Popular singer Yemi Alade raises a strong question about female celebrities with their managers in romantic relationships.
Since she appeared on the scene in late 2013 with her runaway hit 'Johnny' there have been strong whispers that she is in a romantic relationship with her manager. So as her star has risen in the music industry so also have the rumours intensified with Yemi Alade denying it all the way.
In a recent interview with Naij, Yemi Alade exasperated with the incessant questions gave the ideal reply to the question of her dating her manager. "Male Managers no be human being? The managers are there to take care of the careers. But seriously, if I had a female manager would you be asking me all these?" she said in the interview.
Bingo! "If I had a female manager would you be asking all these?" is the question at the heart of it all. There is a prevailing belief in the industry that a female celebrity is romantically tied with her manager. A few years ago I was meant to take an upcoming female act to Ilorin for a show. At the organizer's office I remembered that one of the comedians billed for the show insinuated that me and the female act were sleeping together.
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This is a common thought in this business sadly buttressed by just a few female acts who are married to the managers or dating them. Strangely, the low number of female celebrities who are romantically attached to the overseers of their careers- past or present- doesn't still provide enough evidence to think that every female celebrity is in between the sheets with her manager.
Why must something go down between a woman who is popular and her manager? Is it because they spend a lot of hours together or some sort of chemistry automatically appears when a singer is with her manager? You can argue that it is normal for a manager to be dating his female client maybe due to the fact that they tend to bond after spending so many hours together but here is the problem with that type of thinking- why doesn't this apply to female celebrities with female managers?
Why didn't anyone ask rapper Kel if she was dating her former manager Osagie when they were working together? Why does the narrative of the female celeb having an affair with her manager exclude female celebrities with female managers? Could it be low-level homophobia?
I think the answer is this- a patriarchal system of beliefs that a successful woman must have a man not only pulling strings but calling the shots in the bedroom as well. A female celeb with a female manager is cool but when a man gets in the picture he must be the dominus of her heart. Can't a woman and man have a simple business transaction without the old relationship story forcefully inserted into the script?
This narrative works both ways. Haven't we sniffed around to find a romantic relationship with pop star Wizkid and his overseas manager Jada? In our heads when a man and woman are working it can't be all business, pleasure must be somewhere.
Not every story must end like Tiwa Savage and Tee Billz (speaking of marriage here). Sometimes what we see is what we see.