The Headies drama between music stars Olamide and Don Jazzy on the very first day of 2016 had to be the sign that we were going to be in for a rollercoaster year of drama, upsets, highs and lows. And as it was, the fastest year anyone has ever lived through did not disappoint. There were success stories that happened in the moment it takes to take a snapshot and downward spirals that were looking at the bottom of Lagos Third Mainland Bridge. Whether they were social media clapbacks that resonated all over the nation or outrageous utterances that we all wished we could un-hear, 2016 dished out plenty. And we all had front-row seats to everything!
Let’s take a look at this year in a snapshot.
THE HEADIES DRAMA THAT THREATENED THE DIVISION OF LAGOSYes. In January, another civil way almost broke out – not in Nigeria, oh no. This war loomed over Lagos State, threatening its division into Lagos Mainland and Lagos Island, after two heavyweight figures, Ojukwu and – sorry, Olamide and Don Jazzy got into a fight that spilled from the stage of Nigerian Music’s biggest night, the Headies, to the social media. Somebody didn’t win what somebody else thought he should’ve won, and as a result… Well, in Olamide’s words:
Fuck u! Don’t come to d mainland! Honestly… Fuck U!!!!!!!!! I am fucking mainland!
Well, I guess we know who would’ve been the Mainland president had Lagos Mainland succeeded in seceding from Lagos State.
THE LAW THE NIGERIAN POLICE LOVE TO BREAKIn January, the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, banned the rank and file of the Nigerian Police Force from illegally accessing the phones of Nigerians, an instruction that became necessary due to some policemen who would flout privacy rights of law-abiding citizens by stopping and searching their phones without recourse to legal processes.
But that was in January. By December, Nigerians still have tales of woe to tell about police brutality that resulted from the stopping and illegal searching of private properties such as phones and laptops. The police is your friend, just as long as you don’t stand firm for your rights against them.
DO NOT MESS WITH YORUBA DEMONSYoruba demons are either to be avoided or left alone to go about their innocuous business of breaking hearts. This was a lesson On-Air Personality Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi learned the hard way.
All the poor woman wanted to do was off the lights of the universe; she did not shade anyone in particular o! But you know Yoruba demons – they don’t take too kindly to women showing themselves anyhow. So following Beat FM OAP Gbemi’s tweets about busybody brothers who love to crash society weddings and other events, Hell produced the Olumofin brothers, Adejoro ‘Doktomofin’ and Dokun, to fight for its honour. These brothers clapped back at Gbemi on instagram in a series of posts that left us all doubting their class.
Here’s how the first coming happened. So, Wiz Khalifa was sending subliminal messages about Kanye West’s announcement about his album name turning from Swish to Wave; the See You Again rapper fired off a series of tweets, waving the flag for imprisoned rapper, Max B, and ending his tweets with a reference to KK.
So of course, Kanye took issue with the perceived slight at both his music and wife, Kim Kardashian, and proceeded on a lengthy twitter rant aimed at blistering Khalifa. He even reeled into his rant his ex and Khalifa’s ex-wife, Amber Rose, also including the son the two ex-couple had. In his tweets, Kanye said: You let a stripper trap you … You wouldn’t have a child if it wasn’t for me … You own waves???? I own your child!!!!
And this was when the clapback queen, Amber, joined the fray with a singular tweet that shut down ‘Ye: Awww @kanyewest are u mad I’m not around to play in ur asshole anymore? #FingersInTheBootyAssBitch☝
Anilingus has never been the same since that tweet.
FROM GRASS TO GRACEOlajumoke’s success story is one of those stories you think exist only in Disney movies. In February, celebrity photographer and singer TY Bello shot the ‘Disturbing Lagos’ editorial for ThisDay Style featuring British-Nigerian entertainer and style icon, Tinie Tempah. One of the photos features a young bread seller who the photographer said she met on the streets while they were shooting, and who ended up being the perfect addition to the shot.
There was no prince involved here. Just a photobomb, a Cinderella search for the bread seller’s identity, and then right before our jaded eyes happened the meteoric rise of Olajumoke. This story is so heartwarming, someone really should package the screenplay for Hollywood.
THE SQUARE ROOT OF POne of the greatest natural disasters rocked the nation this year – when one-half of PSquare, Peter Okoye, not only threatened to break out from the family fold, but actually went through with it. Peter took to his Twitter account, in an interactive session with his fans, to speak out on his discontentment with the way the family business was being run. This was in fact the hottest feud of 2016, with the topic of the relationship between the Okoye brothers hotly debated among fans, family members, friends and colleagues. I mean, a whole Aliko Dangote got involved. Even the former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, was alleged to have gotten into a tête-à-tête with the brothers.
