Two days ago, the Nigerian entertainment industry faced another tragic loss. Young and budding talent Oladips had unexpectedly passed away, leading to an outpouring of grief across the country. Social media was flooded with discussions and opinions following the news of his demise.
Oladips whose real name is Oladipupo Olabode Oladimeji, was a 28-year-old up-and-coming rapper. He passed away on Tuesday, November 14, as confirmed by his management in an official statement. What then could be the cause of Oladips’ death? His death came just a day after he reached out on social media about an undisclosed health issue, pleading with his fans for prayers, expressing that he wasn’t feeling well.
Now, here is the crux of the matter, the exact point I am driving at: Oladips was called a clout chaser at a time he needed help the most. No, it was worse.
He was accused of exploiting the immense attention and support Nigerians had shown towards Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad, following his unexpected death on September 12 this year.
The “Lalakukulala” crooner faced a lot of backlash, with many claiming he was attempting to promote his upcoming album, scheduled for release on Thursday November 16. Sadly, his pleas for support went largely ignored until news of his passing emerged the following day, leaving many with feelings of regret and disbelief.
Posthumously, his song “Die Young” gained traction, shedding light on the struggles he had faced. In this track, the rapper voiced his fears of an untimely death and posthumous fame, rapping lyrics like:
“So I hope that I will get my flowers before I lose my powers and everything that makes me a human (being)
“Yes, I’m free; I just wanna live and express how I feel. I don’t wanna leave (I don’t wanna die young). Breathe, make I breathe.
“I just wanna live. I dey practice what I preach, I don’t wanna leave. Oluwa jowo make I no die before my time.”
Often, we view celebrities as superhuman, almost godlike. We tend to forget they’re just like us, with blood flowing through their veins. Beyond the glamour and wealth, they endure sickness, heartache, and yearn for things we do. They experience love, vulnerability, and possess flaws. Essentially, the people we idolise and consider role models are merely flawed angels. Tupac once conveyed this sentiment:
“I feel like role models today are not meant to be put on a pedestal. But more like angels with broken wings.”
Celebrities, like other notable individuals, are human and far from perfect. They strive to project flawlessness due to societal expectations. Yet, underneath, they grapple with their own demons. Some wish to speak up, but the fear of judgment or being accused of seeking attention gags their voices.
The distressing trend of young Nigerian public figures succumbing prematurely to death raises myriad questions. When does speaking up render someone a clout chaser? And when their silence leads to tragedy, why do we criticise their lack of disclosure?
Why do we commemorate the departed more than the living? Why do we extend sympathy and support to the deceased more fervently than the living?
Despite witnessing the loss of talented youths, one would hope we’d learn from these experiences. Unfortunately, the cycle repeats. Clearly, the lesson remains unlearned.
Presently, numerous individuals grapple with depression, health challenges, and other threatening situations. They may opt to suffer in silence, fearing the internet’s reactionary wrath will only deepen their misery.
Undoubtedly, there have been instances of individuals fabricating their deaths, abductions, or illnesses for personal gain. However, condemning everyone for the sins of a few is unjust.
Oladips’ tragic narrative mirrors countless others. Will we learn from this to prevent further loss, or will we persist in labelling cries for help as “clout chasing?” Then, when it’s too late, resort to tearful lamentations, saying “we failed you?”
Deep down in my heart of hearts, I wish for a kinder world. We never truly understand what others endure. It’s crucial we reach out before rushing to condemn individuals for alleged transgressions.
Hopefully, we shall learn our lessons, and we shall learn it either softly or the hard way.