Davido, Baby Mamas and other stories
By Reuben Abati
'What a relief, my friend!'
'What are you relieved about?'
'It is this David Adeleke and Sophia Momodu soap opera'.
'I tell you. It is a perfect subject for a good home video. But what is your own?'
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'No. Nothing. I am just relieved that the parties involved have agreed to let peace reign'
'This will be about the third time I would hear of that matter being resolved.'
'Well, I think the Momodus and the Adelekes should just spare us. They should not forget there is a child involved. They have suddenly made Imade Adeleke, the most famous victim of Baby Mama-Baby Papa palaver in Nigeria. Both Davido and Sophia and their supporters' clubs should please protect the baby, and not make her a poster child for that kind of subject.'
'But me, I am enjoying the story oh.'
'Of course, too many sadists in our land enjoy other people's misery.'
'But really, it is a simple matter. '
'If it were that simple, the drama wouldn't be so entertaining. '
'What Davido wants, Davido gets. His father is rich. He is a famous musician. Davido says he wants custody of his daughter.'
'By taking her away from her mother by force, and giving her to his half-sister, and threatening to travel out of the country with the baby for medicals, without the mother's knowledge or consent? A seven-month old baby, abducted at two months?'
'He gave reasons for that. He is talking about the biological mother taking cannabis and risking his daughter's life'
'You seriously mean marijuana?'
'Yes, gbana as in Indian hemp. And Davido provided a medical report to confirm his claim.'
'You saw the medical report. You are sure it is genuine? Because I understand Sophia Momodu's lawyers have written the lab to produce the original report of proof of drug abuse.'
'This their matter sef.'
'That's why it is the child that is most important. I don't like the way they have turned the young girl into a trophy to be fought over in a blood sport. We are in the age of the internet. Twenty years from today, someone could print out these funny details from the internet memory bank. A father, grandfather and a half-sister fighting a mother and her family over a baby and making sordid claims: It is not a fight that can be easily won.'
'I hear Davido says the Momodus cannot force him. He may even release a special song to make his position clear: No be by force.'
'Nobody is forcing him and his family to marry Sophia Momodu. They are just saying custody should be mutually agreed upon.'
'And he and his family are saying they want their daughter properly brought up. They too have a point. You should not take sides.'
'Ok. He is talking about Marijuana. When he was head over heels in love with the Momodu girl, he didn't smell marijuana? I am sure if he was given Marijuana before he was allowed to inhale, he would willingly exhale?
'He insists he was just 21 years old. And that he was seduced by a full-grown woman who took advantage of his youth and innocence.'
'Innocence, indeed. Was he raped? Did he not have a relationship with her, and did he not showcase her everywhere? He was 21. If he could be tricked at 21, then he should live with the consequences. '
'You are taking sides. I know why. You are Dele Momodu's friend.'
'I am making uncommon sense. I am saying why is Davido asking for Sophia Momodu's birth certificate after the fact? When the thing dey sweet them, they no dey remember say na the thing wey fowl chop, him go shit.'
'But you can't force any man to marry a woman. Why the girl too go carry belle for him junior brother? She suppose know say Davido sef him na pikin. You no see as him papa they follow am, make dem no carry big yansh, big chest, fine face, cheat him son for Lagos'
'Him try well, well. But Davido, your boy, him no sabi use rubber?'
'That girl look like person wey go gree rubber?'
'You dey craze'
'My own is that fathers should just keep an eye on their sons and daughters. Let mothers also keep an eye on their daughters. To avoid stories that break the heart like this one, fine girls should just know that you can't detain any man with a baby. Er beg.'
'The values of the younger generation are different.'
'Some strict parents will still never have allowed this to happen.'
'Some of these children are beyond control.'
'But we all suffer for it. This is why Ghanaian ladies insist that Nigerian men are unreliable. They say they use and dump women.'
'They say they…?'
'That's what I hear.'
'They or we?'
'You mean you have tried the Ghanaian market too? Tell your brother something about ECOWAS romance?'
'You are an incurable gossip. Ashawo, somebody.'
'But talking seriously, it won't be fair to condemn Nigerian men. I think this is a thing about Nigerian musicians. Those people too like women. Young women, old women oh…any woman. Even the women musicians sef, any man wey stand well… fiam'
'That is more important to them than their art? No wonder many of them sing such trashy songs'
'There is even one of them who has seven children from five women or so. And there is one they call Whizkid'
'Whatever. But there is this kid musician who also has a child from an older woman. There is this joke that when his parents heard, they quickly took charge of the situation, by telling the Baby Mama that while they would accept the baby, everyone could see that the Baby father is himself still a baby, too young to take care of another baby, not to talk of a grown woman. They pleaded that no woman should pakurumo..ko…'
' Nice joke. I laughed. Him sef na pikin, he never grow finish to take care of pikin. The girl fled.'
