Artist Health

Whitney Houston, Majek Fashek, How Dare They Have Problems?

The death of Whitney Houston which I found out earlier this evening while on Twitter comes as a shock. At only 48, Whitney died at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles today. I am still soaking it all in and to a large extent feel numb. She is one of the celebrities I was yet to meet, yet  it feels like I have known her all along.

Just this past three weeks, the entertainment industry here in the USA has lost some important names: Etta James, Don Cornelius and now Whitney Houston. For Nigeria, In Nigeria’s entertainment industry, it felt like 2012 could not come fast enough. We lost so many just in the last few months of 2011 it was becoming scary. The deaths in Nigeria were particularly upsetting as they tended to be reports of bad roads resulting in car crashes causing deaths. How very painful.

Often as I am already seeing on twitter and facebook, when we lose important figures in the entertainment industry, we begin making conclusions about these stars we have never met. If they did not live a certain lifestyle, they would have been alive. Many are already concluding Whitney’s past substance abuse problems is the cause of death even before we get a result from the coroner’s office. That may or may not be the case. But,  the idea that celebrities are supposed to live these perfect/pristine lives and not have problems is a bit too much of a high standard, I think, to demand just because they are in the limelight.

Often many think, “these are celebrities. They have the money, cars, houses, beautiful men or women at their beckon etc. How dare they have problems, right? Wrong. These are regular people who were lucky enough to have major financial blessings bestowed on them. Their problems, whatever they may be, does not cease to exist because we see them on the big screen or on red carpets. On the contrary, “the more money, the more problems” as the saying goes.

I saw a recent before and after picture of Majek Fashek on Linda Ikeji blog and many of the comments were unforgiving. It is really sad to see Majek Fashek now. However, I don’t know that most of us can say, unequivocally, that if we had the same opportunities, wealth, and same circumstances as these aforementioned indivduals etc. we would do better, make better decisions, live better lives. Life hits us with different curve balls and depending on the curve balls, we all are capable of making decisions that could be fatal and lead to a downward spiral. We all have our demons. It is really God’s mercy.

May her soul rest in peace. I am deeply saddened by this loss.

Majek Fashek images I spoke of

Whitney Houston

Africa Music Law™

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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  1. wow its like we were thinking the same. MJ’s death and this one where the most choking of all.I just don’t know what to do with myself right now. I never met Whitney but remember listening to her songs growing up.Celebrities became part of our lives, because we see them in pictures , we hear about their personal lives and feel entitled to know everything about their lives. All these big stars fight their own demons. I can’t imagine being trapped in my house and every time I have to go out I have look certain way and being chased by the Paparazzis. Money or fame does make everyone happy.Its a hard life to live. I spent the better part of the night crying but I know Whitney is at peace. Sometimes people just die. Love this blog BTW

    1. Hey you!!!!!

      What are you doing here? Lol! I thought you were an African Fashion fashionista babe Ms. It is good to see you in the music arena, and music law for that matter. BIG SMILE.

      I agree with your sentiments. It ain’t easy. We are all trying to figure it out.

      Thanks for stopping by. I hope you can make New York Fashion Week this September. We should meet then.


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