Nigerian celebrities have overtime been accused of grossly abusing the utilization of social media which affords unlimited freedom to an extent based on ill-supervised community rules.
They have often times uploaded contents that buttress their seemingly perfect lifestyle of opulence for the purpose of subtly oppressing their ostensibly despondent followers. This accounts for one of the reasons why the social media space especially Instagram is flooded with falsehood as people attempt to replicate the subject-matter of the popular book – ‘Sizwe Banzi Is Dead’, a play by Athol Fugard. The internet has been riddled with irritating cheap publicity stunts by people old enough to lead Nigeria to our Nirvana.
The truth is that showboating on social media has been tentatively linked with lonely people of low-self esteem who want to enforce themselves and influence the mental processes of others going about their daily productive duties.
This odious act tantamount to the issue of poverty mentality in the Global South prompts most Nigerian public figures to constantly make calculated attempts to take undue advantage of the media to hijack headlines. They just want to be talked about by the people at all costs. The inordinate efforts are fuelled by the proliferation of blogs in Nigeria which feed on any little details about celebrities simply for traffic no matter how immaterial they might be. Anything for the clicks suits the blogs regardless of the veracity!
We have heard cases of a prominent Nigerian actress of A-list class named Oge Okoye stealing a picture of dogs belonging to an American celebrity Kenya Moore, singer KC Limpopo stealing a dollar photo of a foreigner, married mother of one, Maheeda notoriously stripping herself n*de on Instagram to gather followers, Davido clownishly flaunting wads of cash, frequently staged celebrity bust-ups and Toke Makinwa making a dry reality show of her life on Instagram amongst others. The list of frivolities being perpetrated by supposed mentors and idols on social media is endless and repugnant.
The latest has been the serial movie of a wedding ceremony between Bankole ‘Banky W’ Wellington and Adesua Etomi tagged ‘#Baad2017’. Right from the announcement of their engagement on social media, Banky W has technically dragged the newspaper headlines with President Muhammadu Buhari, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the Boko Haram sect which dominate media contents on a daily note. This was backed by their happy-ending relationship in the blockbuster movie – ‘Wedding Party’ where the duo got married in spite of challenges that punctured the level of trust in the union.
Celebrities with millions of followers helped in propagating the engagement gist coupled with the alternative media making news out of every unnecessary detail that came out of the proposal. The traditional introductory ceremony which took place shortly after the engagement of the duo was almost bigger than the dream wedding party of an average Nigerian person who resides in a ‘blessed country’ where poverty and unemployment are rife.
Banky W in obedience to the sound of his name showed how bankable he could be after raking cool cash from the Empire Mates Entertainment, EME record label and other massive commercial endorsements. He gathered his celebrity friends for a fashion show with glamorous pictures of their expensive attires, shoes, wristwatches and other privileged wares flooding social media pages in batches. From the 19th of November, 2019 till date, the wedding party which initially started in Lagos State has been the talk of the town with the venue finally moved to South Africa.
The truth is that the trendy and alluring photos of the wedding party have appealed to the minds of Nigerians who have admired them with a high percentage of envy and lingering hate. This in turn makes the couple so vulnerable security-wise (and even spiritually if I am to think like an African for a second) as they could be placed on surveillance just like billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike popularly known as Evans did with his high-profile victims. It must have been on this note that the leadership of the Lagos State Police Command once cautioned comedian AY Makun when he flaunted some hard currencies from his brother’s wedding ceremony on Instagram. According to the police, that act attracts criminals to them easily. It should be noted that Lagos has been battling with the menace of muggings, burglary and kidnappings in recent times despite sterling innovations by security chiefs.
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Most Nigerian ladies wished they could be Adesua Etomi for a minute while their male counterparts wanted to take the place of Banky W even if it’s going to be for a second. Others longed for a ‘Tonto Dikeh marriage’ kind of outcome which is associated with celebrities in Nigeria. This is the ugly side of life but we have to face it even though reality bites.
Banky W undue publicity spurred mother of four, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde who has been married for 21 years to advise Banky W to exercise due diligence in the usage of social media to avoid detrimental effects.
“Dear Banky and Adesua, After Capetown, everyone leaves…it’s just you two. My darlings if possible, stay off social media a bit. Communicate continuously. Preserve your friendship not just your love. Even as you two have now become one, don’t forget to respect your individuality. We love you and are rooting for your special Love,” she wrote.
Her golden advice which reeks of experience appeared to have fallen on deaf ears as the trends of showmanship and showboating amid an austerity period continued, with Banky W dominating entertainment news in Nigeria like the boss.
Fast-forward to today (28th of November), Banky W while showcasing the luxury of his hotel room in Johannesburg mistakenly exposed the nudity of his beloved wife, Adesua whose glory was only veiled by her panties as she backed the camera while dressing up. Eagle-eyed Nigerians downloaded the video, did a screengrab of the Adesua scene and shared on social media for gossips.
The multimedia contents have garnered thousands of views on social media to the dismay of the newly-weds who are managing the situation well to the best of information gathered from their Instagram accounts. This absurdity committed by Banky W underscores the need for the education of Nigerians on social media usage where we have been constituting nuisance by reporting our daily lives to people who hardly care.
It’s inglorious for the body of our beautiful and decent Edo princess, Adesua to be exposed to public viewership just because of the seeming youth exuberance of Banky W who has ignored the Yoruba saying that;
“If a farmer’s yam tuber harvest is too big, he would cover it with his hands”.
In simple terms, this emphasizes on the need to hide your massive success from your neighbours to prevent any undue envy that could lead to spiritual attacks and cold war.
Banky W has succeeded in humiliating Adesua beyond measure as we Nigerians are very conservative people who scorn n*dity at least in public to protect our societal values and sanity. The issue can die for today but the internet never forgets and his singular act will be a vivid point of reference in discussing the ills of social media. This is not the United States of America where reality star, Kim Kardashian and her sisters strip to get moneyed endorsements from adult contents or a Chrissy Teigen-John Legend union where n*de picture leaks is as normal as drinking water.
36-year old Banky should learn from Dbanj and his signee, DJ Xclusive who are presently basking in the joy and peace of marriage after engaging in it secretly. Sound Sultan is another great artiste and father who sells his art on social media not his marriage to protect the sanctity of the institution.
Life in Nigeria is harsh due to the hard economic realities thereby making it risky to share success stories without being hurt by hateful comments. Several people are angry online for reasons they can’t just explain. People upload pictures to hide their pains because they want to catch up with people like Banky W who have consciously and unconsciously kept them on their toes with the photoshopped parts of their lives.
The bitter truth is that majority of commenters on social media are not happy for Banky W and can’t wait to voraciously feed on contents which would point to the crash of the marriage.
We pray Banky W learns from this experience which must have left Adesua and her family members devastated after their daughter has enjoyed a scandal-free career thus far.
Written by Osayimwen Osahon George for Tori News