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Patience Jonathan, Asari Dokubo, other personalities who impacted Nigerian pop culture

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Compared to a few years ago, there is a noticeable shift in how people achieve fame.

Gone are the days when you had to be a royal figure or a wealthy individual to become famous.

Anyone can become a global sensation overnight with just the right words or actions recorded and uploaded to social media.

This is commonly referred to as a viral moment. While many viral moments are short-lived for the people involved, others become timeless, heavily influencing the global phenomenon known as “Pop Culture.”

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Nigeria is no stranger to individuals with these viral moments, as many have found ways to shape the entertainment industry, becoming a reference in films, skits, and songs. They’re popular on social media as a meme or slang.

From political figures to comedians, here is a list of ten Nigerians whose viral moments significantly impacted pop culture.

1. Patience Jonathan

Surprise, Patience Jonathan, Nigeria’s former first lady, tops our list. During her husband Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure, the former first lady became well-known for her grammatical errors during broadcast speeches or interviews.

Among the few amusing statements she made, one that broke the internet was “There is God oh,” which earned her the title of “Youtube’s most-watched Nigerian non-music video” in 2015.

Patience Jonathan (There is God''
Patience Jonathan (There is God”

She made the statement in a video that aired on channel television in 2014.

Mrs Jonathan was seen in the video meeting with the principal of GSS, police commissioners, and WAEC officials. Speaking about the kidnapping of the Chibok girls, the former first lady sobbed, “All this blood you people are shedding, there is God o, there is God o, God…o…Chai, there is God o.”

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The video quickly went viral after producers added sound effects and released a remix version.

Skit creators also used it in their videos, and comedians frequently used it in their routines.

2. Shem Obafaiye

Before 2013, it was rare to see one out of ten people not wearing a tee-shirt with the words “Oga at the top.”

When asked for the NSCDC website address during an interview with Sunrise in 2013, a Channel’s television program, Mr Obafaiye, who was then the Lagos state commandant of the Nigeria security and defence corps (NSCDC), referred to his “oga at the top.”

Shem Obafaiye aka Oga at the top
Shem Obafaiye aka Oga at the top

The presenters pushed harder to get him to open up, but all he could say was, “ww. nscdc, that’s all.

The interview went viral, as is customary for Nigerian social media users, and everyone jumped on the trend of saying, “Let me ask my Oga at the top” when asked a question.

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3. Odunlade Adekola, Mr Ibu

Odunlade Adekola, a famous Yoruba actor, is no stranger to the walls and feeds of numerous social media accounts. Because of his ability to convey various funny emotions in films, his images are frequently used as memes with witty captions above them.

Odunlade
Odunlade

The most famous image is one in which he is dressed in an Ankara and has an exclamation expression on his face.

Mr Ibu is another actor who has become well-known for his memes. Mr Ibu’s name would undoubtedly be among the top ten on any list of the top funny actors in Nollywood.

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Boasting a vast collection of comedy movies, Mr Ibu has portrayed several characters that have left viewers laughing.

Mr-Ibu
Mr Ibu

To accurately represent comical statements, Nigerians often use a picture from one of his movies to buttress their point.

4. Papa Kallem

If you hear the words “Funke” or “Apostle will hear of this” in a comedy skit, remember that it came from a Nigerian-British man called Papa Kallem. He is the father of famous Youtuber Emma Kallem.

Papa Kallem
Papa Kallem

When Emma was 16, he played a prank on his father by telling him he had impregnated a 14-year-old girl.

Unaware of the recording, his father began calling his mother’s name, Funke, and threatening to inform the apostle, which is where the phrase “the Apostle will hear of this,” came from.

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5. Unknown man from CV interview

“If you don’t get it, forget about it” is a slang phrase that evolved from social media to reality. A man stated this during a street interview in which he was asked to explain what a CV is.

His response was incoherent, prompting the interviewer to ask him what he meant, resulting in the iconic phrase.

6. Aki and Pawpaw

Even though their films were released over a decade ago, the troublesome Nollywood duo remains popular among Nigerians.

Aki and Pawpaw
Aki and Pawpaw

Aki and Paw paw’s reactions in pictures have become a staple for social media to express their feelings and humorous opinions. Played by talented actors Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme, their video clips have gained wide circulation worldwide, especially that of Aki (Osita Iheme).

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In 2021, a reboot of the classic hit film was released in theatres across the country.

7. Oga Sabinus

Chukwuemeka Emmanuel Ejekwu, aka Oga Sabinus, is a famous comedian known for his hilarious skits on YouTube and Instagram.

