Connect with us

News

Tope Alabi And Gbajabiamila’s House Of Error

Published

on

 

 

Tunde Odesola

Advertisement

Fast and furious, the song and drums roar like a crash of thunder in raining season and she dances wildly like fire. Like a devil resisting deliverance, she jumps and gyrates with the skill of a striptease dancer. She dons a white Versace wear. She’s a famous gospel music evangelist. She chews widely on a piece of gum as her mouth sings His praise but her feet shuffles excitedly to that worldly dance step, zanku, mixed with a sprinkle of shakushaku, twisting and turning. She’s a disgrace to Christendom. She’s evil; nail her to the cross, they chorus.

 

I wasn’t a Tope Alabi fan. Not until I listened to her monster hit, ‘Mo ri ‘yanu’, a couple of years ago. That song changed my perception of her as a colourless gospel artist assaulting the ear with monotonous dogma, devoid of talent, artistry and grace. I think ‘Mo ri ‘yanu’ is to Tope Alabi what ‘Ketekete’ – (The Man, the horse and the son) is to Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey. It’s what ‘Eri okan’ (Conscience) is to King Sunny Ade. While ‘Ketekete’ cements the legendary of Obey as a foremost philosopher, ‘Eri okan’ affirms the genius of KSA as an unsurpassable, multi-talented artist of his generation. The brilliance that produced ‘Mo ri ‘yanu’ belongs in the evergreen realm.

 

Advertisement

Until I listened to ‘Mo ri ‘yanu’, I had been put off by Tope’s alleged sex scandal with her late pastor, Prophet Elijah Ajanaku. The suspicion in which I hold self-professed men and women of God and the monologue that dominate her works had also caused me to see her songs as predictable and commonplace. In ‘Mo ri ‘yanu’, Tope acknowledges the humbling birth of Lord Jesus and His predestined supremacy. She also preaches about the Holy Trinity and the ultimate ability of God, the Father, to do all things.
But with the zanku plus shakushaku dance steps she skillfully exhibited in a music video that went viral last week, not a few busybodies feel she should be tossed into a lake of fire.

 

The hoopla that trailed the video is rooted in Nigerians’ monstrous penchant to idolize religious and political leaders and sit them on the same throne with God. But Tope is just a two-legged mortal with a head, two eyes and a beautiful body susceptible to arousal when lovingly caressed by her husband, Soji Alabi. Though a celebrity, Tope is vulnerable to the vicissitudes of life like any other mortal – a reason why when death came knocking on the door of her father’s soul, neither her powerful voice nor her depthless compositions could turn death back.

 

Advertisement

For those who frowned on Tope Alabi’s zanku dance, here are a few sore points that they feel fall against the grain: Why should Tope Alabi, a 49-year-old married woman and mother, deftly ‘gbe bodi’ and dance like an uncircumcised teenager to Christian songs during the burial of her father? Why should a gospel singer, Christian leader and an entertainer dance so raunchily in public?

 

I won’t go to Israel to recall the curse placed on Michal for criticising King David, her husband, who danced in an ‘undignified manner’ before the Lord when the Ark of the Covenant was taken to Jerusalem during a religious procession. I shall limit my opinion to the realities of our Nigerian sensibilities. I watched the video over and over, and I came to the realization that folks averse to Tope’s controversial dance did so because they couldn’t come to terms with the personalities of the hitherto dove-like Tope and the new eagle-like Tope. The sharp contrast between the two Tope Alabis, I think, was a major reason for the condemnation. If Tope had been known in the past to dance with reckless abandon, there would’ve been no room for the criticism. Having buried my mother at the unripe age of 63, I know there’s a sense of gratitude felt by children who have the privilege of burying their parents. I think that the sense of gratitude, joy and fulfilment felt by Tope birthed that dance.

 

Advertisement

It should be pointed out that Tope wasn’t dancing to salacious Naira Marley’s ‘Tesu mole’, she was dancing to a live Christian worship song performed by up-and-coming younger artists, who had come to support a big sister burying her father. To show solidarity with the younger musicians, I don’t see anything wrong with Tope doing the youthful zanku or shakushaku dance steps. Tope, who’s almost 50, should even be commended for having the stamina to compete with the youth in their own dance. Also, I see a dose of chauvinism in the criticism because I strongly feel that if the artist was a male, no eyebrow would have been raised. I’ve seen a number of popular male gospel artists do zanku and shakushaku dance steps in their music videos and no one has cast the first stone at them.

