Anger, tears, accusations, counter-accusations, and alleged media bias
trail Newsroomâ€™s story on â€œunfoundedâ€ allegations of corruption a bomb
victim leveled against a Nigerian OAP.
Bomb victim Joy Musa has received the N50,000 Nigerian celeb Joke Silva donated to her live on Radio One 103.5FM.
Silva reportedly donated the money last August on a show anchored by On-Air Personality (OAP) Abigail Gogo. The showâ€™s producer, however, told Newsroom the donation was made in September.
Abigail turned the money over to Joy Musa after accusing her of slandering her name, an accusation she also levelled on the chairman of the Bomb Victims Association of Nigeria (BVAN), Kayode Olatunji â€” himself a bomb victim.
â€˜I donâ€™t even want the money again!â€™ Joy began shouting after Abigailâ€™s allegations. â€˜You people are lying against me,â€™ she said as she stood and rolled on the floor with several of those present trying to calm her.
WATCH: Bomb victim breaks down after OAP accused her of slander
This happened on Thursday at Radio One lobby where some employees of the station also accused our correspondent of bias, and of being part of the â€˜fraud to collect and share the money.â€™
â€˜We will expose you today,â€™ one of them shouted in our correspondentâ€™s face.
Abigail eventually gave Joy the money amidst chaotic scenes as top Radio One officials tried, to no avail, calming colleagues and subordinates who seemed angry at Joy and our correspondent for â€˜slanderingâ€™ Abigailâ€™s name.
BVANâ€™s Olatunji had told Newsroom Abigail may have spent the money on herself. But Abigail recently told Newsroom Joke Silva instructed the money be paid into a hospital bank account so Joyâ€™s leg could be operated upon.
Herdsmen shot Joy in the leg when they killed her husband, brother, and four children in Dogo Nahawa, Jos, leaving her handicapped and unable to care for her two remaining children â€“ a 13-year-old girl and a younger boy.
The name Makmende was popular among Kenyan children back in the 1990s. It was used to describe any child who believed he could challenge anyone to a fight (especially after just watching an action film). The legend disappeared with time, only to be reintroduced in a music video â€“ this time with a face to match the name. The musical trio Just A Band has released a video for the song Ha-he, and has centred it around Makmende.
The video has achieved instant popularity, with over 50,000 Youtube views (on the official upload alone) within two weeks of its release. The video has a seventies feel to it, and immediately brings back memories of Shaft. Makmende is also a mean-faced and fearless fighter who deals with his enemies ruthlessly, in this funny but oddly-violent video.
What has made Makmende even more popular was jokes about him on Facebook and Twitter, quite similar to the Chuck Norris or Jack Bauer jokes that have been making the rounds online:
â€“ Makmende bit a mosquito and it died of malaria
â€“ Apparently they changed the rules of Scrabbleâ€¦ and if you spell Makmende, you winâ€¦forever
â€“ Makmende beat the sun in a staring contest
â€“ When Makmende needs a massage he gets Jack Bauer to torture him.
The list is endless. And it all began with the aptly named Just A Band, made up of Jim Chuchu, Bill â€œBlinkyâ€ Sellanga, and Dan Wambua, three guys who met in university. They have now released two albums, with a dance/funk/house sound that would remind you of Gorillaz or Daft Punk. With two albums already released (Scratch To Reveal and 82), Just A Band is pretty much a DIY group making its own music, videos, and album sleeves, doing an impressive job despite tiny budgets. The problem that the group faces is the lack of structure in the Kenyan music industry, which is also a familiar setback in most African countries.
Makmendeâ€™s reintroduction into the Kenyan social scene has now become a viral Internet phenomenon, and has had the Just A Band trio becoming the centre of attraction in the East African country, with interviews on primetime TV news, while also attracting the attention of the international media. This is a case of talent and creativity mixed with determination, and should serve as a form of inspiration to other young Africans.
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â€˜Our plan was to raise N1.5 million for Joy and not just give her the N50,000 which is nothing compared to her condition,â€™ Abigail said.
But a seemingly unending delay in getting Silvaâ€™s little donation across to the suffering mother of two raised eyebrows in Olatunjiâ€™s camp prompting BVAN to level accusations at Abigail.
