SCANDALS: Baba Ijesha rape scandal
Yoruba actor, Olanrewaju Imiyinka popularly known as Baba Ijesha was the first on the list of the ugly events that rocked the industry this year.
The actor came into the limelight for the wrong reason after he was arrested in April for allegedly molesting a minor, the foster daughter of his female colleague, Damilola Adekoya a.k.a Princess about seven years ago.
Before then, the entertainment industry was relatively peaceful. His case which is still being decided in court shook the entertainment industry and even led to a cold war between actress Nkechi Blessing, Iyabo Ojo and Yomi Fabiyi.
The matter dragged on for a long time before the embattled actor was granted bail on May 17. It also saw the intervention of the umbrella body of Yoruba actors known as the Theatre Arts and Motion Picture Practitioners’ Association Of Nigeria, TAMPAN, which attempted to sanction Nkechi Blessing and Iyabo Ojo following what the association termed as professional misconduct on the part of actresses but later retracted its decision.
However, the fate of Baba Ijesha is still uncertain as the case is still in court. He’s standing trial on six-count charges including sexual assault by penetration, indecent treatment of a child, sexual assault among others. The actor’s arrest cum trial certainly set the tone for what was to befall the industry in this outgoing year.
Former BBNaija Boma and Tega’s love tangle
Big Brother Naija ‘Shine Ya Eye’ edition ended on October 3, but people are still talking about the reality TV show till date. This is not because of the twists and turns that preceded the show, rather its because of the sex scandal involving Boma and Tega which set tongues wagging on social media while the show lasted.
The two housemates were caught on camera, having an amorous affair under the duvet. The action, which they claimed was part of giving their fans ‘highlight’ was greeted with mixed reactions on social media, leading to the eviction of Tega, and almost ruining her marriage. Boma also was evicted for the same reason. But upon his eviction, the Hollywood actor apologized to Nigerians for his actions in the house via his Twitter account.
Tega insisted she and Boma only acted out a script to entertain viewers. Apparently, unable to face the shame, rejection and scorn that trailed her action, the mother of one broke down in tears as she apologized to Nigerians, saying ‘‘Please forgive me. I’m sorry for my actions.’’T hough their sins may have been forgiven, fans will definitely not stop talking about the mess for a long time to come.
Tiwa Savage sextape/ beef with Shay Seyi
Sensational singer, Tiwa Savage suffered a huge setback when her sex-tape finally surfaced online. The singer had revealed beforehand that someone was trying to blackmail her with her sex tape which was mistakenly posted on Snapchat.
She vowed never to succumb to such cheat blackmail. But to her surprise, the blackmailer made good his threat and released the video online. It was an eyesore, but Tiwa Savage is gradually getting over the shock. The sex video which was immediately deleted on Snapchat after her lover realised the error remained one of the biggest scandals of the year.
Tiwa herself acknowledged the fact that the scandal was unbearable just as her effort to divert attention through releasing a new single yielded no results. Till date, the sex tape is still trending but the songstress is not bothered any more as she has moved on with her life.
Worthy of mention here also was the fight between Tiwa Savage and another pop queen, Seyi Shay in the month of June. The two female singers threw caution to the wind as they engaged in a ‘fight’ at a Lagos saloon to the shock of their fans. In a viral video, they were seen being pulled apart from each other and many condemned their action.
Seyi Shay was said to have walked up to Tiwa to exchange pleasantries, a move that did not go down well with the mother of one who immediately snapped at her, recalling what she and Victoria Kimani did to her in the past. Recall that Seyi and Victoria in 2019 released their covers of Kizz Daniel’s hit song, ‘F**k You’, where they had both dissed Tiwa Savage. Their beef dominated discourse in the public space throughout the months of June and July.
Peter Okoye’s divorce saga
Hell was let loose in the month of August, when news started flying around that the seven years old marriage of Paul Okoye and his wife, Anita had hit the rocks. In a leaked petition which went viral on the internet, Anita was said to have filed for a divorce, demanding N7.8m as spousal support. She cited irreconcilable differences as the basis for the divorce after seven years of marriage. Reports had it that she relocated to the United States immediately with their kids to move on with her life.
