A black eye on the Nigerian entertainment industry

Despite the many stories of domestic violence, the entertainment industry still keeps quiet over its high profile cases.

Adunni Ade in a 2015 campaign about domestic violence

Are we living in deja vu, or is it every few months a top female celebrity shows the bruises and scars from her violent relationship and marriage.

It's a cycle that we are beginning to see all too well. A female celebrity falls in love. She flaunts her new relationship on social media. They have a big society wedding. More photos of the 'perfect' marriage appears on social media. A few months later news breaks of the female celebrity being a victim of domestic abuse. Pictures are released. Exclusive interviews are granted. We talk about it. A few months later the cycle starts afresh.

Mercy Aigbe is the latest female celebrity in the cycle of domestic violence. Married to Lanre Gentry, their seven year marriage has been rocked over severe domestic violence allegations.

As earlier stated, pictures of a battered and bruised Mercy Aigbe appeared on the Internet, then came the ugly revelations. Her husband has been reportedly laying hands on her for a while (remember the 2013 incident?) There was also the claim of Aigbe suffering a fractured skull from the last fight that broke the camel's back.

Mercy Aigbe is just the latest in an increasingly as well as alarming list of female celebrities in domestic violence scandals. Tiwa Savage, Tonto Dikeh, high profile Nigerian celebrities whose stories of domestic abuse have rocked the country. There are still others on the list. Who knows who will be next?

There seems to be a culture of silence in Nigeria's entertainment industry concerning stories of domestic violence. Sure there are individuals who react to the stories but there hasn't been a concerted effort by the entertainment industry to deal with this issue. It feels as if the industry is operating on a 'see no evil, hear no evil' policy.

An actress or singer gets beaten up by her spouse and it is business as usual in the entertainment industry. The silence is more than baffling, it is troubling. God forbid a female celebrity dies from one too many punches, what will the entertainment industry do then?

The culture of silence reflects the attitude of the Nigerian society concerning this issue. There are many women who scream at night from knuckles and fist slamming on their faces but their neighbours turn deaf. This attitude is affecting all and not just the entertainment industry alone.

Yet the entertainment industry has the responsibility to tackle this menace by coming up with a concerted and unified approach. Entertainers and celebs are influential. They can spark a general discourse on how we can deal with domestic violence as a people.

Remaining silent just shows that these celebs are as guilty as the men throwing the blows. Remember evil thrives when good men do nothing about it. Where are the good men and women in our entertainment industry?

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