'That's why I say it is a simple matter. Davido should have consulted his seniors in this matter. That one that has seven children from five women did it so well, today all his Baby Mamas married or single, are friends.'
'Wow. That's a real Baba of the matter. Who is he?'
'I can't mention his name. He is happily married now to one of the Baby Mamas. I don't want to be accused of disrespecting another man's wife.'
'Let Davido and Sophia just make peace for their daughter's sake. And when the matter is settled, Davido knows where to go for tutorials if he really wants to fish in this type of troubled waters.'
'But our musicians sha. They can fight?'
'Who again is fighting?'
'Olamide and Don Jazzy.'
'That face-off over awards at The Headies event? But they have apologized'
'No. You don't get the point. Why should artistes or producers or label owners fight over awards? What I have seen is that our young artistes are obsessed with awards. They seem to be more interested in being given a plaque than developing their real work. It is this same problem with Nollywood actors. Any small award is treated as if it is the Nobel Prize.'
'I see that too. It is the Grammy award disease.'
'No true artist should work with an eye on winning a plaque. The best award is the acceptance of the market place, not by a group of biased judges. If you are good as an artist, you are good, nobody can take that away from you.'
'Quite true. But it helps to have some plaques on the wall, I must say.'
'How many of those musicians who were called the best new acts on the block in the 80s and early 90s are still making any impact today? When a work of art is good, it will be evergreen; when an artist is good, his talent will endure.'
'Some of these new kids are great though. World-class talents. In the last few years, there has been an explosion of real talent.'
'I want to hear more about talent. Great art. Not drama kings and queens, not Baby Mamas and Lab Reports.'
'You are just old-fashioned. Controversy is part of art. Life itself is about controversy. Controversy produces great art. In the world of artists, all things work out as raw material.'
'That's why people insist artists are mad.'
'But it is not only artists that generate or attract controversy. Politicians do.'
'I know. Controversy is the soul of politics, but here it produces stress and oftentimes, tragedy.'
'I'll give you one example.'
'In Oyo State, Governor Abiola Ajimobi is trying to embarrass the Olubadan in Council by trying to determine how existing vacancies within the hierarchy are filled. He is introducing INEC guidelines to Ibadan Chieftaincy affairs!'
'How can he possibly do that?'
'He is asking for certificates of mental, physical and marital fitness before Ladoja and Balogun can fill the Otun Olubadan and Osi Olubadan vacancies.'
'When people ask for physical fitness, don't you know it is all encompassing?'
'All that is politics. I am sure it will be amicably resolved. Ajimobi is smart enough to know that you don't fight the traditional institution. Governors will come and go, the Olubadan is the owner of Ibadan'
'Don't tell me. Go and tell Ajimobi'
'Don't worry. He knows. He just dey make body. Body language, they call it.'
'But what is happening in Bayelsa is not body language oh. When the people of Southern Ijaw go to the polls tomorrow to determine who will be the next Governor of Bayelsa state, they won't be joking; the state will be at war.'
'May be not real war; let's say blood sport.'
'You are speaking grammar. I just hope the election won't be inconclusive again.'
'It is a combat for political supremacy.'
'Put it like this: the outcome may determine the future of Bayelsa state.'
'No. Put it like this: the outcome will determine the future of the PDP.'
'You are quibbling.'
'Dickson is core Ijaw. Timipre Sylva is Nembe.'
'I don't get it.'
'The mind of the core Ijaw voter will make the difference. We pray for peace.'
'I have an idea now. Yes. All things being equal.'
'That's politics for you.'
'But there are other forces.'
'That's why there is so much at stake, and a question of where the stakeholders stand.'
'I know. Stakeholders matter. They have just allowed MTN to buy Visafone.'
'Really? Is that a reward for the fine MTN is supposed to pay?'
'It is a business transaction, nothing about government.'
'Everything is about government. Has MTN paid its fine, before being allowed to take over a home-grown company?'
'We should study what happened. Why do Nigerians get licenses and approvals, run a business for a while and then sell to foreign interests? HiTV. Now Visafone. '
'One glaring failure of local content!'
'Look, let's discuss that after MTN must have paid the fine.'
'I hear they have sacked 2, 000 Nigerian workers at Visafone, already. They have taken over.'