Some members of the Nigerian literary community have aired their views on the explosive scandal that rocked the Nigerian music industry about a week ago.

Tiwa Savage is a household name in the African pop-music scene, often referred to as Nigeria’s Beyonce.

It all began with her husband and former manager, Tee Billz, posting what looked like a suicide note on Instagram. When news came out that he subsequently attempted to jump over a Lagos bridge, a volley of criticism descended on Tiwa Savage who he had accused of infidelity and of being a bad, uncaring wife.

Tiwa Savage promptly posted a tell-all video in which she gives her side of the story.

[Watch here]

She accuses her husband of being an exploitative deadbeat who steals from her, cheats, and subjects her to emotional and psychological abuse. In spite of Tiwa Savage’s strong case, Nigerians could not come to an agreement about who was at fault. Nigerian social media erupted in a split between fans who sympathized with Tiwa, seeing her story as representative of a broader sexist Nigerian culture, and those who insisted that Tiwa’s husband is the victim of a pompous, fame-crazed wife.

Nigerian writers have since weighed in on the controversy:


Ikhide Ikheloa on Facebook:

I don’t understand what the issue is, seems like the husband, the great Teebillz is an attention seeking troubled dog who loudly announced his intention to go jump off the one functioning bridge in Lagos that was built by Fashola’s vulcanizer (also his 78 year old brother!) for only 419 billion dollars! This empty threat delivered through articulate grunts and butt scratching created a furor because Lekki residents don’t like to see blood on their one bridge. They gathered at the KFC in Lekki to protest this outrage and take selfies, chanting ‪#‎OccupyTiwaSavage‬! I agree with the protesters, Na her fault! She doesn’t love her long-suffering husband, does not ask the question, “Have you eaten?” So now, she wants a divorce, who does she think she is? As we say in my village, SMH.

I am proud to say that I watched the great interview where Ms. Tiwa Savage addressed the Nigerian people. That was journalism at its best. That interviewer deserves a medal. I applaud Ms. Savage for addressing the nation to calm Nigerians down as they recover from the trauma of her broken marriage. Now, that is a true leader. Unlike Mazi Buhari is hiding under a mat in Aso Rock refusing to face his responsibilities and address the nation as Fulani herdsmen occupy and rampage much of Nigeria and kill hundreds of innocent Nigerians. Maybe we should make Tiwa Savage president, she certainly looks the part. I can see her with Mrs. Clinton, yes!


Kola Tuboson:

Man goes on a rant, accuses his spouse of everything from infidelity to witchcraft along with her family, threatens suicide and worse. Blames everything bad in his life on the spouse and her family.

Society’s response: Aww, he’s depressed, he’s fed up, give him some credit.

Woman responds through a hard-to-watch interview, responding to each of the accusations, detailing the hurt and indignities she had to deal with, denying all accusations, and opening the window on a life of abuse and mistrust that many of us won’t let our sisters or nieces stay in.

Society’s response: it’s faked, it’s staged. Her tears are made-up. Why’s she doing it now. Why can’t she be silent. I can’t believe she’s not making it all up. She must be selling an album.

This double standard is nauseating.


Mary Okeke:


Chika Unigwe:

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I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

One Response to “Nigerian Writers Weigh in on Tiwa Savage’s Marital Scandal” Subscribe

  1. Nnamdi 2016/05/09 at 4:57 am #

    It is good that people are speaking up for women who have refused to be swaddled in loveless, unpleasant relationships. Other women (and men) should follow Tiwa’s bold lead and leave burning relationships before it chokes them to death. It is not easy (our society will heap unspeakable things on the woman by default) but of what use is postponing an evil day?

    And by the way, does Pa Ikhide have to use one stone to kill multiple birds always?

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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