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Despite having been in the comedy business since 2015, he rose to prominence in 2019. In the following years, he won the De Elite Nigerian Star Award (DENSA) and the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award (AMVCA) for being the best content creator.

oga-sabinus
Oga Sabinus

Widely recognised for his blue shirt and relatable content, the comedian’s picture has become a must-use for social media users attempting to explain or calculate a point.

8. Asari Dokubo

‘‘70 years old man’’ , ‘’You think say you wise’’ and ‘‘You be mumu’’ are two phrases made famous by Asari Dokubo during an online spat with the maverick entertainer Charly Boy in 2017.

The leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force made the remarks when he mocked the #Ourmumudondo convener, Charles Boy, for collapsing during the #ResignOrResume protest in Abuja.

Asari Dokubo
Asari Dokubo

Speaking in a Facebook video at the time, Dokubo flayed Charlyboy for not supporting the movement for the Independent of Biafra. He mocked : “Dem teargas am. He fainted. He passed out. 70-year-old man. Charlyboy, na your mumu don too much. You think say you’re wise? You’re a mumu man. As them throw the tear gas, something wey pass for reach you.”

Several mainstream Nigerian television and radio stations and Nigerian Instagram skitmakers have adopted the phrases in their content creation.

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Crime

Nigerian Navy investigates civilian worker’s death

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The Nigerian Navy (NN) says it has begun investigation on how one of its civilian staff members, Mr Ifeanyi Onumaegbu, died.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, announced this in Lagos on Thursday.

He explained that Onumaegbu died at the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital (NNRH) Ojo, Lagos, where he worked.

He explained further that the deceased was a civilian staff of the Ministry of Defence attached to the Laboratory Department of the NNRH since 2009.

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”The navy is deeply saddened by the demise of Mr Ifeanyi Onumaegbu and the circumstances surrounding his death.

”On March 31, he was found lifeless in his office at NNRH.

“A preliminary investigation revealed that on March 26, the deceased was involved in an altercation with a civilian lady and some NN personnel in Navy Town Barracks,” he said.

Ogalla said that all suspected personnel and the civilian lady involved in the previous altercation had been identified and “are currently under close custody”.

He also said that NN had facilitated the movement of the deceased’s body to a reputable government hospital in Lagos based on the request of the family for an autopsy.

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“The NN further wishes to assure his family and the public that all necessary measures are being taken to unravel the cause of his death.

“Any person found culpable would be prosecuted according to extant laws,” he said.

Theheute recalls that the Joint Executive Council of Ministry of Defence embarked on a peaceful mourning protest on April 8 against the death of Onumaegbu

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The protest was held across all the civilian personnel units of the Ministry of Defence.

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Hardship: Prophet Fufeyin Donates N30m To Less-privileged Nigerians

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Billionaire prophet and General Overseer of Christ Mercyland Deliverance Ministry in Warri, Delta State, Prophet Jeremiah Fufeyin, has given out over N30 million in charity to reduce the current economic crisis faced by the masses.

In a viral video on social media, Fufeyin, known for his philanthropic gestures, was seen giving out wads of cash to church members to ameliorate the rising price of food items in the country.

The humanitarian effort has caught the attention of netizens, capturing the hearts of many amid the current challenging times.

Fufeyin has emerged as a beacon of hope by extending a remarkable gesture of kindness towards struggling church members even as he stressed the need for well-meaning Nigerians to help assuage the challenges of the masses.

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This spontaneous and substantial donation not only alleviated immediate concerns but also underscored Fufeyin’s deep empathy for those affected by economic hardship.

The response to Fufeyin’s act of benevolence has been overwhelmingly positive, with Nigerians taking to social media platforms to commend his compassion and selflessness. Amidst a climate of economic uncertainty and rising living costs, Fufeyin’s initiative has resonated deeply, sparking discussions about the importance of generosity and communal support during trying times.
Fufeyin expressed his motivation for the donation, citing a desire to alleviate the suffering of his church members and fellow Nigerians in tangible ways.

He emphasised the necessity of collective action in addressing societal challenges and urged others, particularly those in positions of influence, to contribute towards uplifting the less fortunate.
The impact of Fufeyin’s philanthropy extends beyond financial assistance, serving as a powerful reminder of the potential for positive change when individuals leverage their resources for the greater good of all.

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Crime

39 lecturers indicted for sexual harassment in five years – Report

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No fewer than 39 lecturers in the nation’s tertiary institutions have been indicted and dismissed over sexual misconduct in the past five years, analysis of media reports by Theheute has revealed.

Sexual harassment has been recurring in Nigerian higher educational institutions with a survey conducted in 2018 by the World Bank Group’s Women revealing that 70 per cent of female graduates from tertiary institutions in the country were sexually harassed in school, with the main perpetrators being classmates and lecturers.

