Despite the current pandemic, there has been marches and protests on the streets of Nigeria. Women of all ages came out, wielding placards to protest the abhorrent rape culture in the nation. Women have found courage and strength in sharing their stories and revealing their abusers on social media. This has led to a chain reaction of more women coming out with assault accounts and calling out their rapists and abusers.
An alarming trend in the series of allegations is the number of accusations levied at men in the Nigerian music industry. This pattern raises concern on the role of the Nigerian music industry in the #MeToo movement raving through Nigeria and whether or not the time of reckoning has come.
The earliest accusation towards a notable Nigerian music personality, occurred when a Twitter user, @Biliquis_X, shared a series of stories of victims recounting how they were raped, including an accusation directed at Brymo. The victim in the alleged story said she visited the musician with a friend, only for the singer to sexually assault both of them.
This came directly from brymo’ victim and when UcheNelo called him out, y’all called her bitter pic.twitter.com/dLhi8M2Y7v
— Biliquis (@Biliquis_X) April 29, 2020
The Native wrote a pointed opinion piece on why this Brymo allegation should not be swept under the carpet. The article detailed that allowing casual attitudes towards assault allows for such violent patterns to continue. The article called for sexual predators to be held accountable, so abusers don’t think they can get away with it; specifically pointing at Brymo, asking people to boycott his music. Brymo refused to comment on the matter, and his manager, Gift Adene reported that Brymo’s lawyers had been briefed to take necessary actions.
Not long after, Nigerian music star, Tobechukwu Victor Okoh, popularly known as Peruzzi was also accused of rape.
The alleged victim, identified as Princess, took to her Twitter page @Jayamah22, accusing Peruzzi of raping her. She described the gory, graphic details of how he allegedly assaulted her in a tweet. In reaction, Peruzzi described the allegations as false. However, a series of tweets in Peruzzi’s backlog was revealed where the entertainer consistently glorified sexual abuse.
A lady has accused Peruzzi of raping her. pic.twitter.com/szkqri0pmm
— Instablog9ja (@instablog9ja) June 3, 2020
Shaken Peruzzi frantically begins deleting tweets he posted around the year the alleged rape happened pic.twitter.com/8Yb2TDQwOh
— Instablog9ja (@instablog9ja) June 3, 2020
The latest on this saga was the Twitter revelation on Tuesday that renowned talent manager, Mayowa Balogun who currently represents Lady Donli, had also violated his former partner by secretly recording her while they had sex without her consent. He released a statement admitting his role in this, while his victim released a statement as well accusing him of not informing her before making it public and for manipulating the narrative around the event.
These series of events have caused one to ponder and think about the corrosive sexual abuse stories that might be occurring in the music industry. What happens when men of power prey on innocent girls in the industry? Who holds them accountable if the justice system is not acting accordingly? Are they completely invisible, capable of doing whatever they want? Or is it finally time for them to “face the music if they are truly guilty”
The Native rightly pointed out, the actions we take could determine whether or not this accountability takes place. Choosing to boycott the music of abusers, supporting the victims, refusing to slut-shame them would go a long way to addressing abuse in the music industry. Other celebrities and entertainers also shaming abuse and abusers, spearheading campaigns and supporting victims would also tremendously help.
Lady Donli shared The Native’s Brymo article, Tiwa Savage pushed the #WeAreTired campaign and these are brilliant examples of ways celebrities can take active steps in helping to push the #MeToo movement in the music industry.
While we recognise that there is still a long way to go to completely eradicate abuse in the industry, it is important we recognise the role we play in the turn of events. Do not turn a blind eye when your favourite artists are called out as abusers.
Instead, demand accountability.
Toluwanimi Onakoya is a spirited writer, creative and videographer. Her biggest drive is to connect with people and depict tales using various forms of media.
Toluwanimi is available on Instagram and Twitter @nimi_onaks