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Drugs, Booze & Sex : Dangerous lifestyles of Nigerian entertainers

 

The deaths of three
associates of Nigerian hip hop sensation, David Adedeji Adeleke
popularly known as Davido has brought to the fore the disturbing claim
of prevalence of hard drug use and alcoholic drinks among entertainment
stars in Nigeria.

Davido attracted negative publicity penultimate week
following the sudden death of one of his friends, Tagbo Umeike. Tagbo
reportedly died in a controversial circumstance on the eve of his
birthday, with actress Caroline Danjuma, who is alleged to be the
girlfriend of the deceased, claiming that Davido had questions to answer
on Tagbo’s death.
Davido’s camp’s claim that his friend died after taking
excess of Tequila, a brand of alcoholic drink made from the blue agave
plant was pooh-poohed by the result of the autopsy carried out on the
deceased by the police. The result, according to the police, showed that
Tagbo died of suffocation and not drunkenness.
But if the autopsy report dims the correlation between
Tagbo’s death and alcohol, the death of another friend, Olugbemiga
Abiodun, aka DJ Olu and one Chime Amaechi, who was reported to be a
member of the young singer’s crew, three days after Tagbo’s
controversial death, has further accentuated the prevalence of hard drug
abuse among artistes and their associates.
The police, last week, recovered substances suspected to
be hard drugs from a car in which Abiodun and Chime died. The deceased
were found dead penultimate Saturday in a BMW car in a garage on Block
B, Banana Island, Lagos.
Their journey to stardom, though may be tortuous, requires
a lot of perseverance but achieving and maintaining untainted records
having reached the peak of their careers continue to remain elusive to
most entertainment stars with drinks, drug and sex being their major
pitfalls.   
For many, club houses and joints where ladies swarm round
them almost nude and where hard drugs and cocktails of different hard
drinks can be easily got remain the slaughter slab for many of these
idolized music stars.
Most Nigerian entertainment stars have had to deal with sex scandal at certain point or the other in their careers.  The
yoke of baby mama syndrome hanging a round the necks of a good number
of the nation’s entertainers bears eloquent testimony to this injurious
habit.
Sunday Sun investigation revealed that hard drugs are more prevalent and cheaper as they are on sale at most night clubs all over Lagos.
According to sources, the drugs could be purchased at the
notable joints such as New Afrika Shrine in Ikeja despite a big signpost
saying drugs are not allowed in the club.
Also 311 Road in Festac Town, Lagos and some other major night clubs on the Island remain hotspots for drug vendors and users.
For hard drinks, sources informed Sunday Sun
that many Nigerian entertainers no longer derive satisfaction in single
brand of drink as many have developed insatiable desire for cocktail of
different brands.
According to experts, hard drugs work as central nervous
system (CNS) depressants by slowing down neural activity in both the
brain and the body. The brain and spinal cord make up the two main
organs in the CNS. Narcotics effects are believed to cause the nervous
system to slow down.
Apart from the CNS, experts say hard drugs weaken the immune system, thereby increasing susceptibility to infections.
They cause cardiovascular conditions ranging from abnormal
heart rate to heart attacks, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In
most cases, hard drugs cause the liver to have to work harder, possibly
causing significant damage or liver failure.
Different drugs are said to have different effects on the
body system ranging from hallucination, depression, liver and kidney
problems and fits. Some illegal drugs are known to kill the first time
the person takes them.
Other dangers of using hard drugs include decreased
performance in school, behavioral problems, crime and violence, lack of
good judgment, health problems, brain damage and lastly, but not the
least a descent into drug abuse and alcoholism.
Narcotics are known to contain alkaloids, which are
powerful poisons. There are more than 800 known alkaloids. Alcohol and
tobacco, as well as opium and marijuana contain these poisonous
alkaloids.
In view of the danger inherent in the use of these drugs,
which militate against the normal functioning of the body organs and the
nervous system, and definitely slow down the movements of the body, the
question arises as to why people use narcotics.
Experts say many people use narcotics because they claim
