These are some of the most remarkable moments in the Nigerian entertainment industry in 2020 as compiled by The PUNCH.
2020 has undoubtedly been an eventful year in the Nigerian entertainment industry. Saturday Beats takes a look at the major highlights of the past 12 months.
Burna Boy and Jopearl
Singer, Burna Boy, was called out by a lady (Jopearl), who claimed that she was in a relationship with the singer at about the same time the self-acclaimed ‘African Giant’ and a British rapper, Stefflon Don, started dating. Jopearl alleged that her relationship with Burna Boy lasted for about two years, adding that she decided to break her silence as her resolve to keep it a secret had continued to upset her. Burna Boy, however, kept mum on the issue.
Funke Akindele, JJC flouted COVID-19 guidelines
In April, during the lockdown declared to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, actress, Funke Akindele, and her husband, JJC Skillz, were arrested by the Lagos State Police Command for hosting a house party that had more than 20 people in attendance without maintaining social distancing. Though she apologized profusely through her Twitter account, the movie star was docked for violating restriction orders in the state. However in October, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, granted a state pardon to the couple.
Naira Marley continued romance with the law
‘Mafo’ singer, Naira Marley, was convicted and fined the sum of N200,000 for flouting COVID-19 safety guidelines.
The ‘Soapy’ artiste was charged with four counts of violating the interstate travel ban, not using a facemask, breaking the social distancing order, and attending a concert, thereby breaching the COVID-19 restriction directive on physical gatherings.
The ‘Marlian’ had, on June 13, left Lagos for Abuja to perform at a concert at the Jabi Lake Mall, despite an interstate travel ban then.
Prior to that, in April, Marley, was arrested for ignoring the ban on social gatherings when he attended a house party hosted by Funke Akindele and her husband, JJC Skillz.
Meanwhile, earlier in the year, a case of car theft and other allegations against the singer was dismissed. Marley, alongside his brother and some associates, had been arraigned in December 2019 on a four count charge bordering on conspiracy, stealing, assault and obstructing arrest.
Iyabo Ojo versus Faithia Balogun
In February, actress, Iyabo Ojo, shared a post on her Instagram page, which many interpreted to be a criticism of her colleague and former close friend, Faithia Williams (Balogun).
According to Ojo’s post, a person that was close to her had always been envious of younger actors in the industry. She also alleged that she (Ojo) helped to plan the birthday party of the person in question two years ago in Turkey, even though the latter went on to snitch on her. Ojo, who lost her mother later in the year, shared the controversial post on Faithia’s birthday.
D’banj’s rape saga
A lady, Seyitan Babatayo, jolted many when she claimed that popular singer, D’banj, had raped her at a hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos, in 2018.
The ‘Scape goat’ singer however denied the lady’s allegations and described them as ‘lies from the pit of hell’. He also said the claims were a ‘slap to my marriage and beautiful wife, my entire family and those who believe in me’. The singer went ahead to demand an apology from his accuser and the sum of N100m as ‘compensation’.
After a series of accusations and counter accusations, the Nigeria Police Force cleared D’banj of the rape allegations.
Peruzzi and Daffy Blanco
A United Kingdom-based singer, Daffy Blanco, accused Davido Music Worldwide artiste, Peruzzi, of allegedly trying to rape her after she engaged him to write songs for her and had made an upfront payment of N10m.
Blanco said she hired Peruzzi to write songs for her after the Chief Executive Officer of a bank spoke highly of him. Describing their meeting as a nightmare, Daffy Blanco said she sustained a scar on her thigh as a result of the alleged near-rape incident.
On his part, Peruzzi denied the rape allegations against him. This was even as another alleged victim, simply identified as Princess, took to a newly created Twitter page, to call out the music star for sexually assaulting her eight years ago.
Following the heated criticisms, Peruzzi wrote on Twitter, “My name is Okoh Tobechukwu. I have never (been) and will never be a rapist.”
DMW sacked Lil Frosh
Davido Music Worldwide, a record label owned by pop star, Davido, in October, terminated its contract with a budding artiste, Lil Frosh, after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend, Gift Camille.
Camille’s manager and brother, Mayoks Michael, had accused Lil Frosh of domestic violence against his sister.
