While many young Nigerians look up to them as mentors, celebrities have cultivated the habit of dancing naked in the market square, including spewing disgusting secrets on social media. The saga involving Davido’s aide, Israel DMW, self-acclaimed relationship expert, Blessing Okoro (aka BlessingCEO), the family of ailing Nollywood actor, Mr. Ibu, are recent cases; PAUL OKAH reports.
It is not often that Nollywood actors, musicians and other celebrities take to social media to reveal dirty secrets about their lives, especially cracks in their marriages or divorce cases even as young Nigerians look up to them as mentors and shining stars.
However, it seems the celebrities have often decency to the dogs as many of them no longer think twice before rushing to social media to divulge sensitive information about their partners, marriages, relationships or friendships.
The saga involving popular singer Davido’s aide, Israel DMW and his wife, Sheila Courage, self-acclaimed relationship expert, Blessing Okoro (aka BlessingCEO) and her Nollywood actress friend, Nkechi Blessing, the family of Nollywood actor, Mr. Ibu, including his wife, Stella Maris and adopted daughter, Jasmine, and his sons, are recent cases in point.
Israel DMW vs. estranged wife
Barely a year into their marriage, on November 25, social media users woke to the disturbing posts made by the logistics manager to Davido, Israel Afeare, popularly known as Israel DMW, on social media, regarding his break-up with his 21-year- old wife, Sheila Courage, whom he used many unprintable names to describe.
In his detailed account, Israel DMW said he met Sheila on February 19, 2022, and became friends with her. He said they later became intimate and got married later, revealing further that she had only N2, 700 in her bank account when he met her and spent a lot to upgrade her life and that of her family.
He also revealed that Sheila left their home on August 8, despite his substantial support since their marriage, detailing acts of generosity, such as providing financial support, upgrading her phone and indulging in shopping sprees for her.
According to him, she sought to impose standards on him, believing she had achieved a high status as a prominent figure on Instagram and that his wife accused him of being a slave to Davido, whom he calls Oga.
His outburst: “People can be very ungrateful and deceptive. I met Sheila on February 19, 2022. We became friends, which later became intimate. She told me she would only lose her virginity to the man that would marry her since her Ugep, Cross River state, mother, who’s now 41, had earlier married two different men, with two kids, before marrying her father and that she was overdue at age 21 for marriage.
“We fully agreed with her terms and conditions. I immediately upgraded her unkempt situation by giving her 300k and replacing her tattered phone of less than 60k with a new iPhone 12 Pro Max of 860k in less than two weeks. I later also replaced the 12 Pro Max with a brand 14 Pro Max of 1.2m that she uses to slay. I did a lot of shopping for her.
“Bought her clothes and bags, including expensive human hairs she’s using without sleeping with her then. I later proposed, and she fully accepted. We later did a legal introduction to traditional and white weddings in Benin City. Sheila immediately changed by showing her authentic self after our wedding and wanting to set standards for me. She now felt she was blown as Juju’s wife, fully verified on Instagram, with more followers from her earlier struggling with 3k followers when I met her.”
Continuing, he squealed, “A fully sapa girl I met with just 2,700 in her account. I have never raised my hands on her any day. I don’t beat women at all. I respect them so much. The least money for her upkeep was 100k. She now wakes up to tell me that I derive dignity in begging my Oga; that I am fully a slave, and that I am disgracing her on social media.
“I had earlier taken her to show her the same Oga for the first time before we wedded when we were in Abuja Transcorp Hilton, and Oga asked her straight forward if she was ready for marriage, and she fully answered by saying ‘yes’ and Oga immediately gave her 500k for airtime. Oga was fully present in Benin for my wedding, after cancelling a 140m show appearance.”
Ex-wife fires back
If Nigerians were shocked by the revealing posts on social media by Israel DMW, who is said to be in his 40s, many were nonplussed by similar posts by his estranged wife, Sheila, who equally rushed to social media on November 25, to detail the break-up with Israel, referring to him as a two-minute man (one who does not last long in bed).
Matching Israel DMW’s show of shame, Sheila detailed in lengthy posts on social media that, contrary to Israel’s depiction of her family as “gold diggers,” her family had an affluent background and that her father and a former Edo state governor were first cousins.
Her outbursts: “Since Israel has decided to bring this whole issue online, let me start dropping evidence. You said I forced you to marry me because I was a virgin. Should I also tell the whole world how you are a two-minute man? Just a few days ago you were begging me to forgive you.
