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Celebrity Romance: Speaking Out or Keeping Mum?

By Morenike Taire
A frenzy of hitching up and breaking up appears to have hit the entertainment industry lately, but whose style is best?

THERE were shock ripples last year in Nollywood and beyond when, wearing a lacy, virginal white gown, Mercy Johnson walked down the proverbial isle of one of the more upscale churches in Lagos. It was difficult to recognize the keen exhibitionist with the body so curvaceous as to inspire poetry in male fans. “Lord have Mercy!”

The new generation actress looked positively innocent, as though butter couldn’t melt in her mouth. She did not seem to notice that a good many of her colleagues  had boycotted the event. It did not matter, either, that some woman on the other side of the world was crying blue murder , protesting violently that the groom on the occasion painted above was still married to her legally. Since the aggrieved was not present to protest the nuptial ceremonies went on according to schedule and the duo was pronounced man and wife.

It is different strokes for different folks, as the saying goes, and as gory details of marriages get in the public space more and more, so do details of separations. Once upon a time, no entertainment couple would admit to a break up, let alone actually sharing the details.

Whatever got in the public space was mostly a mixture of fiction and  conjecture, and mostly the figment of the imagination of the gutter press. Take for instance, the break up between singer Nice and his  earstwhile wife Tony Paine. The two said little, giving no details and keeping virtually mum as the public painted for itself whatever picture it wanted.

It was to be a different sort of style for celebrated talking drum genius Ara, who jumped over the broom only to jump right back on the wrong side within a space of time some might have considered indecent. She gave them scant opportunity to do so. She wasted no time in coming out and telling it all.

It did not matter if it was only her own side of the story that was being heard, when everyone knows one side is only half the story. If the husband- whom she clearly accused of violence and domestic abuse, did not deem it fit to deny allegations or at least share his own side to the sordid story, the former wife cannot be accused of being dramatic, nor the public and the press thought to be one sided.

If anything, thumbs up should be given to Alex, her PR detail, for having the good sense of turning a bad affair into rather positive publicity.

In the meantime, Jenifa superstar Funke Akindele appears to have morphed into the character she created, if only for the drama and the indiscriminate romantic  carryings on.  Her publics regarded her with as much pity as disgust  when news hit the newsvines last month of her intention to tie the knots with some Moslem guy who already had one wife and who, according to popular opinion, has every  right to practice polygamy.

Funke offers no explanations to her teeming fans who generally think she could have done better in her choice of man. Her silence might not be misconstrued, and might be misconstrued for guilelessness  as it has been for a long time for  2face Idibia, who is still so beloved regardless of his sloppy romantic dalliances.

At least she does not sound  as confusing as recently divorced Kate Henshaw who, like Ara,  respected her fans enough to share the most recent alterations in her marital status with them, but ends up overkilling the whole thing. To make matters worse, she brings in the daughter of the union with her Englishman ex, actually going as far as saying the poor child is the most important party in the whole thing! Really?

And then  there is Asa, who is in a class of her own, as usual. She  it was who took a matter to court about some parties accusing her of carrying on romantically with her manager who, by the way, is a woman. She has made no public denial.

Statistics

78%

The percentage of women citing domestic violence as grounds for divorce in Indonisia. A recent research aimed towards helping Indonesian women get better access to basic government opportunities found that women in this country bring twice as many divorce cases to court than men.

1.4billion

The number of people- one-quarter of the population of the developing world—lived on less than $1.25 a day in 2005.The World Bank projects that the number of poor people will increase in the coming years due to slowing economic growth.

9%

The rate at which Bangladesh reduced poverty between 2000 and 2005. This was discovered in a recent report which aimed to contribute to reducing malnutrition in Bangladesh through a better understanding of gender-nutrition linkages.

60%

Of persons living with HIV are women.

3.1%

The percentage by which the the global maternal mortality ratio (MMR) reduced, representing  a decline from 400 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births in 1990 to 210 in 2010 .

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