Reacting to the issue, Davido said his company strongly condemned domestic violence.
Wizkid slammed Reekado Banks
Top singer, Wizkid, lambasted his colleague, Reekado Banks, for planning the release of their collaborative single amid the #EndSARS protests against police brutality in Nigeria.
Reekado Banks had announced the release date of the single he recorded with Wizkid in a tweet. Banks had written, “Out of control ‘gbedu’ must drop. This one with my brother @wizkidayo. ‘Omo Olomo’ midnight dropping. Still on the matter! #EndSARS #EndSARS #EndPoliceBrutality”.
Describing Reekado Banks as a ‘fool’ and ‘clout animal’, Wizkid said he didn’t believe Banks would deign to put out a song at such time.
“Delete this, dude. Can’t believe you’re doing this at a time like this. Old song. #EndSARS fool,” Wizkid wrote, though he later deleted the tweet.
Lilian Afegbai bashed online, deleted Instagram account
An actress and former Big Brother Africa contestant, Lilian Afegbai, was apparently not ready for the social media onslaught that was unleashed against her in the thick of the #EndSARS protests.
Though Lilian had earlier joined protesters to condemn police brutality in the country, some Nigerians called her out, stating how her mother who is a police officer, Carol Afegbai, allegedly killed Ibrahim Momodu, a student of the University of Benin in Edo State, some years ago when she was a Divisional Police Officer.
The bashing got so much for the actress that she deactivated her Instagram account shortly after an old video of her mother recounting the killing of Momodu, in 2013, surfaced online.
Laycon won BBN
On September 27, 2020, a rising rapper, Olamilekan ‘Laycon’ Agbeleshe, made history when he won the Big Brother Naija (Lockdown Edition), with the highest number of votes cast in the history of the competition.
After 70 days in the Big Brother house, Laycon, who had been a fan favourite from the beginning of the show, beat other finalists? Nengi, Vee, Neo and Dorathy? to the ultimate prize. Laycon was also the first BBN housemate to have 1.2 million Instagram followers while still in the reality show.
While in the house, the love triangle between Laycon, Erica and Kiddwaya was also a talking point for many viewers and was, in fact, one of the highlights of the show. The triangle climaxed with the disqualification of Erica from the show after she threatened Laycon for saying she tried to kiss him.
Nengi and Ozo’s ‘situationship’
Another highlight of BBNaija was the relationship between two contestants? Ozo and Nengi? which some fans described as a ‘situationship’.
Throughout his stay on the show, Ozo could not hide his admiration for Nengi to the point that he sometimes drooled over her. However, it seemed the feeling was not mutual in its intensity. Though Ozo constantly professed his love for Nengi, she stated that she was not ready for any relationship until after the competition.
On the day Ozo was evicted, he probably thought Nengi would have ‘sympathy’ on him and he attempted to kiss her but she artfully dodged his lips. Her action generated diverse reactions on social media.
Blakface condemned Wizkid
Blackface, a member of the defunct Plantashun Boiz is not a stranger to controversy. He has often been in the news for not so good reasons, and the trend continued this year.
Blackface slammed Wizkid over his criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari. This was after the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) sent a ‘get well soon’ message to the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, who had earlier tested positive for COVID-19 with his wife, Melania.
Wizkid had written, “Donald Trump is not your business! Old man! Police/Sarz still killing Nigerian youths daily! Do something! Face your country.”
In his reaction, Blackface berated Wizkid for delving into politics when he should be busy with his music career. “Why don’t you face your music, small man? I understand why that is difficult, because it doesn’t have any substance #ChildrenOfNowAdays,” he wrote on Twitter.
Blackface also accused Wizkid of allegedly copying one of his songs.
Tiwa Savage ‘hit’ journalist hard
Singer, Tiwa Savage, was not pleased with the opinion piece written by a journalist, Motolani Alake, about her music career, and she did not hold anything back in registering her displeasure.
Alake had written a review of her album, ‘Celia’, and described her brand as ‘struggling’. An angry Savage later took to her Twitter account to verbally assault the journalist. She wrote, “Because I’m quiet does not mean I am a fool. Don’t try to turn the Nigerian media against me to hide your guilty conscience. Ask all the media houses; I have great relationships with them. What you did with this is pure evil.”
