kalinga ethnic group.
What is Nas Daily?
Nuseir Yassin is an Arab Israeli video blogger. Above all, he is most noted for creating 1,000 daily one-minute-long videos on Facebook under the page Nas Daily.
In 2020, Yassin created Nas Academy, a school for video creators and Nas Studios, a video production studio.
The official Nas Daily Facebook page has 20 million followers (roughly four times the population of Singapore). However, he had 40 million followers a few days ago.
Above all, this saga has brought to light issues of social media influencers exploiting cultures for views.
The latest salvo came from social entrepreneur Louise Mabulo. She narrates her own experience with Nas Daily creator Nuseir Yassin two years ago. In a Facebook post, she accuses Nas of being an exploitative Neocolonialist.
“He even joked at the start of the day that all he needed was to put “Philippines” in the title and he’d rack in millions of views. He mentioned that the comments would come flooding with brainless ‘Pinoy pride’ comments, ” she wrote.
In conclusion, it seems this incident has allowed further reflection from many of Nas’s followers. Some have questioned the need for foreign validation. While others have begun calling out foreign social media players for Filipino baiting.