This wasn’t the first time trouble brewed in the Okoye clan, but this was the most alarming, because the split actually went through, with Peter taking on a new identity, Mr. Pee, and both brothers releasing singles, Paul Call Heaven, and Peter Look into my Eyes.
But all’s troubled that ends well, considering the singing duo came back together in September with a new single, Bank Alert. Nothing like the possible loss of good cha-ching to knock some sense into family wahala, I suppose.
A VERY ANTI-FEMINIST SENATEThe Nigerian Senate, in March, voted against a gender and equal opportunities bill, which was aimed at bridging the gap between the rights of men and women in Nigeria. It also sought to end questionable and unpleasant stereotypical practices that drive discrimination based on gender. The bill amongst other things was designed to address women’s freedom of movement, female economic activity, girls’ access to education, equal rights for women in marriage, divorce, property/land ownership and inheritance, appropriate measures against gender discrimination in political and public life and prohibitions of violence to women.
Seeking to modify and ultimately end odious socio-cultural practices that have been long in existence, such as the antagonistic treatment of widows, the bill states that widows “shall not be subjected to inhuman, humiliating or degrading treatment” and “shall have the right to an equitable share in the inheritance of the property of her husband.”
The bill also hoped to ensure more participation of women in politics, and sought to prohibit domestic and sexual violence against women and instituting 18 as the minimum legal age for marriage, hence tackling the notorious prominence of child brides in Nigeria.
And our lawmakers said NO!
Don’t you just love this country?
THEY ARE NEVER GETTING BACK TOGETHER2016 was the clapback season. Forget the Yoruba demon evisceration of OAP Gbemi. The greatest social media war of the year was the one that broke out between Iraq and – sorry, Ikeji and Wizkid. Boy, when these celebrities go at each other, they really go hard! You know, like the hard-on that Wizkid alleged Linda Ikeji was fucked with by one producer in some odious hotel room. This was right after the blog queen intimated that the Ojuelegba singer had fallen into hard times in a report that said he was facing eviction from his Lekki home.
The clapbacks came fast and furious, the dragging was for all either one of them was worth, and wigs were heavily snatched, the zings firing all the way from LIB to Instagram, and keeping us avidly entertained in between hustles. By the time the Nigerian Police was dragged into the mess, you just knew these two are never going to be friends ever again.
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS, DRINK BEYONCÉ’S LEMONADEHBO aired two great shows on its network in April – Game of Thrones and the visual special of Beyoncé’s sixth studio album, Lemonade. And the Formation singer proved that she was a bigger queen than all the royals fighting for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms. After getting the Beyhive to get in formation in February, she got the world to pay attention to the hour-long viewing of the album film. And all year long, the dynamic singer has been proving with her performances that you can never get it wrong with lemonade.
THE ABLE SERVICE OF EDIBLE CATERINGThis is one of those rare oil spills – sorry, tea spills that results into more than one casualties. The first casualty was songstress Tiwa Savage and her husband Teebillz. We’ll never know what led to Teebillz’s meltdown on the social media, where he basically dragged his wife by the edges, snatched all her weaves and left her with a headscarf, but we amebos will forever be grateful that he didn’t have the wisdom to wash his dirty linen inside his laundry room. Teebillz proved that the fury of a scorned woman has nothing on that of a man whose been employing the services of Edible Catering, leaving his estranged wife, Tiwa, with the task of coming on Live TV to calm the furor that was bristling all over the internet, the outrage that claimed its second casualty. . .
THE CURIOUS CASE OF AZUKA OGUJUIBAThe Pulse TV interview between Azuka Ogujuiba and Tiwa Savage imparted a big lesson that journalism schools in Nigeria apparently haven’t been successful in teaching – Thou shalt not roll thy eyes at thy interviewee. Nigerians may have been split in their opinions of who was to blame for the failure of Tiwa and Teebillz’s marriage, but everyone was united in their disgust for the woman who attempted to help us listen to Tiwa’s side of the story. Azuka Ogujuiba was a mess that took forever to clean up. A mess that stank up the entire globe – if opinions weighing in all the way from Australia and the United States are anything to go by.
WHEN BREEZE BLOWS, NYASH OPENSIn a move that ranks as the greatest exposure of deceit of all time, Kim Kardashian proved that you don’t have to go to journalism school to expose corruption in the Nigerian government – sorry, in Hollywood.
Back in February, Taylor Swift, overcome with emotion, glided up the Staples Center steps to accept her second-time Grammy Award for Album of the Year. The newly-minted pop star came armed with a lengthy acceptance speech aimed at, in her eyes, her own personal Brutus: Kanye West.
