BY EMUEKPERE CHRISTOPHER E.
RECENTLY, the Nigerian entertainment scene was heated up after TeeBillz, Tiwa Savage’s husband posted rants on social media on how the Kele Kele crooner had dealt him a bad hand in their marriage in what could be described as a suicide note after which he attempted to hop off Lekki Bridge, Lagos. This had culminated in Tiwa Savage granting an interview in which she had opened a can of worms accusing her husband of drug addiction among a host of other unprintable things. While Tiwa Savage has since moved on amid conflicting reports that TeeBillz had checked into rehab, the issue of depression, which was identified as the cause of TeeBillz rants by psychologists has become a hot topic.
According to Wikipedia the Online Encyclopaedia: “Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behaviour, feelings and sense of well-being. People with a depressed mood can feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, ashamed or restless. They may lose interest in activities that were once pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details or making decisions, and may contemplate, attempt or commit suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, aches, pains, digestive problems or reduced energy may also be present. Depressed mood is a feature of some psychiatric syndromes such as major depressive disorder, but it may also be a normal reaction to life events such as bereavement, a symptom of some bodily ailments or a side effect of some drugs and medical treatment.”
Today, Entertainer brings you Nigerian celebrities that have confessed to experiencing depressive bouts and how they overcame the debilitating condition.
Even the rich also cry sums up the story of Beauty Queen, Nike Oshinowo, who has battled endometriosis since she was age 13, a condition in which the lining of the womb is located elsewhere in the body.
Recounting her ordeal, Oshinowo said in a recent interview: “I have lived with endometriosis since the age of 13. I was sent to boarding school in England. It was during the first few days in secondary school that I began my menstrual period. They called the ambulance and I was hospitalized for 10 days because the pain started and wouldn’t stop. I thought I was going to die, the first two days I was in the infirmary.
“Living with endometriosis is a challenge. When you see your doctor, your doctor just tries to treat the symptoms and assumes the pain resolves around your menstrual cycle. But this is not so. The pain affects every single aspect of your life. I have never had an examination without my period; I have never travelled without my period. There are so many things I have never done without my period. When I’m very happy, my period comes, when I’m depressed, my period is there. I learned just to cope with it. I love the quote that women wear their pain like stilettos. That’s what I have been doing.
“Until I turned 40, Nigerians didn’t know I suffered from endometriosis. I granted an interview and Nigerians understood why I never drank alcohol. You cannot be on medication and take alcohol. It was finally understood why I was so clean cut and into healthy living. The first time I experienced the pain of endometriosis was very traumatic. I thought I was going to die. I have lost count of the number of surgeries that I have had but I sure know that it’s more than 17 times.”
Newly wedded actress and mother, Tontoh Dike, is top on the list of Nigerian celebs that have battled depression and overcame it. According to an online publication, Tonto Dikeh admitted she suffered from depression in 2013. Thanks to counselling, she overcame and now she now has a foundation, The Tonto Dikeh, which caters to people battling the debilitating condition.
Said the actress: “I would say I have a great and strong personality. I love myself so much. I am not also as shy as most people think I am. I didn’t let depression eat me up. You have to fight depression and overcome it; I did and won so I started the Tonto Dikeh Foundation so I can help others conquer depression”
Nomoreloss (Muyiwa Osinuga)
Late Nomoreloss suffered from depression while alive. The singer admitted in an interview with HIP TV that he fell into depression for a long time due to the death of his mum which affected him and made him go into depression for a long time.
However, following his death, popular broadcaster, Emma Ugolee, accused musisians for dumping the late singer when he was depressed. In a piece he published entitled Nomoreloss and My Restless Thoughts, he stated: “That many did stay aloof while Nomoreloss battled his many wars from a dwindling career, broken marriage, financial strain and Ill health is a fact. That many avoided him like a plague as courageously stated by Lepacious Bose is a fact. That Nomoreloss was not appreciated by most in almost every sphere of his life was a fact. But do you know the most painful of the facts? These facts broke him and drove him to depression.”
