Saturday, 28 September 2013

May D’s ‘N150 million house’ and an irresponsible media, by Chilee Agunanna


I can’t really say what I felt when I got the mail in my box– Pictures: Mister May D buys N150 million mansion in Magodo. I was simply dumbfounded.

Now, I have no issues with anyone buying a house or a car or whatever appeals to their vanity. I don’t care. Do I really need to?

But this particular mail got to me. I’ve lived with ignoring it for a week now but somehow this morning while scrolling through my inbox, I stumbled on it again and started writing this piece.

Everyone has heard of May D by now; at least every music buff has heard or noticed him by now. He is a talented artiste. We recognise that and have given him his place for it. But why he and whoever is his PR person would decide to sell us this crap baffles me.

A piece of the mail (unedited) reads:

“There seems to be every reason for this promising Nigerian musician to actually be high as things are falling into place for him in quick succession, Mayokun Awodunmila popularly known as May D who recently returned from his trip to United States of America…
The Ekiti State born music sensation also recently, moved into his new 6-bedroom duplex in Magodo Phase II GRA.”

Then, four pictures– one of a side part of the house with a back view of May D’s unregistered Mercedes; one with the front view of the Mercedes; one, of May D himself under some studio lights and one of a white generator. And that amounted to N150 million! Yes, we know that artistes make good money these days and May D is not an exception.

Though he is not squatting in anyone’s house, he is at best a tenant in a two or three bedroom apartment and that’s all!
The ‘high’ in the second line could only point to the amount of ‘igbo’ they smoked to come up with a puerile yarn like this.

May D has not yet made enough money to buy a house of N150 million. Even if he somehow has N150 million, would he spend it on a house and starve inside it?
If, also, he actually bought a N150 million house, he would have a ‘confam’ way of telling us; not with four inconclusive images.

Why he would want to get into trouble with his landlord by claiming the house is anyone’s guess but it is downright stupid and even criminal.

The email that is fraught with spurious innuendos and grammatical disagreements was virtually only talking about new music but why they have to go into real estate hyperbolism to do that bothers me.

If that was all his PR crew came up with then he is with a crew that is greatly handicapped both in ideas and abilities. This is one of the saddest parts of an artiste’s career in this country– moving with a wrong crew.

The Social Media has proliferated and liberalised the dissemination of information to the extent that ‘Bedroom Reporting’ is now a full-fledged genre. Bloggers and website attendants immediately grabbed the email and pasted on their pages with absolutely no form or inquiry, investigation or fact checking in their rush to generate traffic.

I’ve even seen it on some papers and this is really sad.

That’s how artistes would want to control the media by feeding them crap about themselves and when the media begins to associate them with it and the public buys into, they’d start complaining.

A typical example is the great Michael Jackson. The late King of Pop claimed he bought the ‘Elephant Man’s bones, slept in oxygen chambers, adopted a chimpanzee, Bubbles, who slept in his bed and so on. Yet, when the press named him ‘Wacko Jacko’, he became sad.

A popular OAP recently complained that most of the artistes that were literally begging for airtime and exposure earlier in their careers are now very unwilling to appear on the same shows that featured them on their way up. They instead prefer to sell us crap news to report.

I have also experienced a situation that an artiste I have supported since the beginning of the career refused to respond to an interview I sent via email claiming it was too opinionated which made me wonder if an interview wasn’t meant to get the opinion of the interviewee in the first place.

Wande Coal was mostly running away from the media but when naked pictures of him surfaced, he called a Press Conference.

Davido has been busy planting pictures and stories of himself and different naked and semi-naked women for cheap and notorious publicity not knowing that the persona he has created today will not die tomorrow.

Celebrities only want good things to be written about them and if you are not doing that, you become their enemy.

However, information is power and the press is in authority to deliver this and therefore owes the public the responsibility of telling the truth.
The media owes the world the responsibility of rising above board and reporting truthful, meaningful and accurate news.

An egocentric celebrity and an irresponsible media are dangerous to society.
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