 

For being true to herself by openly showing her unrestrained dancing skills, Alabi shouldn’t be condemned. Her dance is in total contrast to the hypocrisy of the Nigerian political leadership typified, in this instance, by the House of Representatives which just ordered from overseas 400 brand-new Toyota SUVs for its members. It’s shocking that the House of Representatives could shun indigenous auto assembly plant, Innoson Motors, and ferry boatloads of foreign exchange to Japan to buy 2020 edition of Toyota SUVs when the Federal Government failed to transport Nigerian amateur boxers to Senegal for Olympic Games qualification trials – on account of paucity of funds. The callous Federal Government had shamefully turned down the request by some of the boxers, who had been in camp for several weeks without camping allowance, to sponsor themselves for the qualifying event. The boxers had been raining blows on one another in the hope of earning Olympic tickets in the different weight categories only for the Sunday Dare-led sports ministry to murder their hopes in cold blood. Giving the most absurd of excuses, the sports ministry said boxers would be sponsored to compete for Olympic tickets at the world boxing qualifiers in France. Nigerian leaders are surely walking with their heads upside down. Transportation to France will cost much more dollars. Qualifying from France will be like putting the came through the eye of the needle. Why go to France when you can get qualification tickets in Senegal? Are some people waiting to exploit the country for estacodes?

 

Advertisement

If the Major-General Muhammadu Buhari regime calls on Nigerians to fasten their belts tight, officials of government should also be seen as doing so. It’s wrong for misdirected customs officials to break into poor folks’ family kitchens in search of imported rice, turkey and toothpicks while President Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbanjo, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, and House of Reps Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, their families and cohorts living on taxpayers money, eat foreign food, ride exotic foreign vehicles and treat the masses with indignity.

 

Even if it’s to score a cheap political point, it never occurred to the Gbajabiamila-led House to take up the sponsorship of just three of the boxers to Senegal by buying 399 SUVs instead of 400. These lawmakers have the latest state-of-the-art vehicles costlier than the incoming acquisitions. The Major-General Buhari-led executive appears not to have time for any other thing at the moment; it’s busy with ensuring ‘repentant’ Boko Haram members are treated with dignity, honour and love befitting of royalty. This is the change promised.

 

Advertisement

NB: Congratulations to the World Boxing Council new heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, the Gypsy King, whose victory I predicted. Fury’s victory is down to belief, passion and courage – virtues lacking in the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government headed by Major-General Buhari, a Fulani herdsman.

Tunde Odesola is a seasoned journalist and a columnist with the Punch newspapers

 

Email: tundeodes2003@yahoo.com

Advertisement

Advertisement
Comments

News

Police Officer Caught Collecting Bribe On Camera Demoted

Published

on

The Imo State Police Command says its officer, identified as Inspector Isong Osudueh, who was caught on camera collecting bribes from motorists along the Owerri-Onitsha express road, has been demoted.

This was disclosed in a statement by the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Henry Okoye, shared on X on Monday.

The video which went viral on Monday, showed the officer collecting money from drivers plying the road. He could also be seen handing them change whenever the need arises.

Advertisement

According to the statement, Osudueh, who was attached to the Counter Terrorism Unit, Owerri, has been reduced in rank after facing disciplinary action. At the same time, the supervising officer has been issued an official query for lack of supervision.

READ ALSO: NSCDC Busts Major Bunkering Operation In Rivers, Arrests Three

The statement said, “The Imo State Police Command is issuing this statement in response to a viral video making the rounds on social media where a Police officer was seen extorting money from motorists along Owerri-Onitsha express road.

“The erring officer, identified as Inspector Isong Osudueh, attached to the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Owerri, has been recommended for a reduction in rank after the necessary orderly room proceedings, for exhibiting such a shameful and unprofessional act, while the supervisory officer has been issued an official query for lack of supervision.”

Advertisement

The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, had earlier condemned the officer’s actions as “bad and shameful” and confirmed his arrest and disciplinary action.