Although the Senate had in 2021 passed a bill stipulating 21 years imprisonment for randy lecturers, Theheute reports that most of the lecturers indicted and found guilty after the bill was passed were simply sacked.

In April 2018, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, announced the indefinite suspension of a professor of Accounting, Richard Oladele, over sexual harassment.

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In 2021, the university also dismissed three lecturers from the Departments of English Language, International Relations and Accounting over sexual harassment.

In February 2020, the institution also announced the suspension of a lecturer at the Centre for Distance Learning, Monday Omo-Etan, for sexually molesting a 19-year-old female student.

In 2019, Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, announced the suspension of an associate professor, Monday Igbafen, over allegations bordering on sexual harassment of female students.

Igbafen, who was the chairman of the AAU branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities at the time, had accused the vice-chancellor of the institution of trying to frame him.

The senior lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the university, in a letter written to the school by his lawyers, Osahon Irebhude & Co, demanded a written apology from the school.

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In September 2020, the management of the Imo State University announced the suspension of two lecturers, who were alleged to have been involved in sexual misconduct with female students.

In February 2021, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, announced the suspension of a lecturer in the Department of Archaeology and Tourism, Dr Chigozie Odum, over allegations bordering on sexual misconduct.

The Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, similarly suspended a lecturer in the Department of Media and Theatre Arts in June 2021 for sexual misconduct.

In the same month, the management of the University of Lagos announced the dismissal of two lecturers over similar offences.

In August of that year, the University of Port Harcourt announced the dismissal of a lecturer in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature for sexual misconduct.

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In October 2021, the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, also announced the dismissal of two lecturers from the departments of Nutrition/Dietetics and General Studies over sexual misconduct.

A lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education was dismissed for impregnating a female student.

In December 2021, the Kwara State University, Malete, announced the dismissal of a lecturer for harassing a student in the Department of Pure and Applied Sciences.

In January 2022, the Elechi Amadi Polytechnic, Rivers State, announced the dismissal of a lecturer for harassing a female student.

In April 2022, OAU again launched a probe into allegations of sexual harassment against a professor in the Department of Linguistics and African Studies. So far, two professors have been affected in the institution.

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In June 2022, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Prof Abdul-Raheed Na’allah, announced the dismissal of two lecturers for sexual misconduct. Both of them are professors.

Earlier in 2023, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission arraigned Dr. Balogun Olaniran of the Tai Solarin University of Education, who was said to have allegedly demanded sexual gratification from a female student to alter her results in 2021.

In March 2023, a lecturer at the Kogi State Polytechnic, Abutu Thompson, was dismissed on account of sexual harassment and victimisation of a female student in the Department of Computer Science.

In May, the management of the Ambrose Alli University in Edo State reportedly dismissed an unnamed lecturer over allegations bordering sexual harassment.

Reports noted that the lecturer was dismissed on the recommendations of the institution’s Staff Disciplinary Committee, which found him guilty of the offence.

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According to AAU’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Asomwan Adagbonyin, the dismissed lecturer had claimed to only make advances, yet he went to the girl’s church to plead for forgiveness.

In July 2023, the VC of UNIABUJA, Na’allah, said two lecturers were dismissed following allegations of sexual harassment.

In August, the management of the University of Calabar suspended the embattled Dean, Faculty of Law, Prof. Cyril Ndifon, over allegations of sexual harassment. Ndifon is currently being held by security operatives.

On September 7, 2023, the University of Lagos suspended a lecturer, Kadri Babalola, who was accused of raping a 21-year-old student.

Similarly, in October 2023, the Federal College of Forestry, Plateau state announced the suspension of four lecturers over allegations bordering sexual harassment of female students.

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Speaking with our correspondents on the matter, the Director of Programmes, Reform Education Nigeria, Ayodamola Oluwatoyin, urged President Bola Tinubu to sign the sexual harassment bill into law.

Oluwatoyin said, “The President signing the bill will be a game-changer. We need to make schools safe for our students. The most unfortunate part of the issue is that some of these students even when harassed are scared to come out in the open for fear of victimisation and other issues.”

Former Programme Manager, Gender Justice at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation, Nafisa Atiku-Adejuwon, urged institutions to prevent survivors from being further victimised into silence and provide safe anonymous pathways for them to report such incidents.

Atiku-Adejuwon also called for the building of a system of trust between university management and the student population.

“The response system has to be survivour-centred and holistic; mental and physical health concerns must be taken seriously. The response system shouldn’t be created to make the university look good; it should be to take care of the survivors,” she added.

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