At the height of the covid19 pandemic, it seems Nigerians had other ideas aside addressing the global issue.
Rape allegations started flying around from one celebrity to another and one of the industry heavyweight The Eja nla was not spared of this. What made his more prominent was however the way it was handled.
The drama started when D’banj put up a post on Instagram captioned;
“#NoMeansNo. We Need to Raise Our Sons right and Teach them to love and Respect Women. We Need Justice for Our GIRLS…Say NO to Rape, Racism, tribalism. Let us stop living in FEAR and HATE, and start living in LOVE…”
A Nigerian model scout, Benjamin Ese, had alleged that D’banj raped his friend on December 31, 2018, at a hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos. He alleged that D’banj offered his friend N200k at an event to sleep with him, but she refused. He claimed the singer went to the hotel where she’d lodged for the night, got a spare key from the receptionist, entered her room and raped her.
The lady identified as Seyitan Babatayo eventually revealed herself, sharing more details about what transpired the night the singer allegedly took advantage of her.
Fast forward and argument versus counter argument ensued till the lady eventually said she’s walking away from the case after it was said that she and her mother has been arrested by the police on the request by D’banj. This however sparked a public outrage which led to D’banj being hated by a large number of populace and admirers of the music icon.
The “Kokomaster” denied the accusations calling it “lies from the pit of hell”, demanding that his accuser tenders an apology and also pay N100m compensation or face legal actions.
Nigerian celebrities such as Tiwa Savage, Don Jazzy, M.I Abaga amongst others took to their social media pages to react to the unfolding situation further adding fuel to the already escalating drama. For a man barely scraping the top of the musical landscape as he used to in his days, this was definitely a trying time for the Koko Master. With so many enemies gathered, doubters accrued, and dwindling support, the man in the eye of the storm had a lot of image laundry and self assessment to do.
Aftermath of that, D’banj released “Ikebe” produced by Rexxie and recently Banga produced by TUC. For an accomplished artist of his caliber, his music will always get noticed but making heavy rotation is another thing.
Compared to his peers under the year in review, Bangalee can’t be said to have faired better than most of his colleagues. Can this be attributed to the cancel culture or he’s just not making the right music that will cut across the musical landscape that is mostly dominated by the new school kings of Naija music.
Is the perceived lack of interest by the mainstream music lovers as a result of his alleged misdeed? or he’s not making the kind of music that endeared him to the fans years ago. Is the magic touch of Don Jazzy on production missing? These are some questions begging for answers.
June 2021, D’banj again celebrated his birthday one which he shares with Actress Tonto Dikeh with outpouring goodwill messages from celebrities and fans alike. The Eja Nla must have felt loved and cherished but is this a true reflection of how people feel about him especially music lovers and fans?
A lot has happened under one year with D’banj losing endorsement, friends and fans who promised cancel culture must reign supreme but like any other thing in life, time is always the answer to all questions.
A year later, with different businesses being ventured into. Different NGO support, and of late a new way of life largely hinged on Christianity and a premium placed on family life and values, can it be said that D’banj has been forgiven?
- Kofoworola Kayode