Not done, the ‘Ole’ singer also alleged that when Alake interviewed her in her house for the first time, he asked for a picture. She added, “Guy, you came to my house to do an interview, then you asked for pictures. You are a fan.”
DJ Switch live streamed Lekki shootings
Many Nigerians would not forget in a hurry the night of October 20, 2020, when security operatives opened fire on unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll plaza in Lagos.
On that night, DJ Switch became a heroine by recording a live video which transmitted what happened to the world in real time. Though the military initially denied shooting live ammunition at protesters, footage from DJ Switch’s Instagram proved otherwise. The Federal Government also debunked the disc jockey’s claims that about 15 lives were lost on that night.
DJ Switch eventually made her way out of Nigeria amid allegations that her life was being threatened. She later appeared before the Sub-committee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development of the Canadian parliament. The entertainer claimed that she had been on the move since the ugly incident as there had been threats to her life.
Rahama Sadau’s backless gown
Northern actress, Rahama Sadau, sparked controversy on social media when she shared pictures of herself wearing a backless gown which exposed her skin from the neck to the upper section of her waist.
Her choice of clothing, however, did not go down well with a number of her conservative Muslim fans, some of whom quickly condemned her as having committed ‘haram’? a forbidden act in Islam. Though Sadau later apologised, the Motion Picture Practitioners Association of Nigeria suspended her over the controversial pictures.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, also ‘directed’ the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Umar Muri, to investigate the controversy Sadau’s post generated
P-Square’s family feud
It was supposed to be a season of merriment for them but Paul Okoye, one half of the defunct group, P-Square, took a swipe at his brother, Peter’s wife, Lola Omotayo, over her birthday greeting to them.
Lola took to social media to celebrate the duo while persuading them to end their rift, adding that life was too short.
Reacting to the birthday message, Paul, who is better known as Rudeboy, accused Lola of pretending to be a ‘good woman’ while she ‘manipulates’ things behind the scenes.
Not done, Paul also tackled Davido, who had lambasted those who attended the separate birthday parties thrown by the twin brothers.
9ice caught cheating
Popular singer, 9ice, ate the humble pie when he called on Nigerians to help beg his wife, Olasunkami, after a video of him caressing another woman surfaced online.
Though he had initially appeared unperturbed, the ‘Gongo Aso’ singer later made a u-turn and recorded a video, appealing to fans to help plead for his wife’s forgiveness. In an Instagram post titled, ‘Save a sinking vessel’, 9ice admitted that he had done ‘something shameful and terrible’ but he did not want his marriage to fall.
Temmie Ovwasa called out Olamide
Temmie Ovwasa, better known as YBNL Princess, took many by surprise when she called out popular rapper and her former record label boss, Olamide.
In a Twitter rant, Ovwasa criticised the YBNL boss for the way he handled her career while she was with his label. She alleged that she recorded three albums and multiple singles with YBNL but they did not see the light of the day because Olamide ‘rejected them for no reason’.
She wrote, “@olamide, I did not beg you or reach out to you for a record deal. I was minding my business when you reached out to me. Five years, four singles and four videos. Is that how you got to where you are? Oga, I would use you write a bestseller (sic) since we are all crazy…”
The singer later took to Twitter to announce that she had a meeting with Olamide and all the issues had been resolved.
Meanwhile, Ovwasa had also stated that she has bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and multiple personality disorder.
Davido was the best man at his driver’s wedding
Many didn’t believe Davido when he announced that he would be the best man at his driver’s wedding. He however made good his promise and shared pictures of himself and other guests at the event. The ‘Jowo’ crooner accompanied one of the photos with a brief post, wishing the newly-married couple a happy home.
Omah Lay, Tems arrested in Uganda
Undoubtedly two of the fastest-rising Nigerian singers, Omah Lay and Tems, had a good 2020 but it was almost sullied by a bitter experience they had in Uganda, where they had gone to perform at a concert. The both of them were remanded in the custody of the Uganda Police Force after they were charged to court for flouting the protocols put in place by that country’s government to control the spread of COVID-19.
Their detention sparked outrage with many Nigerians condemning their treatment in Uganda. The singers subsequently regained their freedom.