by Deji Yesufu
Two things happened about now that inspired my writing this:
I just watched a 2 minute video of BurnaBoy. He was mocking Nigerians, saying that now that the finance office is burnt, all the records of theft by Nigerian leaders have also gone up in smoke. Then he added: if Nigerians use the same energy they used to report Funke Akindele’s partying… if they use the same energy to hold their leaders accountable, the country will be better than this. Then I saw a photo: Funke Akindele doing her 14 days community service.
I wanted to title this piece “In Defense of Funke Akindele”, but there is so much backlash that one can endure these days on social media that one has to be more circumspect in presenting one’s views, or else you will develop BP God didn’t give you.
The same people who called out to Jesus “Hossana” this week 2,000 years ago, crucified our Lord Jesus on Friday. Human beings have not changed through the ages. They praise you today and condemn you tomorrow. We are all like that. We celebrate Funke Akindele yesterday and crucified her today.
Don’t get me wrong: this is not a defense of her actions. Akindele was wrong. She ought not to have done what she did. But we should also examine other elements of the drama: her repentance, her pleading guilty before a court of law, not accepting the Badamosi/Marley short cut, and here’s she is doing community service. Common, we can cut the dear lady a slack and celebrate her. No one is beyond mistake; everyone can make errors of judgement.
I arrived Nigeria from Germany on the 15th of March. While on transit in Paris, I wrote an article that went nearly virile of my being rescued from the cold by kind Nigerian in Berlin. People thanked God for me and my angel. I noted in that article I was going into quarantine the minute I landed Nigeria.(https://www.nairaland.com/5737659/deji-yesufu-coronavirus-cancelled-flights)
That was by my own initiative and judgement, no one taught me to do that. And I did by my own volition. In fact as at the time I was quarantined, the Nigeria government had not labeled Germany high risk. I was at home for a full week, going nowhere. I was thoroughly bored. Sunday 22nd, a week after arriving, I drove to church. I took a picture of my being in church and pasted it online. My intention was not to flaunt my ignoring quarantine. My intention was to celebrate my church’s initiative on hygiene.
Then a few people raised the observation that shouldn’t I be in quarantine. I realized my mistake, I pulled down the thread and all the pictures of my visit to church. But hypocrites had gotten hold of the news and they began to publish it and ask stupid questions. They must pull down their own Funke Akindele. I blocked them so much; I’ve never blocked that many people in my social media life. If you don’t make mistakes, cast the first stone.
Here’s my point: our world is experiencing something we’ve never experienced before. We are in this together. People are calling for Trump’s head for not locking up the country early enough. Boris Johnson is in intensive care. No one has been on this path before and we can be patient with each other.
Funke Akindele made a mistake for which she can be forgiven. She’s not a Nigerian preacher. She is not defrauding anyone of tithes and offerings. She’s not proclaiming failed prophecies or teaching warped conspiracy theories (all of which I condemn on social media and will keep condemning). She is working hard to put Nigeria on the map of world entertainment. And some of us are doing related things.
Celebrate honest men. Forgive their poor judgement. And God bless us all and help us survive the pandemic.
I came out of quarantine without symptoms of COVID-19. I remain well and I trust God to remain fine. I want to thank one person who said to me later on: “Bros you were wrong in coming out of isolation but I’ll never come to social media to condemn you. You have been too much of a blessing”. God bless that gentleman and all those who have the good of all genuine men out there, at heart. Men like Funke Akindele should be celebrated even in their mistakes.
(First published on Facebook April 8th at 8:45pm)