Deaths… And the music house
What Is Going On In Davido’s Camp?
Music is one of the most influential art forms of today’s society, and drugs, better still, substance abuse, especially to today’s youths, adds to the attractiveness of it all.
On stage, they are loved, applauded and mobbed when they hold the mic to thrill their fans. They are so energetic that you can’t, but wonder what really keeps them going or gives them the drive. They’re always under enormous pressure to perform at high levels.
Over the years, the entertainment landscape is replete with artistes, who have died from substance use disorders. However, most remarkable were those of Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Marilyn Monroe, Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse.
From Presley, who allegedly suffered a heart attack while on numerous prescription pills at age 42 to Hendrix, who died from a sleeping pill overdose at age 27, the same thread could be found: the urge to become immortal on stage.
Suddenly, this culture has crept into the country. In recent years, there has been excessive use of drugs and alcohol among Nigerian entertainers with many of them still struggling to manage the damaging effects.
For some young musicians, drug use is part of being creative; hence they delve into it without thinking twice. Though, there haven’t been major deaths, recent events point to the fact that there may be one soon. But how soon? I mean God forbid.
According to psychologists, alcohol and drug abuse is a general problem, but entertainers are especially vulnerable due to the intense demands of their calling.
For frontline stand-up comedian, Okey MacAnthony popularly known as Okey Bakassi, majority of illicit drugs consumers in Nigeria are celebrities, and conservatively, 70 per cent of them are on some sort of substance, which are code-named with names like SK, Kush, Loud, etc. He made the assertion when he appeared as a guest on Emma Ugolee’s The Gist alongside singers, African China and Sound Sultan.
Admitting he indulged in the act when he was younger, Bakassai noted that entertainers often take drugs to boost their creativity. “I did some of it too. Creativity is part of it. It enhances creativity in the short term,” he said.
A mental health expert who was also on the show, said, “Drugs and alcohol, today are the to-go guy and yet the most commonly abused substance.”
Weekend Beat in its investigation gathered that a number of these Nigerian entertainers have been known to share photos on their social media handles like Instagram, where they are seen smoking marijuana.
A popular artiste had, in one of his Instagram post, appeared puffing on what appears to be a rolled-up marijuana. In July 2016, his fans advised him to relax on his cannabis (marijuana) intake, saying it was drying him up and beginning to affect his appearance.
“Must you smoke all the time,” one fan asked him on social media. Another said, “since he burst into limelight, he has at different times, publicly displayed his love for smoking pot – in the same vein as some of his foreign friends and collaborators, Rihanna and Chris Brown.”
The artiste, in a video, which went viral on the internet in 2012, was seen freestyling about ‘smoking weed’ on a daily basis while holding between his index and middle finger, a rolled up marijuana.
He has shown off several rolled-up joints in series of Instagram photos in the past few years, most often when he travels abroad. In September 2014, he was reportedly arrested in Kenya for smoking in a non-smoking hotel, Standard Digital News reported.
No doubt, it’s a trying time for pop singer, David Adeleke popularly known as Davido or Omo Baba Olowo (O.B.O), as he lost three of his dear friends within the space of one week with unclear causes for deaths, but many alleged there might have been abuse of alcohol and drugs.
First it was Umeike Tagbo, then Olugbemiga Abiodun (aka DJ Olu) and Chime Amaechi. While the autopsy report on Tagbo is awaited to establish the cause of his death, sources said Davido, Tagbo and other crew members were allegedly engaged in a drinking game when he (Tagbo) passed out.
According to a source, the Aye crooner is alleged to have initiated the drinking idea to his crew, with a promise to give a brand new iPhone 8 and N200, 000 Naira cash to the winner.
Tagbo, who was serious about winning the prize, reportedly had overdose, after downing 40 tots of ‘Tequila’, an alcohol drink. He collapsed and died in a bar in Lekki, Lagos on his birthday.
In the case of DJ Olu, son of oil baron, Dapo Abiodun, and Chime Amaechi, they were reportedly found dead in a BMW car in a garage on Block B, Banana Island Lagos on Saturday, October 7.
DJ Olu was signed as the official DJ for Davido’s HKN Record in 2011, after disc jockeying and headlining numerous parties across the country, which didn’t take long for him to get noticed.
Though, he started off his DJ career as an underground DJ in 2010 while studying for his ‘A’ levels in England, he played in countries like South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Benin, USA and major cities in the UK. His mixtapes include, some of the hottest artistes from the scene.
Explaining why some artistes engage in drug, wave-making Reggae Blues crooner, Harrison Tare Okiri, well known as Harrysong and now Mr. Songs, said: “It’s not a plus, because I think it’s a limitation. Some are shy and can’t face the crowd but I think it is enough reason to take drugs. I don’t do drugs. For me, if God has given you a talent, he also empowers you to handle any challenges that may come with it.”
According to the Alabanko singer, he doesn’t smoke or drink, but gets his inspiration from God to thrill his fans with awesome performance on stage. “There are some artistes who can’t do without booze or drugs before mounting the stage,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Police Command, on investigation to unravel the cause of the recent deaths of friends of the hip-hop act, Davido, recovered substances suspected to be had drugs from a car, with registration number KJA631AY, in which their corpse were found.
Acting Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Edgal Imohimi, while confirming the deaths and recovery of the substances, said the police would subject the substances to laboratory tests to ascertain the kind of drugs they are.
“The victims were found dead in the garage; some substances suspected to be drugs were found in the vehicle. There were no marks of violence on their bodies. Let the autopsies explain the cause of the deaths. The substances will be analysed, and it is being done. We need experts opinion,” he said.
According to Imohimi, Davido’s men abandoned the deceased inside his ash-coloured Toyota Camry with registration number LSD378EL on his (Davido) instruction, adding that the interim autopsy report revealed the victim died of Asphyxia.
The Ag CP, while trying to verify facts, called for a pre-investigation meeting in his conference room. In attendance were all parties, including family, friends of the deceased; those of Davido; Caroline Danjuma; the DPO and investigating officers.
“The meeting confirmed that the deceased Tagbo on that day met and had drinks with friends at Shisha Bar amongst whom was Davido. The bar tender confirmed the deceased had as much as 40 tots of Tequila and exhibited signs of drunkenness,” Imohimi said.
Davido had told the police he had left Shisha Bar for DNA Night Club in Victoria Island without the deceased and was only informed by mutual friends of his death while he was at DNA.
“The CCTV footage at the hospital picked the escort vehicle and the entire activity. The vehicle was recovered from Davido’s residence at 7, Awoshika Street, Lekki Phase 1.
“However, investigation revealed that Davido’s white Toyota Hilux escort driver, Tunde Usutu, accompanied by one Agbeje Olaoye and one Idris Busari, both Davido’s friends, took the deceased to the General Hospital Lagos and abandoned him in his vehicle on the instruction of Davido.”
According to another source, the duo had vomited blood from their nose and mouth, and a preliminary physical examination suggested that they died of drug overdose.
“They were found dead in the car and blood was coming out of their nose and mouth. A doctor was on ground, and physical examination of the bodies showed that they died of overdose of substances suspected to hard drugs. The substances were found in the car,” the source stated.
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