When I first read about the sex tape, I could predict exactly how things were going to unfold. Tiwa is not an amateur in the game of celebrity. Learning from how she handled the situation with her now ex husband and father of her son, it was obvious to me that she was going to handle the affair as maturely as she did. She did the best thing which was to take responsibility and control the narrative. It was supposed to be a “Nice one Tiwa, next” but NO.
Whenever such incidents occur, they prompt us to revisit our moral code as a society. We sure all have skeletons in the closet and we all do things in our privacy that we would not love to be made public. It is my belief that usually those things we do in private that we don’t want to be made public are things we should not be doing anyway but sex is definitely not one of them.
It is a crime for us to make public some things which are not crimes if we do in our privacy. Sex is one of those things that we are legally not allowed to have in public. Indecent exposure is a crime and it is for a reason. In private, between two individuals of age and both giving consent, anything concerning sex is allowed including filming the action. Releasing someone’s sex tape, without their consent, is however a crime and trying to blackmail someone is also a crime.
I believe we all have the right moral compass around sex, no matter how we decide to read or misread it. Tiwa clearly has one and that is why she told Angie Martinez that she is worried about her mom seeing the tape and her son in the future getting bullied or taunted because of it. So somewhere in her heart, I believe she knows she could do better to protect the people she cares about.
Morality is less about right or wrong from a legal standpoint but rather about principles for proper conduct. It is about standards of behavior and we all have different standards we expect from ourselves and others. I say this for the people that want others to focus on the crime as that should be the only thing under judgement.
That we hold public figures to different or higher standards is not something new but it is about time we get off that boat and accept the fact that celebrities have only been marketed in the past as people of higher principle. Today’s celebrity is actually the exact opposite of that, most of today’s celebrity is actually a celebration of the bottom of the barrel.
Today’s celebrities of high morals and principles are thought of as good and just Ok, while those of low morals and principles are celebrated for their bravery. It is the world of 11th place trophies where Nipsey Hussle is eclipsed in the light of Tekashi Six Nine. Integrity has become so hard to maintain that the professor has to curve the grades so more people can graduate. After all, graduating has become more important than learning. How else will people trust the school if graduation rates are low?
The debate on morals in relation to Tiwa’s sex tape is however not the real debate. Most people are making it that to avoid having the real debate. You see arguments like “she is not even the one who was filming it,” “focus on the crime and not the victim,” “most of you talking do worse things behind closed doors,” “she might be a celebrity but she is also human,” So who was offended in the recording process? Was it a sin or a crime to record?” “Boys have been sending us d pics and we don’t release” and more.
Another celebrity trending lately is Dave Chappelle who many of the rainbow community would very much like to cancel. His message is an extension of the main argument that many defending Tiwa don’t want to have. Dave Chappelle used an allegory with Da Baby, how he killed a black man and walked free but got cancelled for saying some things (which he shouldn’t have said really) about the rainbow community. Da Baby killing the black man was in self defense, true, but stop refusing to see the bigger picture.
I made a similar observation when Joe Biden at the U.N speaking of conflicts around the world named some countries leaving out Cameroon but when talking about rights for members of the rainbow community mentioned Cameroon. That is after thousands of people have died as a result of the Anglophone Crisis while we have had three or four cases of violence against people of the rainbow community in the same period. Making this observation alone is enough for people of the rainbow community to want to lynch me or call me rainbowphobic.
In one argument on Twitter, one person was saying how she just lost respect for Tiwa while another said it was how Tiwa handled this situation that has actually made Tiwa earn her respect. Meanwhile there is nothing to be condemned here, there is even more nothing to be celebrated.
The real issue is the crowning of Tiwa as the queen of queens that so many want to do and that has been happening most often in such cases. The issue is wanting to make her the poster for women empowerment and bravery; and trust me the ads and endorsement deals are coming with the tagline “control your narrative…”
At the same time that sex tape was trending, there were women in Bamenda that took to the streets to bring awareness to the rape, killings and insecurity their communities are suffering as a result of the Anglophone crisis. Those women in Bamenda are not being crowned queens, neither are they being commended for their bravery. The mothers who wear black and sit on the floor to protest killings in the North West and South West are not being celebrated.
I am waiting for those who will come to ask me why I did not use the image of the women in Bamenda or write a lengthy article about them to put them on the spotlight like I will want others to do because ‘Sinners judging other sinners for sinning differently’ is the new excuse we use to avoid doing better.
– Norbert Foy