they get a “lift.” While others claim they use certain drugs as a matter
of social custom.
Although the use of illicit drugs is not a new trend, it
is growing at an alarming rate, with more entertainment stars embracing
its use for varying reasons.
Apart from the claim that drug users get Dutch courage from hard drugs, findings by Sunday Sun also showed that the availability of some of these hard drugs and drinks in Nigeria is also responsible for its abuse.
In the past, Indian hemp, cocaine and heroin were the
common drugs. However, these days, they come in different forms and
names with the youths experimenting with all sorts.      
Some of these hard drugs and drinks available in Nigeria
include Tequila, Big H (heroine), Happy dust, Crack, Devil drug,
M&M, Do a line, Mojo, China girl, Idiot pills, Joy juice, Red
bullets, Apache, Caps, Good fellas, Fantasy, Brown sugar, Charley, Stuff
(cocaine), Italian brown, Purple, Honey oil, Marijuana, Aunty Mary,
Club Drug, Beans, Blue devils, Mexican crack, Crank, Go fast, Big O,
Chinese tobacco, Crackers, Angel dust juice, Gym candy and Codeine.
Casualties
Legendary reggae singer, Majekodunmi Fasheke, aka Majek
Fashek remains a major reference point of the evil of hard drugs to
youths treading this perilous path. In 2015, it was revealed that Fashek
battled with drug addiction and was admitted into a drug rehabilitation
centre in Abuja after admitting that he needed help.
On November 17, 2013, Nigeria lost a rising music star in
Olufemi Mayomi, aka Fada U-turn. He was reported to have died after a
long battle with kidney disease. He was rumoured to have used hard
drugs.
Fada U-turn’s death was preceded by the demise of another
music star, Susan Oluwabimpe, popularly known as Goldie Harvey. Goldie
died on February 14, 2013, just hours after she arrived from Los
Angeles, where she had gone to experience the Grammy Awards. Although
the result of the autopsy carried out on the late singer indicated that
she died as a result of an “intra-cerebral hemorrhage” caused by
“hypertensive heart disease”, rumour also linked the talented singer to
hard drugs.
Similar allegation also trailed the late rap music star,
Olaitan Oladapo, popularly known as Dagrin, who died exactly eight days
after he was involved in a ghastly motor accident in front of Alakara
Police Station, Agege Motor Road, Mushin, Lagos. He survived a serious
head injury as a result of the crash and was initially admitted at Tai
Solarin Hospital, Mushin, before being transferred to the Lagos
University Teaching Hospital, (LUTH), Idi Araba, where he later died.     
The prevalence of hard drug use and alcohol among music
stars according to Pastor Nathaniel Okafor, national coordinator, Rescue
the Lost Mission, a Christian organisation dedicated to assisting drug
addicts, is underscored by the false impression that hard drugs imbue
them with confidence needed to be able to face the crowd while
performing.
“It is a total misconception to nurse the belief that hard
drugs aid artistes to overcome stage fright. What most hard drugs do is
actually to confound their sense of reasoning. This is what most of
them erroneously interprete as confidence-boosting function of hard
drugs. Unknown to these youths the damaging effects of hard drugs on
their health and careers far outweigh the flawed belief they tend to
have in them,” Okafor submitted.
Okafor’s view was echoed by a one-time President of the
Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, PMAN, TeeMac Omatsola
Iseli. The renowned flutist noted that only immature musicians would
resort to taking hard drugs to boost their confidence level before
taking to stage.
“I would say that applies more to immature musicians. For a
professional like me who studied music for 12 years and holds a degree
as a concert flutist and a degree as a philharmonic composer and also a
PhD, I don’t need that because I am self-confident. When I go on stage
and I face 100,000 people or I face cameras, my heart pumps adrenaline
and then, I don’t need any drugs to perform well. But when you are not a
trained musician and you’re shy, then you get into drinking or drugs to
gain self-confidence. But you don’t realize that when you’re drunk or
stoned, you’re actually reducing your capability to perform well,” Iseli
said.
Attempts to get the reaction of the National Drug Law
Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, proved abortive as calls to the mobile line
of the agency’s spokesperson, Mr. Jonah Achema, were not answered even
as a text message sent to the same line was not replied, as at the time
of filing this report.
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