According to an African adage, “the man that got married just because his age mates are married may one day come to the stark reality that he is not married.” There is no denying the fact that this axiomatic expression aptly explains one of the reasons for the frequent matrimonial crises among Nigerian celebrities. The reality on ground reveals that most celebrities went into the institution of marriage either because they realized that they have come of age or because they felt they need to meet the expectations of their fans. By entering into matrimonial contracts without truly having the understanding of the philosophy behind the institution of marriage have made most of them to appear as if they are suffering from gamophobia, misogamy or they were not prepared to bear the inescapable social and economic responsibilities that marriages are characterized with.
For the sake of clarity on the aforementioned psychological jargon, Gamophobia, it is exigent to state in this context that it is the fear of getting married or being in a relationship while misogamy is the fear of marriage.
With the number of divorces, separations and matrimonial crises that have so far been recorded against some Nigerian celebrities, it is very obvious that they are afraid of being in marital relationships. For instance, it is no more news that the ugly idiosyncrasy among most celebrities that held or still hold sway across the naija music, Nollywood, and the comedy sectors of the entertainment industry is that of walking away from a matrimonial home once a minor and manageable misunderstanding erupts.
Laughably enough, the frequent matrimonial crises among celebrities that are almost on each passing day reported on both the social and traditional media platforms, and which have been shredding the fabric of matrimony in both in the entertainment industry and unexpectedly the Christendom may not have an end in sight as an African proverb says a problem may have no solution when the witchdoctor has more challenges than his client.
No doubt, the pastor that has a matrimonial challenge is bereft of a helping hand to any of his member that is facing the same problem. The reason for the foregoing line of thinking cannot be farfetched as some popular pastors who can equally be likened to celebrities and are spiritually imbued to enlightened the sheep are themselves embroiled in the labyrinth of shame called divorce. Simply put, the pastors that would have come to the rescue of entertainers have surprisingly become victims of divorce and separation.
As it is at the moment, there is no one that can counsel celebrities in the entertainment industry that marriage is “For better and for worse” and not “For better and for better” as they erroneously think. To my view, celebrities have had enough separations, divorces and marriage squabbles that the time to tell them that enough is enough has come.
The fact remains that just about every one of us has someone among the celebrities who we identify with, idolize and respect. But the question is what should we look for in a role model that does not see anything wrong in committing the ignoble act of divorce? And more importantly, what messages are celebrities that are divorced or about to divorce passing to the large population of youths and teenagers that constitutes their fans?
Several reasons on why the issue of divorce among celebrities should not be treated as fad abound. First among them is that divorce cost money as the payment of alimony is usually involved if the divorce followed a due legal process.
Also, divorce engenders psychological injuries that is capable of marring the wellbeing of any of the couple or both. As if the psychological implication is not enough, divorce reduces the living standard of the dependant partner that is considered to be parasitic in this context. Divorce, to a large extent, bring strained relationships with relations and family friends that were not in support of the matrimonial imbroglio.
Worse still, divorce brings about strained relationship with the church and deny the divorced the right to participate in some crucial church activities.
The expression of this view is no doubt timely, and there is no other time it could have been considered to be auspicious than now when the pace at which celebrities in Nigeria are thoughtlessly and carelessly walking down to the aisle and in no time walking out from their matrimonial homes as if marriage is a child’s play or a script meant for rehearsal for a Nollywood film. Marriage, no doubt, is the oldest human institution ordained by God. It is absolutely natural for any bachelor or spinster to get married whenever it is auspicious to do so. In the book of Genesis, God established marriage as a permanent union between a man and a woman. It is not a union that is meant to be consummated for the fun of it. For couples to be successful in marriage, they should be seeing it from the perspectives of Robert Quillen that says that “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers” and that of Dave Meurer that says that “A great marriage is not when ‘perfect couple’ come together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.
However, in the recent times it has become obvious that many of our celebrities are ridiculously treating the issue of marriage exactly the same way they treated the issue of relationships in their boy-friend-and-girl-friend days. Against the background of the ugly trend, one may be tempted to conclude that most celebrities are suffering from misogamy which is simply defined as the hatred for marriage.
There is a growing belief that some of the fans of celebrities that had failed marriages may not drink from the “fountain of matrimony” as they are wont to be discouraged by the ignoble acts of the celebrities they considered as idols.
Observers say that celebrities usually give surprisingly simple reasons for their somewhat unreasonable break up in their marriages. Reasons given, in most cases, cut across that of the wife accusing the husband of depending on her while the husbands that were caught in the labyrinth of failed marriages saw their wives’ frequent and hazy business engagements as good reason of walking out from the marriage.
The history of marriage, particularly as it concerns Africans, is as old as the history of man himself. This fact goes to reveal that in African tradition, marriage cannot be ignored with lame-duck excuses. Any typical African adult male who is not married, say at the age of 40, is seen as a “sick man” or not being responsible. When a man is not married at 40, he may be bombarded by mockers with insincere greetings , such as, “how’s madam”? “How are the children?” or “How’s the family?” All these manner of greetings are apparently indirect ways of telling the bachelor that it is about time he got married.
Given the importance attached to marriage in Africa, one may ask: why are Nigerians celebrities always reported in the media to be involved in the desecration of the altar of marriage? One may not be totally wrong to say “nothing”. But the truth remains that most marriages contracted by celebrities are built on the foundation of falsehood and razzmatazz that when they begin to experience matrimonial stress they hardly stand the test of time.
The relevance of this article may not be appreciated except one agrees with the view that the involvement of celebrities, particularly those in the Christendom, is misleading most of their fans and admirers who continue to see them as their role models or idols even when they are not seen exhibiting enviable lifestyles. To me, celebrities should always show good example in whatever they do as millions of people are looking up to them.
Prominent names of celebrities that have passed through divorces or separations among many other names that would not be mentioned in this context are majorly in the Nollywood sector of the entertainment industry and most of the matrimonial squabbles were caused by battering and infidelity. The names of celebrities that were reported in the media, particularly on the social media are Chika Ike and Tony Eberiri, Funke Akindele and Kenny Oloyede, Ini Edo and Philip Ehiagwina, Toyin Aimakhu and Adeniyi Johnson while the most latest names on the list are that of
Tiwa Savage and Tunji Tee-Billz Balogun.
Suffice it to say that this piece is not a calculated attempted to ridicule any celebrity. Rather they should always apply moral restraints in whatever they do as marriage is indispensable. Finally Nigerian celebrities should always remember the words of Mignon McLaughlin that says, “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”
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