It’s sad to hear about the suicidal attempt by popular Nigerian Actress Tonto Dikeh. The actress took to instagram and shared some tidbits about her attempt to end it all. The cause of her attempted suicide is allegedly the negative statements and comments made online by many about her.
“WokeUp happy n decided to share diz***I’ve bin here b4 n I can tell u we stronger Dan our problemz/painz/Etc**That day I realized SUICIDE iz for COWARDZ**if u’ve gat no1 to talk to like mii I suggezt u strt wit GOD,diz shitzzzz crazy(world) but it iz Ourz dnt leave it in SHAME,ILOVEU”—Tonto Dikeh
I don’t believe, however, that such statements are the exclusive cause of her suicidal attempt.
I believe it is a culmination of both her personal lifestyle, other underlying psychological pre-existing issues, and the negative comments online.
To that end, here is my 50kobo for all its worth both to AML artists, readers and Tonto in case you read this.
1. All of us have or will reach some dark moments in our lives. It is inevitable.
2. These life tests serve as a wake up call so we may reassess the choices we make and make the necessary adjustments to get back on the track of health and happiness.
3. Whether you are a busy industry professional, an artist, actor et al. your health comes and should come first. If you are an artist, you understand the tedious challenges, even if you are having a good time, of touring, sleeping in hotels, eating hotel foods, not seeing family and loved ones even during the holidays for extended periods, long periods/hours of studio time and the list goes on. If you are an actor/actress , you understand the isolated and long periods on set executing your craft, travels for promotional work, sleeping in hotels, eating hotel foods, the unrealistic demands from fans and the list goes on. For models and other very busy professionals (including industry lawyers and fellow industry entrepreneurs), you know the realities of the aforementioned groups parallel yours. Therefore, your health comes first.
4. It is wise not to compound the stress your body goes through based on your career choices; and all of the nutrients it already loses with drug use because you are bound to hit rock bottom, faster, and go through depression cycles, especially when life’s curve balls hits you hard and fast.
Tonto Dikeh is notorious for not only using controlled substances (marijuana is her drug of choice) but boasting about and sharing images to that effect. The last time she shared images on social media and appeared to encourage drug use, the Nigerian government got involved and threatened investigations and possible prosecution. I have no clue whether her drug use is limited to marijuana. Either way, such use, may compound health issues or further aggravate mental and physical health issues, leading to such really low points and contemplation or suicidal attempts.
Indeed, Actresses and Actors are usually asked to go outside of who they are to take on personas and roles that are demanding both mentally, emotionally and physically. If you are good at your craft, to me, it means there is even more demand on your body. Therefore, making sure you prioritize your health is important.
5. No one said it would be easy. Really. If it is not one challenge, it is another. Life is a long journey of highs and lows. You sort of take it as it comes. For some, when life comes at them, they run away and stay running all the time. Still, for others, they strike back, all the time, even when life is not striking at them. The trick, I believe, is to know when to strike back at life’s curve balls and when to fall back. It takes practice and is an ever continuing process. If comments on blogs, media etc. is your trigger point, avoid those comments and most importantly, work on yourself (childhood issues, trauma, family drama etc.) so that you are not easily bent out of shape when you see comments made about you.
6. Finally, I believe that we are made up of the mind, body and soul. I believe that often, especially in today’s day and age, the soul part is highly neglected. For many, especially those in the entertainment industry, the line becomes blurry (in knowing) when you are “on” entertaining and when you are off stage and should be using that opportunity to replenish and refuel. When you keep up at that pace and do not feed the soul, you are bound to hit rock bottom. Feed your soul with spiritual food. Your career is not your god. Your fans and their doting on you is not and should not be your god. The ability to please people and make them happy through your craft should not be your god. Needless to say this is because you will come up short and empty everytime.
There is a bigger power than you. For Muslims, it is Allah. For Christians it is God, Jehovah. In short, across time (and for all kinds of groups) and to the present, there is a need for human beings to connect with a divine power that is all knowing and greater than them.
As entertainers or persons in the business of entertaining, never believe the hype and don’t think you are above this need to feed your soul. Stay grounded in reality.
Tonto, I hope you feel better and I hope you take the much needed emotional break to find yourself and your voice. You are beautiful but you try way too hard (in my view based on what you put out to the public) to be accepted, liked, wanted et. al. You say it doesn’t matter what others say or think but clearly it does. Take the time to find yourself and then just be, which to me would yield a Tonto Dikeh that is effortlessly chic because you are very comfortable and happy in your skin.
Also, when you get to a point where it does not matter what people think or say about you, you will not even need to say it. You just keep it moving and live your life.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Folks, I’d love to hear what you have to say. How do you deal with the hard times in your lives? Have you been at a very dark place and how where you able to climb out of it?
Photocredit: TCD Photography
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