While the news of their divorce was still flying around, those in the know revealed that the couple had been in a serious domestic crisis. But no sooner the news went viral than Paul Okoye cautioned fans, insisting that they should learn to respect the decision of others when it comes to issues that affect them directly. And the next minute, he was in the United States to reunite with his family.
Tonto Dikeh against Prince Kpokpogri
Following Tiwa Savage and Seyi Shay squabble was the fallout between actress Tonto Dikeh and her ex-lover, Prince Kpokpogri. Their fight kept tongues wagging throughout the month of September. And while it lasted, Mr Kpokpogri, who’s also the chairman of the Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum, described Tonto Dikeh as “Helen of Troy”, claiming their short-lived affair was tumultuous.
Their relationship was brought into the public domain after Tonto Dikeh unveiled him on the occasion of his birthday on the 27th of June on her official Instagram page. Unfortunately, the once blossoming affair turned sour after a viral voice note and a phone call between Mr Kpokpogri and a socialite was leaked online by a blogger.
Since then, things fell apart between the ex-lovebirds and the centre couldn’t hold any more. It goes to say that ‘once bitten twice shy.’ The drama kept the internet buzzing even as many looked forward to seeing the relationship taken to the next level. But it never happened !
2face and Annie’s marriage crisis
Initially, many thought it was a publicity stunt to boost her fan base until both families got involved in the crossfire. Trouble started after Annie called out her bubby, 2face on Instagram, accusing him of messing around with his baby mama, Pero Adeniyi.
An action that got everyone talking and shading the actress for bringing her marital woes to the public domain. In a now-deleted Instagram Story post, Annie who felt insecure at a point claimed that the singer ‘‘slept under the same roof’’ with Ms Adeniyi alongside her three children which she had for 2face when they travelled to Disneyland, U.S on vacation. But it took the bold steps taken by the singer to shut down the scandal and save his marriage from hitting the rocks.
Amidst the raging fire, 2face had urged fans to respect his family privacy, calling for the madness to stop, just as Annie was busy spitting fire and brimstone. But the end definitely justified the means as both husband and wife are back again for good.
“I admit that bringing our personal issues on social media was not cool but I will not sit back and watch everyone have a free for all battle here in the name of love or solidarity.”
“None of us is perfect. I would like to urge our families and supporters to stop the madness and the public to please respect our privacy and our kids. Let us deal with our issues internally. I take God beg una,” 2face wrote on IG. Though he regretted that a private matter was brought to social media, he insisted that his family should be allowed to resolve things internally.
Regina Daniels, Jaruma fight over Kayamata
Another scandal that dominated the social media space was the brawl between star actress, Regina Daniels and popular billionaire therapist and founder of Jaruma Empire Limited, Hauwa Saidu Mohammed,popularly known as Jaruma, the Kayamata queen. The beef made waves in November and trended for more than a week before it went off.
Daniels had called out the billionaire therapist on social media, while dissociating herself from her brand. The 21-year-old actress explained that Jaruma has continued to seek ways of promoting her brand through her even after their contract expired. The latter fired back at the former demanding return of all the Jaruma products in her possession and claiming she paid the actress over N10 million. But Daniels later sheathed her sword as both of them may have embraced peace notwithstanding.
Nedu shut out ex-wife, Uzoamaka Ohiri
Similarly, in the same month of September, popular On-air-personality, Chinedu Ani known as Nedu Wazobia took his marital woes to social media after he denied the paternity of his first child as revealed via DNA test. The media personality cum Instagram skit maker had accused his wife, Uzoamaka Ohiri of sleeping around. According to him, ‘‘The continuous infidelity from her side made me conduct a paternity test on our kids which led to the revelation that our first son is not my biological son’’.
Uzoamaka on her own claimed that she wasn’t aware of the paternity of their first child until a DNA test was conducted.
Substantiating his claims, Nedu posted on Instagram a copy of the DNA test which was conducted by a forensic laboratory, Viaguard Accu-metrics, located in Toronto Canada.
He went on to claim that his marriage had been dissolved but his estranged wife refuted the claim, as she challenged him to produce the divorce papers since they separated four years ago.
The matter lingered on social media for some time, and was regarded as one of the most trending stories on the internet during the outgoing year.
