Wunmi Obe, singer, and daughter of deceased founder of Punch newspaper, late Olu Aboderin, has recounted the vitriol her family were subjected to, in the wake of the death of her younger brother, Jaiye, fifteen years ago.
The Aboderins were dogged by claims in several media reports of mistreating Jaiye’s widow, actress Stella Damasus with whom he had two daughters before his demise in 2005.
Wunmi in a Facebook post fifteen years after Jaiye’s demise recounted how some journalists robbed salt into the family’s wound allegedly with fake news including how one stole the only Jaiye’s obituary poster in her possession.
The post: “Almost 15 years ago, I lost my immediate kid brother. He was just 33. As I sat in my house mourning him, I read story after story about how my family and I stormed his home and became the in-laws from hell. I was initially relaxed because I believed that those who knew that this was an obvious lie could and would rise in our defense and set things straight with the gullible readers. But to my utmost disappointment, I was told that ‘controversy sells’ and so, nothing personal, but they had a job do to.
“One tabloid even dared to mock our tragedy by putting up a highly insensitive caricature of my brother dropping dead on the basketball court. One particular journalist even went as far as requesting an interview, discussing my music and career, only to write about what he’d seen in my home that day, how things were fine for me but had left my late brother’s family to suffer. He also stole the only obituary poster I’d been able to lay my hands on during the burial, which had been pasted on our front door, when no one was looking, so he could use it for his ‘blockbuster story’. The pain of that one still lingers. I wasn’t even left in peace to mourn my loss. I could have used my own means to hit back and debunk everything, but the stories were so baseless, we concluded that they were beneath acknowledgement. Today, these ‘newshounds’ have all moved on, from the media houses for which they wrote and reported – some to grace, others to grass. Yes, some of those tabloids no longer even exist. But I do. And so do the insults that still trail me over something I knew nothing about. And now that I’ve been stung a second time, you want to console me and ask for another interview because ‘that one was in the past and you’ve left that paper? See, in case you didn’t get the memo, ‘premier gaou n’est pas gaou’ but the second time? Those on this table make sure you don’t let the wooden splinters ‘chook’ you on your way down.”