The outgoing year, 2018 has been an interesting one for the creative industry with the number of celebrities whose feats and disappointments hugged major headlines. They spinned interesting narratives that questioned their characters as well as fetched them admiration and empathy. As the year slowly rolls to an end, Vanessa Obioha chronicles creatives who gave us an inspiring, nostalgic and OMG moments
Even as 2018 is pulling its curtains, the famous blogger is still making headlines. Earlier this year, Linda’s sisters announced that she was getting engaged, a piece of news that caused a frenzy as many anticipated who the lucky guy was. The 38 year-old blogger had in recent times voiced her concerns over settling down. In her sly manner, details of that engagement never surfaced in the public, giving room for a whirlwind of speculations. Just as fans were trying to solve the mystery lover puzzle, Linda broke the internet again with her pregnancy announcement in May. Again, it triggered a snowball of criticisms that questioned her moral stance since the identity of the supposed father was still a secret.
There were also rumours anchored by another critic of the blogger, Kemi Olunloyo that the pregnancy was fake. Whether Olunloyo was right or wrong, Linda Ikeji in September put to bed a baby boy. The controversy surrounding the identity of the father of the child again heightened as the rumour mill churned out different stories about her ‘baby mama’ status.
But the news that capped the whole mystery lover drama was the revelation of the father’s identity last week who turned out to be Sholaye Jeremi, an oil and gas mogul.
In a long epistle, Linda shared her love story which was filled with holes that critics have begin to fill with their own theories. For instance, the so-called engagement that never materialised. The revelation is perceived as a desperate attempt by the blogger to save her reputation. Since the news of her pregnancy, Linda who has always positioned herself as the ideal role model to young girls with her high moral standing has been pilloried for preaching what she doesn’t practice.
Who knows what headlines Linda would make before the year finally takes a bow.
The Battleground producer had an interesting year. In June, he was among the few Nigerians inducted as a Voting Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Organisers of the annual OSCAR awards) in the United States. That same month saw him being appointed as the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy Director for West Africa. To cap the year, he was recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Nigerian Film Corporation under the auspices of the Nigerian Film Society.
Nollywood actress, Genevieve Nnaji was in the news this year for all the right reasons. She made history as the first Nigerian to seal an exclusive acquisition deal with the international online streaming service, Netflix. In September, Netflix acquired Nnaji’s debut directorial film, Lionheart for an undisclosed sum, making it the first Netflix original film from Nigeria. The film had its premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.
One of the milestones the sexy actress achieved this year was her induction as a Voting Member of the Oscars. This year also saw the actress carting away her first AMVCA for Best Actress in a Movie, Drama or series.
Known as a pathfinder, the helmsman at the Consolidated Media Associates created a first-of-its-kind lifestyle award this year. Called the Spice TV Lifestyle Honours, the awards celebrated and rewarded African fashion brands and icons and was part of the series of events lined up for the yuletide season XChange, a consortium of event promoters spearheaded by Adepetu. A fusion of fashion and music, the maiden edition had award-winning singer Aṣa as its main headline act of the evening. Winners of the night included Dubai Tourism, OC Ukeje, D’banj, Dangote Foundation among others.
2018 was an emotional year for the entertainer who lost his son to a domestic accident in June. News of his son’s drowning in his residential swimming pool filtered the air while the artiste was in Los Angeles for the BET Awards.
The singer and his family have somewhat coped with the loss. He was among the list of Nigerian entertainers who performed at the Global Citizen Festival in South Africa as well as the Born in Africa Festival (BAFEST).
Her speculated love affair with Star Boy, Wizkid returned the spotlight to her. Tongues started wagging about a possible romance between the two when Tiwa featured Wizkid in her track Ma Lo.
Their affair took a different turn when the visuals for their latest collaboration ‘Fever’ saw the two artistes in a very intimate setting that got social media fans questioning the decency of Tiwa. While none of the artistes has publicly confirmed their relationship status, the two seemed to be basking in the feverish publicity spotlight the song had fetched them.
Tiwa Savage was not the only rumoured love interest of Wizkid. When the CEO of Starboy Entertainment walked the runway alongside international model Naomi Campbell for Dolce and Gabbana in Milan, it was speculated that they were involved romantically. Another picture of the artiste accompanying the model to a GQ Men of the Year Awards increased the tempo of the rumours. There were even jokes about how his romance with Campbell would affect Tiwa who at the time was rumoured to also be in a relationship with the artiste.
Apart from his interesting love angles, Wizkid recorded quite a few feats this year. He partnered international brand Nike for a new collection of Star Boy jerseys. The jerseys supposedly sold out in ten minutes after its launch.
The OBO boss achieved quite some musical feats this year. He won the award for Best International Act at the BET Awards and clinched the award for Artiste of the Year at the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA).
What really got Davido in the headlines this year was the release of his song ‘Assurance’ where he introduced the world to his sweetheart, Chioma Rowland.
To cap the year, he recently announced his plans to launch a music talent show ‘Plugged’ in Rivers State during a visit to the governor of the state, Nyesom Wike. The artiste who has become politically vocal since his uncle lost the Osun elections, pledged to support the governor’s re-election bid.
An ambassador of the Nigerian Police Force, the ‘Penalty’ crooner made news this year when he was arrested by the police for illegal possession of firearms and harassing a police officer. The news spread like wildfire, with different angles explored by fans and detractors. A magistrate court however found the artiste innocent of the accusation levelled against him, though he was given a stern warning to stay off violent actions for a year. The leniency of the judgement irked many who thought it was biased. However, the ugly incident did not prevent his fans from attending his concert at Agege last weekend.
In April, OAP and Vlogger Toke Makinwa told the world how she underwent a fibroid surgery after visiting different prayer houses for miracles. But when the miraculous increase of her rear side emerged in her Instagram photos in August, the fashion icon kept mute. Critics on social media however wouldn’t let her be.
They accused her of having low self-esteem and seeking attention through plastic surgery. Some even mocked her, saying that the surgery was not professionally done. If those words pierced the heart of Toke, no one could tell. Only one thing is certain, she is still posting sexy photos on Instagram.
The sudden death of OAP and entertainment entrepreneur Tosyn Bucknor threw the creative industry into a plaintive mood. Tosyn who was a sickle cell anaemia patient gave up the ghost on November 19. She was reportedly found dead by her husband, Aurelien Boyer. Known as the ‘Voice of Lagos’, there was an outpour of emotions by celebrities who remembered the deceased for her cheerfulness and vivacious personality.
The artiste and music executive joined the league of entertainers who are pursuing political ambitions. In November, he declared his interest to run for the Lagos Eti Osa Federal Constituency seat in the House of Representatives under the platform of the Modern Democratic Party (MDP).
That announcement was greeted with mixed feelings. Nonetheless, his close pals in the industry such as rapper M.I and comedian I go Dye, have pledged their support to him.
This year saw the entertainer churning out fresh hits, but the one that made him a hot topic on mainstream and social media was his ‘This is Nigeria’ video. Inspired by the American rapper Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America’, Falz released a provocative visual that addressed the conundrums facing the country.
From insurgency, corruption to unemployment, the video drew the ire of a Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) group. The group demanded a retraction, stating that the rapper promoted drag negative stereotype against Fulanis, Chibok Girls and Muslim. Falz received wide acclaim for his boldness. The video has been viewed 15 million times on YouTube.