“Both the phone and the generator he collected from my mum were immediately replaced by my dad. Everything Israel ever did he was never asked or coerced! Saying this might be petty, but I don’t care. He didn’t get me my first iPhone 11. Even my younger sister was using an iPhone when I met you, Israel, and I was using an iPhone too (I know you suffer partial memory loss). I was going to keep my reserve on this, but as it is, I see no reason to.”
As of the time of filing in this report, the estranged couple were still calling each other names on social media, including Israel DMW making a post on Tuesday detailing how Sheila travelled to Abuja to stay with her friend who, he alleged, is a known prostitute, with videos showing half-clad Sheila dancing in a club with men and the said friend.
Enter BlessingCEO vs. Nkechi Blessing
Just as Nigerians were trying to wrap their heads around what was going on with Israel DMW and his wife, a relationship expert and therapist, Blessing Okoro (aka BlessingCEO), with over 2.1 million followers on Facebook alone, took to her social media pages on November 25 to pick up a quarrel with her long-time friend and popular Nollywood actress, Nkechi Blessing Sunday, with the duo accusing each other of engaging in prostitution and calling themselves unprintable names.
Trouble was said to have started between the duo when BlessingCEO posted pictures and videos of herself in a revealing bikini at a pool side in a hotel on social media, which prompted Nkechi Blessing to make posts with the pictures saying that BlessingCEO should be ashamed of herself for posting such revealing videos as a single mother of two that is supposed to be a responsible mother to both her children and the general public and questioned her profession as a relationship therapist with a streak of failed marriages and relationships.
However, in a quick response, Blessing CEO dismissed Nkechi as irrelevant and also threw a swipe at how she keeps chasing after young boys, saying she changes men every four days. According to him, she would rather be a relationship expert without a relationship than to be that “who changes men every Eke market day.”
Since November 25, on a daily basis, the two have been making posts on social media to insult each other, showing evidence of progress in respective careers and deploying every despicable word possible to denigrate each of them, including revealing that they both use prostitution and dependence on wealthy men to succeed in life. They also accused each other of having fake butts and breasts as a result of enhancement surgeries or liposuction.
Even as of the time of filing in this report, BlessingCEO vowed that she would make it a point of duty to make a post every day to ‘expose’ Nkechi Blessing’s “secrets,” nick-naming her totolator, to match Nkechi Blessing’s common reference to her as olosho– both terms meaning prostitute.
Mr. Ibu’s corner
Also, on October 18, Nigerians, especially social media users, were shocked when popular Nollywood actor, John Okafor, popular known as Mr. Ibu, who had acted in over 200 Nollywood movies, in a video posted on his verified Instagram page solicited financial assistance to overcome an undisclosed ailment, revealing that his legs might be amputated due to the illness.
In the video, the actor attached his bank account details which was promptly shared by fans on social media platforms, prompting donations from Nigerians to the tune of over N300 million.
However, the money became a subject of controversy in the family as Mr. Ibu’s wife, Stella Maris, got embroiled in an endless quarrel with his adopted daughter, known as Jasmine, and his sons.
While Mr. Ibu’s leg was eventually amputated on November 5, after undergoing seven surgeries, and while he was recovering at the intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital in Lagos, the family has been involved in an endless saga over the realised money.
In several social media posts, Jasmine accused Mr. Ibu’s wife of desperately requesting for the money to use in buying an iPhone 15, new cars, and house, do a plastic surgery to enhance her butts and generally take care of herself to look appealing to young men.
On the other hand, Stella Maris, who had earlier in the year accused Jasmine of sleeping with her husband, Mr. Ibu, took the matter to a different level by accusing Jasmine of also sleeping with one of Mr. Ibu’s sons from another woman, alleging that the supposedly adopted daughter was sleeping with both father and son.
Following weeks of social media banters over the signatory to the actor’s account, matters came to a head on November 22, when news emerged that Stella Maris instructed a police division in Lagos to arrest both Jasmine and two of Ibu’s sons, Daniel and Val, whom she reportedly accused of planning to flee Nigeria with the money donated by Nigerians for Ibu’s treatment.
However, Mr. Ibu’s former manager, Emeka Chochoo, disclosed that Jasmine and Ibu’s sons were only invited and not arrested by the police over the actor’s bank account.
“Yes, they were all invited by the police. I won’t call it arrest. The police invited them over Mr. Ibu’s account. However, Val is left out as he knows nothing about what’s been happening. He just returned to the country. I have not been able to reach any of them,” he said.
Don Mapee’s swipe
In an exclusive interview with Blueprint Weekend, a multiple award-winner, Afro-fusion artist, E Go Soft and Baba Nla crooner, Don Mapee, said celebrities don’t necessarily have to disgrace themselves on social media as they’re considered as role models, even as he listed factors that encourage the menace.
