Diane Russet Focuses on Underage Marriage


Big Brother Naija 2019 housemate, Diane Russet, celebrates 24th birthday and releases trailer for her short film titled, “Bayi”. Ferdinand Ekechukwu reports

Big Brother Naija 2019 housemate, Diane Russet, celebrated her 24th birthday with the trailer of a short film titled, ‘Bayi’ based on the throes of underage marriage. This was revealed through a post shared on her social media page where the Kaduna State native first posted a trailer of the movie. The trailer for the upcoming short, directed by Michael ‘Ama Psalmist’ Akinrogunde, gives a heart-wrenching reminder of the harsh reality of child brides.

Diane plays the central character. As a child bride, she must submit to the troubling demands of her society. “There are many young girls like you all over Africa being pushed into early marriage,” a character like a counselor says to Diane in the trailer. Meanwhile, she is the executive producer of the upcoming film. The short film also stars Tope Olowoniyan, Mariam Kayode, Daniel Atteh, Nathaniel King and Sir Dee.

The trailer also shows Diane as she tells the story of the challenges these women face; ranging from child marriage to marital rape and Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF). Although the plot is reminiscent of Stephanie Linus’ 2014 tragedy Dry, it is a story that cannot be told enough; not until the issue ceases to exist. This is one film you should be on the lookout for. In December 2019, Diane Russet, whose real name is Precious Yunana Yashim announced her debut in Nollywood with another short film, “The Therapist”. The short film, which she also produced, features Nigerian singer Iyanya.

Diane had taken to her social media page to post the trailer of the film, in which a scene shows her and the music star locked lips which got followers talking on social media. The reality TV star also featured Kenyan actress Lynn Nardia Bentley in the film. Evans Edeha had directed “The Therapist”. While in the BBNaija house, Diane initially expressed her interest to join the Nigerian film industry when film star and producer, Funke Akindele-Bello visited the house.

In her response, Funke Akindele revealed that she can’t wait to have Diane Russet on the set of her comedy series, “Jenifa’s Diary”. Given the success of her first film, this new one will likely also do well. Upon release of the trailer, the reality star wrote on her page; “Bayi!!! Thanks to everyone that came on board. This project is dear to me and I had the best team the dream team, they also made this possible. Thank y’all”.

On another note, Diane has been made the latest ambassador for a health brand My Paddi NG. She had announced it through a post. She recalls: “As a young adult, I know firsthand the experiences we face when it comes to depression, sexual and reproductive health issues. I know how tough it can be asking these questions and not getting the right answers. I am a proud @mypaddi_ng ambassador. Proud to be part of a community that provides much needed answers to most of the issues we have as young adults. You can ask any question while being totally anonymous.”

Baby girl 4 life, as she is fondly called by friends and fans, hasn’t slowed down a bit since leaving the Big Brother house. The soft talking Diane reminisced on her journey thus: “This time last year, I prayed that my 23 should be amazing and be a breakthrough year for me and God did it, God did come through for me.” Diane definitely had her prayers answered as she counts her blessings. At 23, she became famous courtesy of her appearance on Nigeria’s most popular reality TV show, Big Brother Naija Season 4.

She released her short film starring Iyanya, started a presenting gig with TV girl Simi Drey titled Untold Truths, launched a collection of beach wears and nighttime clothing and re-opened her cooking project, Russet Kitchen. 2019 was a really good year for Diane Russet, who also bagged a number of endorsements, asides her businesses. On turning 24, the young woman took out time to be thankful for her new age. Diane posted a really beautiful picture of herself, thanking God for how successful her 23rd year was. Here is what she wrote: “24!!!! Wow? I have got a lot to be thankful for. God has been so good and merciful.

“This time last year, I prayed that my 23 should be amazing and be a breakthrough year for me and God did it, God did come through for me. Today, I just want to say thank you to God Almighty and to y’all. Thank you for supporting and praying for me always. Now 24!! More of God, less of me. More wins, more money.”

Diane had the coolest and most fun pyjamas-themed birthday party. The reality TV star on the night of her birthday celebrated by friends and even her fellow BBNaija stars such as Mercy, Elozonam, Jeff Banks, Frodd, KimOprah, Ike, Ella among others. Also, during the party, she hosted a private screening of her short film, Bayi.