Anyone who has been closely following Nollywood actress Tonto Dikeh since 2017 would know that her life has been fraught with the kind of tabloid-worthy problems plugged into larger cultural conversations. From being a victim of domestic violence in her marriage to ex-husband Olakunle Churchill to being reported to have been a perpetrator, we have been reeled into this seemingly unending saga for long months.
As is often the case where women venture into tell-all interviews to narrate accounts of abuse and violence, or as a form of catharsis, women capitalize on toxic marital relationships by way of publishing books (Toke Makinwa with On Becoming), Tonto Dikeh’s upcoming reality show King Tonto seemed like a vehicle for subverting the structure that minimizes a woman’s agency and power. In a recent development on King Tonto, which has been slated to air this year on web platform Linda Ikeji TV, Dikeh’s ex-husband Churchill has filed a lawsuit to stop the airing of the show.
King Tonto heavily features Tonto’s soon-to-be 2-year-old son with Olakunle Churchill King Andre, for whom Churchill seeks to protect from financial gain with the lawsuit. On the grounds of the show’s adult content and King Andre’s youth and innocence, the Child Right Law of Lagos State will be a legal reference point in subsequent developments of the lawsuit. With this, public opinions may sway in favour of Churchill because of the bad optics of a child involved. Nevertheless, it still comes down to how much adult content will be shown in the scenes that will involve King Andre. This will be another battle for the beleaguered Dikeh, and we can’t wait to see how it will all unfold.