First of all, let me start by saying I have met some wonderful, intelligent, caring, heart warming people in Nigeria and on its social media space.
These people are who I can say kept the faith in me that everyone isn’t bad when my reality was proving otherwise. I respect and appreciate them and always will.
I am not sure if I should call this me expressing myself or me being baffled and being too emotional but what I am sure of is that at this very second, what I am about to write is coming from the deepest part of my heart.
I don’t care how long I have to keep doing this, so far it eases my soul, I’m good. I have decided to take an extended break from anything that has to do with Nigeria and it’s social media space.
I will continue to communicate with those I have built a relationship with and those who are there for the good but I will not do more than that for now. I will leave my world open for those who genuinely wish to know more.
This decision has been very hard for me but after careful consideration and enough time reflecting, it is time to listen to my heart. Apparently I was trending in Nigeria yesterday.
This did not sit well with me at all because I became part of the Negativity that is considered trend worthy in Nigeria. From the media who only write about me when it is negative to the people creating the negativity, I feel like no matter what good I try to contribute to Nigeria, it will forever be energy spent because their focus is on what they can say is bad about Toni Payne.
The most annoying thing is that, this so-called “what is bad” is not even my reality. It is not who I am and it will never be who I am.
In Nigeria the most popular online “news” source are blogs. For the most part, blogs are mainly ran by people with no experience in journalism and no accountability and that to me is a huge problem.
They seldom fact check and mostly copy and paste what they have seen elsewhere even when it is not true. Let me say, I have come across some really good ones who put a lot of effort into creating their story with facts but unfortunately those ones are usually the least popular.
If you Google my name you will see how they have helped me create a narrative that isn’t mine. It is easy for those looking in from the outside to think that this is all you are about when that is not the case.
I am not sure why the only thing that moves them is negativity but for me, I no longer wish to be a part of it. The best way to avoid this I think is to stay clear of Nigerian matters for now.
I am tired of complaining and revisiting an unhealthy topic. I have decided to focus my energy on building my brand elsewhere. It is better I start from scratch than continue to toil this path. As far as I know, all the media rants and dragging of my name has not earned me a dime.
I have made the front page of almost every single news magazine in Nigeria yet it has contributed mostly negativity to my life. Kim Kardashian can afford to be dragged because she makes her money from the noise. Rihanna can unlook because people will still buy her album.
Beyonce can ignore because as the media reports the negative, they balance it with the positive and there is accountability. She can take someone to court for defamation and win. I have nothing to gain from all this. What is the essence of trying to do good in a place where negativity reigns supreme and people will try to castigate you at the slightest opportunity.
For me, it is a lost cause and the sooner I come to terms with it the better. I saw some blog headlines today and it was disappointing to see once again that when they jump on my name, it has to be for something negative. I can categorically state that in Nigeria I have NEVER trended for something positive even though positivity is all I try to put out. I can not be responsible for other people’s actions but I can choose how I deal with what affects mine.
These same blogs with the exception of a few have never published any good news about me irrespective of how hard I work. They have chosen the narrative they feel will sell and they have been running with it for years. How do you create a narrative without balance?
How is beating the same old dead topic remotely interesting. Let me live abeg. It has been 6 years and it looks like nothing will change. If the only news worthy thing about me in Nigeria is something negative then no matter how much I love that nation, Nigeria is not for me. I would rather start from scratch elsewhere. In a sane society I should be super rich from suing a lot of these people but alas, they will say ehn its Nigeria.
Na so we be. I can choose to ignore it, but I do not have to accept it. What prompted the headlines? Well, yesterday I noticed on my twitter timeline people bashing rapper Ice Prince. Apparently he was having relationship problems. The details of that problem are unimportant to me but what made me react was how insensitive people were to his plight.
Yes he is a celebrity, yes he brought his business on social media but no it should not stop people from having compassion. It does not give people the right to be outright mean and wicked. He was obviously going through some deep emotions and was met with taunts and insults.
Celebrities are no different from everyone else, the use of social media to share an opinion or socialize is not restricted to non celebrities only. I am a very passionate person and it is always so hard for me to look the other way when I see something wrong.
I defended Ice not because I know or agree with the girl or the situation, not because whatever he wrote or she did was right or wrong but because when you see someone going through pain, that is what you should do. All I said was leave him alone and all hell broke loose. Uncultured Nigerian youths bombarded my timeline.
How that is a bad thing still baffles me. I will never be bullied into not thinking for myself but I do not have to expose myself to hopeless situations. At this stage I do not think I am upset as much as I am disgusted with a lot of them.
Some even went as far as saying I have no right to comment on topics about cheating. In my head I’m like really?
So based on a lie that everyone involved has denied, I can’t speak on cheating? Who made you judge and jury when you were not a witness? Or maybe they came and saw me cheating hence the firmness of their opinion. I cannot continue to try to reason with unreasonable people. It is way too much energy spent.
It is clear to me a lot of these people hate women, they believe nothing good can come out of a woman, yet they came out of a woman. Something goes wrong, it’s the woman’s fault. Yes, a woman must be guilty in the court of public opinions because all women are hoes and cannot be trusted – I wonder who raised them. No be woman? – I want to ask them, if I were their sister, would they still feel the same way, or would they actually take time to listen, look at facts and use their brain for a change.
I wrote the poem Products of Misogyny a while ago and obviously a lot hasn’t changed. It has become the norm for “Nigerian Twitter” to choose a new victim to troll everyday when in fact they should spend that energy in trying to rebuild their nation.
Being exposed to that for me is counter productive. If you try to educate them, it falls on deaf ears. There is absolutely no balance. I listened to some of my followers who asked me to ignore and the words used to describe Nigerian Twitter were all negative. “wicked” “jobless” “ruthless” and the list goes on, yet they see nothing wrong with how the world perceives them.
Yes when you are known, people are watching you but truth be told these same people have probably also put their private life in public space with the only difference being nobody cared enough to talk about it.
Maybe I have been delusional my entire life but this is NOT the Nigeria I used to know. I remember growing up, we took so much pride in being Nigerian. We are cultured, we are respectful, we are couth, we are happy people and most importantly we carried ourselves with unrivaled decorum.
I remember being young I would proudly say of I am Nigerian because I knew we were seen as classy people. Oh boy have I been woken up out of that dream world. I guess that was then.
These days all I see is negativity after negativity being the favorite topic of choice. Nigerian youth carrying on like they have no home training or sense of pride. Where has the sense of values we took pride in growing up gone?
Social media is not helping because it sheds light on the true nature of a lot of young Nigerians. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong but we are no longer a majority of deep thinkers and move makers. These people have become the minority. I defended Ice Prince and eventually got caught in the crossfire.
What the trolls had to say did not bother me as much as the fact that in 2016, after so much “clearing the air” the majority of them were still harassing me. It pretty much solidified the fact that a lot of them do not reason, think or read.
A lot of them behave like a generation with no hope and if care is not taken, Nigeria will continue to be what it is. It also made me realize something, negativity feeds a lot of souls on Nigerian Twitter and I do not wish to be a part of it.
To them everything is a joke yet there is nothing to laugh about. Yes, budgets will go missing, there will be no light, there will be queue for fuels, there will be looting and so much more because those meant to be fighting for their future busy themselves with frivolous things.
The highlight of their days is who they managed to insult and get a reaction out of on social media. How sad is that.! They want to act like American kids forgetting the average American child has their basic amenities met. They even go as far as over doing it because I see no balance in what trends, it’s mainly negative negative negative.