Tiwa Savage’s 2-hour long tell-all interview with the journalist, Azuka Ogujiuba, following a series of emotional social media posts and an alleged suicide attempt by her husband Tunji Balogun, marked a historic moment for African pop culture, but it would seem the pop diva is now intent on re-writing the narrative that followed the presumed public dissolution of her marriage.
Speaking in an interview with Beat FM’s with Toolz Oniru, Tiwa Savage underlined the success of successful women like Oprah Winfrey and Mo Abudu with the immeasurable amount of work these women had to do.
Her premise starts off with a tinge of advocacy with Tiwa Savage noting that, “they probably had to do 20 times more what their male counterparts had to do”. Then she added this bit:
“But Once you get there, you don’t complain about how you got there. So, whatever it is you have to do as a female, you just have to get it done. I also don’t think men and women are equal, I don’t think that’s how God created us, especially in the household anyway. So I think as females when we realise that we can be strong in our career when we are home we have to realise that the man is the head of the house.”
Here is Tiwa Savage, a woman who fans rallied support for after she came under fire for largely causing the failure of her marriage. Her timely release of her side of the story at the time somewhat balanced tides, leaving a lot to debate but enough to show the public she was as much a victim of the internal problems of her marriage.
Now, Tiwa has not only internalised the patriarchal problems of the music industry even though it puts women at a disadvantage, it also seems the singer is now taking back some of the recourse that came with calling out some of her husbands own mistakes.
Tiwa Savage is not the first woman to perpetuate misogynistic narratives about other women. Last year, “Ferarri”, the lead single off Yemi Alade’s Mama Africa album was criticised for pushing a false materialism narrative about women. Yemi’s response, to the debacle, did nothing to alleviate her blunder nor correct the going narrative that women can be bought with material possession.
Then there was the mildly confusing manner with which celebrity photographer and musician, TY Bello narrate her experiences in dealing with her own abuse.
But interesting thing about Tiwa Savage and a lot of the women celebrity class – and indeed many others who aren’t celebrities – is that they forget that their own struggles is not the norm.
Their elevated position in society should be a platform to fight for the coming generation to have it easier. To see the same woman whom we all brandished a victim, survivor and inspiration, tout the narrative that women sometimes have to work twice as hard when men don’t AND THAT IT IS OKAY shows how disconnected the average celebrity is from the cutthroat realities that wealth and position insulate them from.
If Tiwa had bothered to check, Oprah Winfrey whom she mentioned has often spoken of how her professional journey as a minority (woman, or black) has impacted the way that she now leads and tries to inspire the younger generation. And it’s always inspiring not dooming.
Perhaps what we should stop doing is expecting celebrities to know shit about gender politics. We must stop expecting them to have practical tips for us on how to navigate the troubled paths we assume they took to their own successes because all they seem to do is let us down.