I decided to write this piece as a response to the appalling attitude displayed by comedian Ayo Makun, popularly known as AY, and Nollywood actress Chioma Chukwuka, now known as Chioma Akpotha.
I found it appalling that these two public figures would engage in word exchange. I won’t want to keep you, dear readers, in the dark as to what transpired while we were on-board our return flight to Lagos from Port Harcourt penultimate weekend.
The atmosphere was tense and everyone was tired after we had waited endlessly to get on-board. It was a full flight chartered by our host, the organizers of the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).
Since the flight was full, the flight attendant explained through the in-flight address system that it won’t be possible for the luggage to be on the same flight with us and as such another flight scheduled for 8pm would take them to Lagos. Obviously, Chioma Akpotha and her two friends were not paying attention. Sitting by the window afforded her the opportunity to see the luggage being wheeled away.
She exclaimed: “Our luggages (sic) are there o. Wetin I wan go do for Lagos if my luggages (sic) no come with me?”
“I have a show tonight o,” answered one of her friends.
The flight attendant had to walk up to them to politely explain to them why it won’t be possible for the luggage to be on the flight. But Chioma and her friends won’t take any of that as they went on to chat noisily about their bags that were left behind. For me, Chioma and her friends did not understand basic aviation safety rules.
There was no way those big bags and boxes could have come onboard with us. And I wondered if she had never been on international flights where no one would tell you your baggage were left behind until you get to your destination. I think the flight attendant was too nice to have taken the pain to explain to them why their bags were not taken.
After that episode, Chioma and her group continued to chat noisily about one thing or the other, disturbing the peace of everyone onboard. It was obvious they wanted attention. You know that kind of I-want-everyone-to-know-I-am-here attitude that some ‘popular’ faces at times want to put up. As if that was not enough, there was a quarrel between Chioma’s group and Yemisi, a correspondent with Vanguard Newspaper, shortly after we landed in Lagos.
The quarrel was caused by shoving or pushing on the aisle while a few people who got off their seats were trying to bring out their bags from the luggage compartment. Chioma and her friends resorted to insulting Yemisi in Igbo language, not knowing that Yemisi understood everything they said. She is half Igbo. Her mum is Igbo. Out of annoyance and irritation, she retorted: “What’s wrong with these lousy Igbo girls?”
“Did you just say that?” asked one of the girls in Chioma’s group.
“What did you say?” asked Yemisi.
“Did you just say ‘these lousy Igbo girls’?”
“Don’t mind her, she is a coward?” replied Chioma.
“And if I say that?” Yemisi asked. The exchange continued, in which Yemisi was forced to call them lousy bitches and the other girls responded by calling her ugly bitch. In the midst of all this, the sentiment of tribalism was played up as everyone thought Yemisi name-called the girls because they were Igbos. But nobody knew she is Igbo herself. She equally insulted herself in the process.
Chioma would stop at nothing to educate anyone onboard about how proud she is being Igbo and how she can afford to pay Yemisi’s salary. She went as far as questioning why the organisers of AMAA would put someone like Yemisi on the same plane with her, the superstar that she is.
“If not for AMAA, why would someone like me be on the same plane with this one?” Chioma ranted. “It is not her fault now, it is AMAA. Who is this one, who knows her? I know her, she works with Vanguard. I will call her chairman now and tell him. He will sack her.”
As if that was not enough, AY, who should have kept quiet, took sides and supported his fellow ‘superstar’.
“If you were my wife, I would have slapped you,” he told Yemisi.
I was perplexed by AY’s utterance. I was dismayed at how a public figure like him would say a thing like that because of a verbal exchange between two women. Why on earth will he say that? That just shows he has no respect for his wife and he must be a wife beater. There were other stars like Zack Orji, Dakore, Saheed Balogun, amongst others, onboard who never said a word.
AY went ahead on Saturday to post a long piece on his Facebook page still defending his ‘co-star’. In his post, AY wrote: “(I am so sure she wouldn’t ask an Angelina Jolie or a Kim Kardashian that same question if she were to be on the same flight with any of them. Perhaps she would have started twitting immediately, saying ‘AMAA things…. Kim just asked me to take it easy, they are yet to open the exit door. Wow wow wow, 2013 my year of exit opening doors’). But definitely not to a Nollywood multiple awards-winning happily married actress with kids.”
Kim, Angelina Jolie and Chioma are not on the same level when it comes to fame. AY may need to rigorously search for another personality for his comparison. Who is Chioma in Nollywood? She is definitely not on the same pedestal with the likes of Genevieve, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde or even Dakore. How much is she worth? What is her current market value in Nollywood? It was the brand ambassador deal she struck that made her have a little change and not the money she made from Nollywood. She is not amongst the highest paid or even the most popular. So what is AY’s pain? Perhaps AY has forgotten that he is also a father when he sagged his trousers revealing what he had under while boarding the plane that fateful Sunday evening. A word is enough for the wise