Could that be what culminated in his death? Nomorelos never complained and so he took the answer to his grave.
Another actress we could say veni vidi vichi as far as depression is concerned is actress, Halima Abubakar. Halima revealed she was depressed for seven months recently as a result of a split with her ex boyfriend.
Said Halima. “A lot of people don’t really understand what being depressed is. Some may say they are sad, they are not but depressed. But what happens is that they don’t know they’re depressed, they’re just sad.
“Initially, I thought I was just low until I started having migraine. I couldn’t sleep. At a point, I couldn’t even sleep for two weeks. You wouldn’t believe it, I was thinking I had migraine, the doctor said I had typhoid. So, we’re treating typhoid and before I knew it, I was hospitalized.
“I broke up with my boyfriend and I didn’t handle it well. Not me alone, we both didn’t handle the situation well. But you know I am a woman, we all react differently.”
“I was under medication for a while. Of course, I have my family with me; each of them came after the other to keep me company. I didn’t accept any role that period because I shot like two or three roles that time but I didn’t feel like I used to.”
She has been described as the Nigerian writer who will step into late activist, poet and writer, Chinua Achebe’s shoes. Chimamanda Adichie a while ago revealed how she suffered from depression in a long article released by Guardian UK, last year.
“Sometimes it begins with a pimple. A large shiny spot appears on my forehead. Or it begins with a feeling of heaviness, and I long to wear only loose-fitting clothes. Then my mood plunges, my lower back aches, my insides turn liquid. Stomach cramps come in spasms so painful I sometimes cry out. I lose interest in the things I care about. My family become unbearable, my friends become strangers with dark intentions, and cashiers and waiters seem unforgivably rude.
“A furious, righteous paranoia shrouds me: every human being with whom I interact is wrong, either insensitive or ill-willed. I eat mounds of food – I crave greasy stews and fried yams and dense chocolate truffles – or I have no appetite at all, both unusual for a careful, picky eater. My breasts are swollen and taut. Because they hurt, I wear my softest bras – “tender” seems a wrong word for the sharp discomfort. Sometimes they horrify me, so suddenly round, as though from science fiction, and sometimes their round perkiness pleases my vanity. At night, I lie sleepless, drenched in strange sweat; I can touch the wetness on my skin.”
Chimamanda eventually bit depression after she signed up for counselling.
Popular fashion designer, Yomi Casual claims he suffered depression because of the colour of his skin. Explaining what he went through he wrote on Instagram: “At some point in my life I felt so depressed because of my skin colour and I tried all I could to tone up but all efforts were futile. Then I realized how special I am. black is beautiful, black is bold, black is sexy! Black is a symbol of national greatness. Keep calm and get married to a black guy! Black is truly beautiful!”
Another victim of depression note worthy is Singer, Dencia, who says she went into depression after finding out that the woman she always referred to as her sister was actually her mother. She told a popular newspaper platform a while ago that her depression was severe: “When I went into depression; it was a severe case of depression. It was a very hard and trying period for me but I am glad that I was able to get out of it and get my life back together. My depression was not because of what the media said about me, it was more of a family matter. Not many people know my story.
“I was raised by my grandparents and till I clocked 16, I did not know that the person whom I thought was my sister was actually my mother and the lady I thought was my mother was my grandmother. I cry whenever I tell the story and the truth is that it really never affected me until I became an adult. They found it difficult to tell me the real story and anytime I wanted to talk about it, nobody seemed to want to talk about it. It is a really complicated story. All I know is that I am half Nigerian and half Cameroonian,” she said.
Morenike Alausa aka Mama Ereko
70 year-old Nollywood actress, Morenike Alausa aka Mama Ereko also had her own share of depression. She admitted she almost took her own life after her son suddenly returned to Nigeria from London for no good reason.
The actress said she spent all her life savings up in to secure her son’s travelling documents only for him to return home empty handed. The 70 year-old actress later stated that her depression was due to spiritual attack.