Milestones: Nigerian musicians taking on world stage
Meanwhile, aside from the ugly moments that preceded the year, Nigerian pop stars made waves on the international scene, winning laurels and breaking new grounds. Back home, the industry witnessed the historic reunion of Psquare after four years of break up. Just as ‘Kukere’ crooner, Iyanya reunited with his former business partner, Ubi Franklin and their made Men Music Group, MMMG, label after five years of going their separate ways.
Psquare’s reunion was greeted with wild jubilation by fans across the world who can’t wait to see the duo perform together again. The party that preceded their reunion was described as ‘ one in town.’ Those who were privileged to grace the event confirmed that the Okoye twins are back to reclaim their spot in the Nigerian music scene.
To set the ball rolling again, the duo are planning to reunite with fans on Saturday, December 25, in Ikate, Lagos, as they stage a comeback musical concert tagged “#PsquareReactivated.’ The concert was originally scheduled for today, but had to be postponed because one of the duo, Peter, was down with immense pain and fever. And the likes of Lura Ikeji can’t wait for the D-day, as she wrote on the comment session of Psquare Instagram page that “I will be at the show even if the ticket is N1 million. I’m not missing it for anything in the world.” That same feeling everywhere.
BURNA BOY, WIZKID
The biggest moment in the Nigerian music scene this year was the winning of Grammy awards by Burna Boy and Wizkid. The Afro-fusion artiste brought home the Best Global Music Album category for his latest body of work, ‘Twice As Tall . He lost the award last year to Beninese singer, Angelique Kidjo, but he was able to bring home the Grammy Statuette, this year after beating the likes of American, Brooklyn-based afrobeat band Antibalas; a group of Tuareg musicians, Tinariwen; British-Indian composer, Anoushka Shankar and Brazilian-American singer, Bebel Gilberto.
It was the same story for Wizkid who won the Grammy for his collaboration with Beyoncé and Blue Ivy on the song “Brown Skin Girl”, Burna Boy who is dubbed ‘Odogwu’ won for his fifth studio album. Their victory at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards opened new doors for the country’s music at the international scene.
Burna’s victory was greeted with wild jubilation on social media, with many saying that the self-acclaimed ‘African Giant’ has placed Nigeria back on the world’s music map. And since then, Nigerian music has gained massive recognition on the global stage.
Interestingly, 2021 has seen Burna Boy join forces with diverse artists for collaborations such as “I Feel It (Feat. Burna Boy)” with Jon Bellion; “Want It All” featuring Polo G, “Question” ft Don Jazzy, and Becky G x Burna Boy’s “Rotate,” featured in Pepsi’s global football campaign “Music Keeps Us Fizzing.” The African Giant also collaborated with Justin Bieber on the eight times GRAMMY nominated album Justice and with nine times GRAMMY Award-nominee Sia for “Hey Boy”. The same goes for Wizkid and Davido. This year has also seen a number of breakout stars and new artists providing a fresh take on Nigeria’s famous Afrobeats genre.
Burna Boy, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade and Davido stood out on the international scene .
While Burna Boy dazzled in the city of Los Angeles months back to his momentous debut Hollywood Bowl performance as part of his global Space Drift Arena Tour, Wizkid and Tems held their fans spellbound at O2 Arena in London, when they performed their hit song, ‘Essence’. Just Afrobeats singer Omah Lay raised the bar with his 8-city tour of the United States of America, tagged ‘The Purple Tour’ in June. For Nigerian artists, it was a new dawn.
Thumbs up for singers like Odunsi, Omah Lay and Ladipoe who are forging a new frontier and breaking barriers as incoming artists. It’s on record that Tems was 2021’s breakout star of reckon, after singing a verse on Wizkid’s Grammy-nominated album, Made In Lagos. Tems’ distinct Afrobeats and RnB fusion sound has been praised by Pitchfork, NME, and OkayAfrica and has earned her the number one spot on Billboard’s Next Big Sound Chart.
Her second EP, If Orange Was A Place, has also gained critical acclaim. Wizkid on his own, made an impressive outing this year, winning laurels and breaking boundaries. He won the Best African Act in this year’s edition of the MTV Europe Music Awards, EMA, and went on also to win three awards at this year’s AFRIMA, including the Best Artiste of the Year, Best African Collaboration, Song of the Year for his hit song, “essence” featuring Tems.