The Tonto Dikeh marriage crisis and saga has taken a turn for the worse. It’s been months now since Dikeh and her husband Oladunni Churchill took their marital crisis to social media. Dikeh has accused Churchill of domestic violence, giving her sexually transmitted diseases, among other damning accusations. Churchill, in turn, has accused Dikeh of preventing him from seeing his child and violently pushing his mother down a flight of steps.
Last week, Dikeh granted an interview to a Nigerian local media house where she reaffirmed her statements, and showed alleged evidence of her husband’s battery and assault against her. The interview seemed compelling. However, on Friday, March 10, a video interview with Ghana police emerged in which a Ghanaian officer claimed statements she made in her interview were false and that she was, in fact, responsible for $20,000 worth of damages in her husband’s home, and that she also assaulted her husband with a gun. The officer discussed his findings and that as a result of her criminal conduct, Ghana police arrested her.
Dikeh has now responded by denying the accusations and also producing more pictures of her husband’s alleged physical abuse against.
Several questions I have:
- Has Dikeh lost all her credibility in this mud slinging “invite the world into your marital woes situation”? We do know for a fact that Dikeh has anger issues and the ability to destroy property. In 2015, we saw a situation where Dikeh was angry with a Nigerian-American retailer over a fashion transaction and delivery of a designer fashion bag. In response to that situation, Dikeh publicly burnt the bag with no regrets whatsoever. We also know that Dikeh has confessed she has lied about many situations in her marriage on social media to keep up appearances when it didn’t matter. So, at this point, has she lost all credibility in light of this investigating officer’s report, or should we still believe her?
- What is the point of this social media mud slinging? Dikeh in her video interview referred to Churchill as her “husband” with only one instance of “ex” used. Now that the Ghana police’s interview has emerged, she claims he is unequivocally her “ex-husband.” If he is an ex, why this mud slinging? Has a court officially dissolved the marriage? What’s the child custody situation? Again, why all of these if the divorce has been finalized? Why not a focus on co-parenting and moving on?
- Is Dikeh’s approach the best way to help domestic violence victims? If Dikeh is to be believed that she was physically and emotionally abused, is this the best way to help other similarly situated victims? A very important thing for anyone who has suffered any form of abuse is to be believed when they tell their stories. Equally important is to get out of that situation ASAP. However, when a person purports to advocate on behalf of others by sharing her own story, I believe such person has a certain responsibility to preserve the credibility of the story. Dikeh doesn’t have to be a saint in the marriage. I am sure she wasn’t. But post marriage, if she wants to help other women and men in domestic violence situations, she has to change her strategy. It can’t be this tit for tat method because it is not working and if she continues, she will drive herself into a state of depression and be completely emotionally drained from it all.
Speaking of depression, we do know Dikeh has publicly shared her story of dealing with that issue prior to ever meeting and marrying Churchill. So, again, the method she is using does not appear to be helping her story or advancing a healthy emotional state. I believe Dikeh needs to unplug from social media, recalibrate and truly get to a point where she TRULY doesn’t need the validation of the public or anyone, and definitely not her ex-husband, to move on with her life. Also, why isn’t she consulting with her lawyer and domestic violence groups in Nigeria and abroad, if necessary, for a strategy on how to grab the issue of domestic violence in Nigeria by the balls and be relentless in creating a violent free society for women? Again, poor strategy, poor execution, too much drama and at this point, her story and voice is getting muddled, and very distracting. Tonto Dikeh, STOP. You are fighting a losing battle. There is nothing to prove. Move on and get busy about learning the necessary tools to effectively help others with your powerful platform. I also think you and your ex need SERIOUS counseling, separately, and together as it relates to co-parenting your son.
Finally, folks, I believe both Dikeh and Churchill do not come with clean hands in the roles they played in the breakdown of their marriage. Indeed, I am very suspicious of the police interview. Who are the people asking the questions? It seems to me it is pro-Churchill persons who want to show that Dikeh was most likely just as violent or instigated violence in the relationship, given her propensity and history of violence.
It is the more reason why I believe at this point, both need to move beyond what looks like a deep thirst for social media attention and validation, and seek help. They both need it.
Tonto Dikeh Interview with Media Room Hub
Ghana Police Interview
- AML142: The Business of Music in North Africa
- AML 141: Meet Camille Storm, Founder of C&C Distro, a Kenyan Music Distribution Company
- AML 140: Abiola Oke & Richelieu Dennis Sexual Harassment Claims: Lessons for Employers & Executives
- AML 139: Beyonce’s ‘Black is King’: Merch & Music Royalties for the African Artist
- @NYPost Please Correct your Misleading Headline Stating a “Beyonce-Endorsed Burna Boy Makes Afrobeat go International”