He said: “It’s sad, disheartening and shameful on how celebrities bring their family issues on social media. Personally, I see it as a show of shame exhibited by some persons who ought to be role models to the public and the younger generation, but have lost regards for themselves and their families. It brings me to questions like: What is really wrong with this generation? What exactly went wrong? Did our forefathers/fathers not have marital problems and handled it maturely, without involving third parties?
“While growing up, I was taught not to wash my dirty linens outside, which is exactly what these celebrities are currently doing with their show of shame. There are major factors contributing to celebrities bringing their family issues on social media. Like you know, we are in the era of social media where everyone wants to use the opportunity to trend; in order to stay relevant in their field; thereby bringing their private lives and exposing their family issues on social media. This is so as to be widely talked about; in order to make more money through Facebook monetisation; since we trend mostly through negativities in this part of the world.”
He said further, “Feminism is another bigger cause of it as women of this generation are trying so hard to prove a point of being equal with men (especially their husbands), not knowing when to draw the lines when there are issues in their marriage. This causes them to disrespect their husbands.
In the bid to always prove their innocence, as they believe their rights shouldn’t be ‘trampled upon’ when something goes wrong in their marriages, they end up spilling everything on social media to attract self-pity from the public. In return, the husband may want to come out to clear the air, and then they will end up washing their dirty linens on social media.”
Fans not left out
Similarly, speaking with this reporter, 2023 Facebook Influencer of the Year winner, Maria Ude Nwachi, said the celebrities disgracing themselves on social media are being egged on by fans, ignorant of the fact that they’re heading for self-destruction. She advised BlessingCEO, Nkechi Blessing and other celebrities to refrain from such an act.
She said: “When you are a notorious online nuisance and suddenly a lot of people start egging you on and beating your drum and praising you and some notable Facebookers even start hailing you and claiming you are very smart and intelligent, run. They are egging you on to your doom.
“No matter how many praise a bad, ugly, and shameless behaviour, it won’t magically be alright. You are rolling into self-destructive zones and suddenly even those that normally condemn such behaviours start clapping and claiming they love you, count your teeth and run. If they love your reckless antics why are they not doing the same?
“They don’t love it; they love it because you are the one doing it and not them or their loved ones. I know that being shameless sells these days, but involving others in your shamelessness will have consequences sooner or later and those hyping you will not be there when it happens. Never ever get carried away by praises online, especially on Facebook, where even big ones here can use loving a bad behaviour to get more followers and online fame for themselves; it is not real.
“We are all responsible for our actions and no one will be blamed, but ourselves. When we nuisance ourselves into serious problems, they love you to your doom. So, retrace your steps.”
Charles Awuzie’s take
On his part, a South Africa-based cyber security expert and social media influencer, Charles Awuzie, said Sheila, Israel DMW and even Davido himself may be fooling Nigerians with the divorce sagas in order to promote one business or the other, saying “it is a PR stunt.”
“Since Odogwu and Aisha started couple pranks, Nigerian couples have learnt that marriage drama is Nigeria’s best content. Nigerians love to read bad news about other people’s marriage, relationships and even friendships. The truth is that negativity sells in Nigeria. Content creators are now cashing out on your lust for negativity, fuelled by the witchcraft of celebrating other people’s failures.
“Nigeria is a funny society. Celebrities are now divorced in public, but dem dey knack (having sexual affairs) in secret. This is just another content – probably to promote something big Sheila, Israel or Davido are working on. And if that’s the case, they are succeeding in it, but I think it’s unfair to fool the public just to market a brand. But if truly they are divorcing and fighting dirty, I wish them both healing.”
Likewise, speaking with Blueprint Weekend, an Abuja-based entrepreneur, Hadiza Yakubu, expressed concerns that Mr. Ibu’s wife would be more interested in the money contributed by Nigerians than in his health. According to her, the family is dragging him to his death with endless social media sagas.
She said, “I won’t be surprised to hear about Mr. Ibu’s death because of the endless saga his wife, adopted daughter and sons are engaged in. It is an epic disgrace. Imagine a whole family being the subject of social media discussions. People who are not supposed to know about what is going on in a family are being told everything going on because of shameless people, especially Ibu’s wife.
“How can her husband be in the hospital fighting for his life and she is busy dragging money that was donated for his health? She said she wants to use the money to buy an iPhone 15 and also take care of herself because she is still young and needs to pamper herself. Every time, she is always dragging Jasmine not knowing that the money is with her stepson. She is just after money.