Continue Reading

News

‘This Is Bad And Shameful,’ Force PRO Condemns Viral Extortion Video

Published

on

The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, has reacted to a viral video of a police officer caught on camera accepting bribe from commercial bus drivers.

He described the officer’s action as bad and shameful adding that the officer has been arrested and subjected to disciplinary actions.

An X user, SKYPOND who tweets anonymously as Skypond_, shared the video with the caption, “This is why those gunmen waste them easily, they are never cautious of their environment. They throw every single caution into the wind. #Princemoye1, Ire o.”

Advertisement

READ  ALSO: JUST IN: FG Suspends Air Nigeria Project Indefinitely

Reacting to the video Olumuyiwa wrote, “This is bad and shameful. I hate seeing videos and pictures like this. I have been informed that the policeman has been identified and arrested since a week ago. He has been subjected to disciplinary procedures. The PPRO Imo has been asked to react to this and make the command’s actions known. Thanks.”

Advertisement
Continue Reading

News

US-based Nigerian Set To Contest US Congress Seat

Published

on

A Nigerian-American man, Yomi Faparusi, has announced his candidacy for the U.S. Congress to represent Tennessee’s 5th District in the upcoming elections.

The election is scheduled for November 5, 2024.

Faparusi shared his aspirations during a virtual meeting with reporters over the weekend.

Advertisement

He said his election victory will inspire future generations and serve as a unifying force for the country.

As a researcher, Faparusi stated that he is running for Congress because America is currently divided and weakened.

He emphasised that his victory would help unite Americans across various divides.

READ ALSO: Top 10 Most Expensive Football Trophies In The World

Advertisement

Highlighting the issue of hyperinflation, he noted the increasing difficulty for people to survive and the disappearing middle class, which threatens the American dream.

He stated, “America is so divided and weakened because politicians now run on divisive and wedge issues. Hence, I decided to run as a unifier, so that things could get done. I also hope my victory in November will inspire the next generation.”

“There is inflation, making it hard to make ends meet; the middle class is disappearing, and the American dream is threatened. I want to tackle inflation. I want to create an environment that is conducive to small businesses, the most important unit of job creation.

“Congress is in stalemate, and nothing is getting done. I will work across the aisle for the common good. Americans are tired of cyclical threats of government shutdowns. Immigration is in total disarray. Open borders are not a policy; it only makes it hard to have a comprehensive plan. Immigration is not only a social issue; it is a financial/economic issue: you don’t have papers; you can’t get a job.

Advertisement

READ ALSO: 80-year-old Chinese Language Teacher Makes World Guinness Records With Longest 64-year Career

He continued, “The reality is that most legislators would not entertain any immigration relief package unless the border is secure. Hence, we need to secure the border and get back with a bipartisan comprehensive immigration plan.

“I still have a political ideology. There is something called the advantage of incumbency, but incumbents lose, as I hope in November. The TN 5th district is ideologically diverse and it needs to be represented by someone who understands and appreciates this diversity. I will represent ALL the people, not just a partisan segment.”

He highlighted his experience as a business owner and negotiator, “I am a business owner and I know about job creation. Also, I have had to work with diverse stakeholders, hence I learned how to listen and be humble. These have allowed me to be a good negotiator in any forum. As an immigrant and now an immigration attorney, I know the practicalities of immigration,” he said.

Advertisement

READ ALSO: Early Voting Underway In South Africa

Speaking on his agenda, he said, “My agenda is ‘I care’. I care about your concerns and I want to go to Washington to serve you. I hope that you will give me a chance to represent you, and I will always be answerable to you, my constituents. I will advocate for your concerns and needs without fear of retribution because I have placed the people above the party. In the end, everything will be okay.”

Born in the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Faparusi’s ancestral hometown is Ode-Ekiti, Gbonyin LGA, in Ekiti State.

He graduated as a medical doctor from the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, where he was active in students’ union politics, serving as the Hall Chairman of Alexander Brown Hall.

Advertisement

Faparusi is a licensed physician and attorney based in Tennessee, focusing mostly on immigration law. He fled Nigeria during the Abacha regime to escape persecution for his involvement in agitating against military rule.

Continue Reading

Trending