“As the first woman to win Album of the Year at the Grammys twice, I wanna say to all the young women out there: There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success, or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame, but if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going, you’ll look around and you’ll know that it was you and the people who love you that put you there, and that will be the greatest feeling in the world,” proclaimed Swift.
She was, of course, addressing West’s then-recent song, Famous, off his album, The Life of Pablo, wherein the demonstrative artist references their infamous VMAs run-in, rapping, “For all my Southside niggas that know me best / I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous / God damn / I made that bitch famous.”
West claimed he’d run the lyrics by Swift beforehand. Swift denied. Kim counter-claimed. Swift denied again. Oh my God! The drama!
It all got to a head when Kim went on Snapchat to release the receipts, incurring a blitz on the social media that saw Taylor getting stripped of her saintliness. It was the most savage exposé in the history of Hollywood shenanigans.
In August, a YouTube video (which was posted over a year ago) surfaced and set digital tongues furiously wagging. It began as a simple sermon from Pastor Enoch Adeboye, advising young people on marriage. But one line sparked a social media fire.
“Don’t marry a woman who can’t cook,” Pastor Adeboye said to rapturous applause. “A girl who cannot cook will not be a good wife.”
At this, feminists everywhere went into an outrage and male chauvinism got a huge pat on the back.
Pastor Adeboye is a man who wields religious power, and we all know how powerful religion is in Nigeria. And so when he was seen uttering those words, it unleashed one of the greatest online debates about marriage ever in the country.
MR AND MRS SPLIT2016 brought about the end of an era. There are Hollywood couples and then there’s Brangelina. So of course, when Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, her partner of 10 years and husband of 2, there was an eruption of varying emotions in every corner of the world. Anistonians cheered and jeered and rejoiced and flooded twitter with memes celebrating Jennifer Aniston’s final victory in this undying battle of the world’s most renowned love triangle. And Jolieans wept and cussed and gnashed their teeth at another example of how marriage is taboo for happily-ever-afters.
THE GLAMAZON THAT NEEDS NO INTRODUCTIONJust like Cher, Madonna and Beyoncé, he goes simply by one name – Bobrisky. And up until September, he was just another Nigerian trying to make it in the 2016-gifted recession.
That is, until he sat to an interview with TW Magazine’s Adesuwa Onyenokwe, to the uncomfortable subject about sexuality, and said the words: “I am in support of the antigay law.”
In the furor that ensued, sensing a new plaything, the media quickly snapped the self-proclaimed Snapchat king up from the shelf and there followed more and more publicity that pushed his ministry forward. Turns out, the gays really are powerful enough to make you famous. Just ask President Goodluck Jonathan.
THE KITCHEN, THE LIVING ROOM AND THE OTHER ROOM2016 was the year of presidents who speak without thinking. Paving the way for the lot was President Muhammadu Buhari. In response to criticism from his wife, First Lady Aisha, concerning his inept government, the president, on a visit to Germany and while standing next to the Chancellor Angela Merkel, said to reporters: “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to my kitchen, and my living room and the other room.”
(sigh) If ever there was a moment for a national facepalm . . .
In other news, 2016 has also dropped a conundrum on us. It’s been reported that experts are yet to locate where the other room is in the home.
But perhaps, you will never know the roar of a feminist war as loud as the one that involved two international stars and foremost champions of women’s rights – Chimamanda Adichie and Beyoncé. We all woke up one blustery October morning to the interview where the Americanah writer basically branded her feminism as that for the cool girls while relegating Beyoncé’s to – well, those that like to talk about men.
The mere mention of these two women’s names is enough to cause tremors in different corners of the world. So when one of them expresses such a controversial opinion, you best believe it raised a holy war, between two major factions, the Adichie apologists and the Beyhivers. Even self-proclaimed non-fans of both women were pulled into the fray, with opinions, articles, blog updates and social media debates ripping across the globe.
BREAKUPS CAN BE COSTLY TOO, EVEN MORE THAN DIVORCESBeyoncé may have scolded men to step up and make honest women out of their ladies, but Mariah Carey is here to tell women what to do when he breaks your heart.
Demand a compensation fee. Simple as that!
The 46-year-old singer was not-so recently dumped by her Australian billionaire fiancé, James Packer, 48, allegedly because of her expensive habit, as well as a fall-out over her new reality TV show. And in retaliation, she demanded $50million for the time she spent with him … or else. Sources connected to the warring ex-couple said Mariah believes James has cost her tens of millions of dollars, and among other reasons, she claims this is because he got her to move from New York to L.A., uprooting her entire life, so he could be near his kids.
