This year (2019) was full of ups and down moments for several players in the Nigerian entertainment industry.
From controversial issues, to the paparazzi of winning several awards and international nominations/recognitions of Nigerian music and Nollywood movies, Nigerians were more than ever entertained and sometimes sober with all the good, bad and ugly news that happened in the showbiz industry during the year.
From COZA’s Fatoyinbo – Dakolo’s rape scandal and the ensuing protests that followed it, to the arrest of Afro-pop sensation, Naira Marley, by the EFCC and the disqualification of BBNaija ‘PepperDem’ housemate, Tacha, in the TV reality show, our reporter brings you top seven major events that rocked the industry in no particular order.
- EFCC arrests Naira Marley, as artist becomes trending music star after
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on May 10, 2019 confirmed the arrest of a budding Nigerian artiste, Afeez Fashola, popularly called Naira Marley and others over alleged advanced fee fraud.
Marley’s arrest, however, worked out in his favour as his music career blossomed thereafter and he became a trending celebrity with the hit songs he had released topping several music charts in most part of the second half of the year. Some of his popular tracks include Soapy, Opotoyi, Issa Goal, Mafo, Isheyen and very recently, Tesumole.
- Busola Dakolo Vs COZA’s Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo rape controversy
Busola Dakolo, multi-talented photographer and wife of Nigerian artiste, Timi Dakolo, had accused the Senior Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Biodun Fatoyinbo, of raping her multiple times when she was a teenager.
Busola revealed this in an interview with lawyer and Journalist, Chude Jideonwo, published by YNaija channel on June 28, 2019.
Dakolo had explained that as a member of the church, she was raped at two different times in a week by the pastor, adding that she lost her virginity to him before she turned 18.
Pastor Fatoyinbo, however, denied all the rape allegations levelled against him Timi Dakolo’s wife.
On November 14, however, an FCT High Court, sitting in Bwari, dismissed the rape case instituted by Mrs Busola Dakolo, against Pastor Fatoyinbo. The court in its judgement absolved Fatoyinbo from the alleged rape on the grounds that the case of the plaintiff is purely sentimental and empty. Justice Othman Musa while dismissing the rape suit awarded costs of N1,000,000 against Dakolo to be paid to the Pastor.
- Regina Daniels’ marriage to billionaire politician, Ned Nwoko
A 20-year-old actress, Regina Daniels, was reported to have allegedly gotten married to a famous billionaire businessman and politician, Ned Nwoko.
After months of denial and speculations, Regina finally confirmed the rumours of her marriage to the 59-years old billionaire which trended on social media for weeks. She now comfortably flaunts her spouse’s wealth on social media and attends public functions with him.
- Tacha disqualified, Mercy emerged winner of BBNaija 2019
The 2019 Big Brother Naija edition of the famous reality show tagged “PepperDem” had Nigerians glued to their TV screens while it lasted.
But the disqualification of 24-year-old Natacha Akide, a.k.a. Tacha or Symply Tacha on September 27 was one of the hot moments of the BBNaija Season 4 edition. She was sent out of Biggie’s house after she engaged in a physical brawl with Mercy Eke, a fellow housemate after several warnings (strikes) from the Big Brother himself.
However after 99 entertaining days, 26 years old Mercy Eke was announced winner of the BBNaija Season 4 edition by the show host, Ebuka Obi Uchendu, during the Grand Finale show, held on Sunday, October 6.
She became the first female to win the highly-coveted prize since the competition kicked off in Nigeria. Mercy went home with a N30m cash prize, a SUV from Innoson Motors, and a trip to Dubai for two, among other freebies.
- Arrival of celebrities’ babies
It is no longer news that some celebrities welcomed their babies in 2019.
For instance, Chioma Rowland delivered her first child for the multi-talented international superstar, David Adeleke, aka Davido as both welcomed their son together, David Ifeanyi Adeleke Jr. Omo Baba Olowo (O.B.O) also proposed to Chioma during the year.
Fondly called Koko master or ‘D’banj’, Dapo Oyebanjo and his wife, Lineo Kilgrow, welcomed another son, a year after the demise of their first son, Daniel III in 2018.
- Death of Showbiz celebrities
The showbiz industry in the country witnessed the demise of some of his talented players.
For example, Veteran singer, Chris Hanen, popularly known for his hit song, ‘Ozigizaga’, has died at age 60. The singer whose real name was Christian Aghanenu and popularly known in the 90s died after a brief illness on December 4.
Similarly, popular Yoruba actress, Funmilayo ‘Ijewuru’ Ogunsola, who was loved for her deaf-like display in movies died of a suspected heart attack on February 4, at her Ibadan residence, aged 58. Until her death, she was the fourth wife of the late veteran Yoruba actor, Ishola Ogunsola, a.k.a. I Show Pepper, who was one of the founding members of the National Association of Nigerian Theater Arts Practitioners (NANTAP).
Also, Benson Akindeju, the popular ‘Face2Face’ sitcom producer died of cancer in a London hospital on March, 4 at the age of 59.
One of the ‘Do Good’ actors, Duke Oliver, also reportedly died from a car crash on his way to Lagos from his mother’s burial on April 2.
Moreso, popular Kannywood actress, Binta Kofar Soro, who usually plays ‘motherly’ roles in Kannywood movies, also died on May 4.
One of veteran Nigerian music superstars of ‘Danfo Drivers’ fame, Oghenemaro Emeofa, popularly called Mad Melon, also died on September 26.
- Burna Boy’s Grammy nomination, Lionheart’s Oscar disqualification
The nomination of Nigeria’s Burna Boy in the Best World Music Album category for his ‘African Giant’ album in the 2020 Grammy awards also became the talk of the town and trended for several weeks on social media.
Burna Boy also won several top-notch awards during the year including BET’s Best International Act, MTV EMA’s Best African Act and 2019 AFRIMA duo of Album of the Year and Best Male Artist in West Africa awards.
Also, the nomination and later disqualification (by the award organisers) of Genevieve Nnaji’s movie – Lionheart, Nigeria’s first-ever Oscar submission for best international feature film – sparked a lot of criticisms, both online and offline.
According to the Oscar award committee, films in this category, formerly best foreign language film, must have “a predominantly non-English dialogue track”. However, the 95-minute film Lionheart is largely in English, with an 11-minute section in the Igbo language. Thus, Lionheart was disqualified over English dialogue.
Earlier, Lionheart had dominated conversations in the Nigerian showbiz industry following its acquisition by Netflix.