â€˜Itâ€™s a good thing they wanted to help Joy and we appreciate it,â€™ Olatunji said. â€˜But Joy had nothing and needed the N50,000 for her upkeep and we were wondering why it was taking too long to get the money across to her,â€™ he said.
Newsroom spoke with Abigail in April and she didnâ€™t mention the part where she said Silva instructed her to pay the money into a hospital account.
She only said Joy needed apply for the funds and also present her medical records â€“ something she wasnâ€™t able to do until about two weeks ago.
Abigail also said plans were on ground to raise more money for Joy. She opened a WhatsApp group and reached out to celebrities to help Joy. She, however, informed Newsroom recently she was deleting the group as people werenâ€™t turning up. She deleted the group on Tuesday.
A week after Joy applied for the N50,000, Radio One didnâ€™t release the money. Abigail said it was because almost everyone involved the in the case was busy with a major event at the station.
Abigail, this week, told Newsroom Silva instructed the money be paid into a hospital account and not directly to Joy. Several OAPs said the same thing but Silva is yet to confirm this claim to our correspondent who contacted her handlers.
Two days after Newsroom published Olatunjiâ€™s allegations against Abigail, she called Joy Musa and handed her the money even as several OAPs and Radio One employees called the bomb victim a fraud.
â€˜Sheâ€™s a fraud. She called several of our stations with different names and same story to beg for money,â€™ one of them said.
â€˜She called one show and claimed to be Rosemary,â€™ a Radio One employee said. â€˜She claimed to be a Boko Haram victim but sheâ€™s not. Sheâ€™s a herdsmen victim and even her story doesnâ€™t add up because she keeps changing it.â€™
Abigail herself made a similar allegation. She also accused Newsroom of jumping on Olatunjiâ€™s comments to gain cheap popularity.
â€˜I can see you need traffic for your blog but I wonâ€™t give you that pleasure of using my story to drive traffic,â€™ she told our correspondent in a WhatsApp chat.
â€˜Iâ€™ll advice you to pull down that post and get your facts right from me before publishing. If I decide to take legal action it may not go down well with you. I hope she (Joy) also told you that she has been calling from my former station Bond FM with a different name?
â€˜I have got detailed facts on this issue and can sue you for defamation of character. You mentioned that Joke Silva gave me cash (we never did). That is an incorrect postulation.
â€˜Secondly, Joy never knew the amount given and I was the one who mentioned the amount to her so if I wanted to misappropriate that meagre fund, would I have told her the amount given? I give you 24 hours to get your facts right or you will hear from my lawyer.
â€˜If I wasnâ€™t sympathetic towards her course I wouldnâ€™t even have put myself out there for her,â€™ she said.
Olatunji said he appreciated Abigailâ€™s concerns but wondered why the OAP wouldnâ€™t â€˜just give the woman her money.â€™
â€˜First, you said you would give her the money if she applied and then you later said Silva instructed the money be paid into a hospital account.
â€˜Why not give her the N50,000 and then go ahead to raise millions for her? Why turn around to accuse her of lying? These are the questions I want answers to,â€™ he said.
In our conversations with Abigail (before the first publication), she didnâ€™t call Joy Musa a fraud. She said, among other things, that she was going to ask Radio One for airtime some time this month so she could solicit funds for the bomb victim.
On Tuesday, however, Abigail suggested she suspected Joy Musa could be shady.
Hereâ€™s Abigail announcing the closure of the celeb WhatsApp group she opened for Joy
Joy Musa denied the accusations levelled against her saying she didnâ€™t understand why they all turned on her.
â€˜They all know I am Joy Musa and that I also bear Rosemary,â€™ she told us amid tears. â€˜All of them know this. They know I am the same person. So I donâ€™t understand why they are accusing me of calling with different names.â€™
WATCH: That time Joy Musa attempted suicide
â€˜All I know is that I was attacked in Jos and lost my husband and four children and my brother.
â€˜They told me herdsmen carried out the attack. Some told me it was Boko Haram. All I know is that my life changed that day, and for the bad.
â€˜I never believed I would be in a situation where I would be so helpless that I would have to beg other people to feed my children. They are no longer going to school.
â€˜We are also about to be thrown out of the place where we have been hiding our heads. I can live under the bridge if that is the new low but I fear for my children. My girl could become a prostitute and my little boy an armed robber,â€™ she said.