Whether James paid up is what we don’t know, but think about the possibilities if this were to become law. Break my heart and make my bank! Oh! The possibilities!
THAT TWEET THAT SHOULD’VE NEVER EXISTEDSam Adeyemi of Daystar Christian Center caused some controversy during the October 30 Sunday morning’s service as he preached that sin was the root cause of mental illness, there was a link between physical and spiritual well-being and that the foundational solution to mental health was ‘salvation’.
Even though the official Twitter handle posted more statements that sound mental health was part of salvation and that mentally sick people should seek medical help while working on their salvation, the damning tweet about sin being the root cause of mental illness sent the social media into an uproar, with some internet users criticizing the pastor for trying to ‘spiritualize’ and ‘demonize’ mental illness, saying he shouldn’t speak on psychiatry as he wasn’t a professional in that field, while his church members, of course, defended his statements. (Here’s one of my BEST RESPONSES to the good pastor’s miseducation (?) of the public on the issue of the strange bedfellows called mental illness and Christianity.)
THE WRATH OF GODNigerians got to understand something this year: that woe is your mouth if you ever open it to speak against Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church. Yes! Speak ill of the bishop and watch your mouth get stricken with an odour from the Lord Most High.
There was apparently a storm of criticisms over the astronomical school fees charged by Covenant University, and reacting to the national displeasure, Oyedepo warned that detractors should desist or suffer the wrath of God. Speaking in a telecast to a pre-Shiloh 2016 Convention gathering of the church monitored via satellite in Jos last month, the cleric said the critics were acting in ignorance. According to him, one of such critic was smitten with a strange plague of chronic mouth odour and he only received spiritual pardon and was restored following his confession and his (Oyedepo) intervention.
Don’t you just want to praise the Lord, my people?
Kanye West cut his show early on a November night. After just three songs, he went into a 17-minute rant, where he addressed radio programmers, MTV, called out Jay Z and Beyoncé, Hillary Clinton, Google, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and more.
At one point during his rant, he said, “I am putting my career, my life, my public real standing at risk when I talk to y’all like this. This is the moment in the Matrix, bro…[expletive] might feel a way about this tonight. Beyoncé, I was hurt, ‘cause I heard that you said you wouldn’t perform unless you won Video of the Year over me and over ‘Hotline Bling’. In my opinion, now don’t go trying to diss Beyoncé. She is great. Taylor Swift is great. We are all great people. We are all equal, but sometimes, we be playin’ the politics too much, and forgetting who we are, just to win. [Expletive] winning…looking cool… [expletive] all that…
“I’ve been sent here to give y’all my truth, even at the risk of my own life. Even at the risk of my own success, my own career. I’ve been sent here to give y’all the truth. Jay Z, call me, bro. You still ain’t called me. Jay Z, call me. Hey, bruh, Jay Z, I know you got killers, please don’t send them at my head. Just call me. Talk to me like a man.”
Well, the Carters didn’t need to send anyone after him. The Beyhive and fans of West alike went into overdrive, storming twitter with their displeasure of the rapper.
Thereupon, the rest of his shows got cancelled and he got admitted into the hospital on health issues.
ON BECOMING TOKE MAKINWAThis was another story of surviving, of rising above a trying time. Last year was a turbulent year for media personality, Toke Makinwa. Her marriage hit the rocks following the scandal of her then-husband’s infidelity. A social media storm like never seen before raged in the aftermath of the story breaking, with opinions unbelievably maligning Toke on the breaking of her marriage. It was admirable that she maintained a staunch silence and never once addressed the scandal or attempted to tell her side of the story . . .
That is, until last month, when she debuted her book, On Becoming, a shockingly naked narration of her journey through love and all the pain, all the hurt, and all the betrayal. The book itself became a source of controversy, what with its internet leak and the backlash of Nigerians on the readability of its content, while the book continued on its way to peak at bestseller status in Amazon.
THE DAMNING OF THE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE PROHIBITION LAWGay activist, Bisi Alimi, basically thumbed his nose at both Nigeria’s homophobia and the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Law last month when he wedded his longtime lover in the UK. The wedding was loud, eschewing to follow the usual quiet secrecy that other LGBT weddings involving Nigerian partners overseas take on. Alimi went on to shut down expectations of his wedding photos being made public … But not to worry, we’ve got exclusives. (*wink-wink*)
THE FORTY-FIFTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICAIn the most contentious and most talked-about electoral process this world has ever seen, Donald Trump emerged as the President-Elect of the United States of America, looking to be inaugurated next year January, 20 as America’s 45th president.
Don’t you just love 2016! Next Year sure has big shoes to fill. Let us know in the comments section if there are any other ways this year gave you life.