Top 10 Controversial Nigerian Celebrities
It is unusual to see a month go by without having to see a controversial figure dominating the Nigerian social media space. This is because some celebrities court attention by either deliberately making controversial statements or doing engaging in almost unbelievable things in order to remain talked about.
For celebrities or personalities that deliberately court attention, the goal is to become so much talked about that they trend and become the subject of discussions for days.
In this post, we shall be highlighting some top controversial Nigerian personalities who have been consistent at courting controversies whether deliberately or otherwise.
Top 10 Controversial Nigerian Celebrities
In no particular order, below is a list of our top 10 controversial Nigerian personalities, according to NaijaTask:
1. Tonto Dikeh
Tonto Dikeh is a beautiful, popular Nollywood actor whom many have come to know as “toxic”, particularly after the crash of her marriage to Olakunle Churchill. The period only revealed that the beautiful make-believe professional is human as with all of us as she took to social media to call out her estranged husband and even entertained some interviews which painted Churchill in a bad light.
Prior to her messy divorce, Tonto Dikeh has dominated the social media space by courting several controversies and has faced off with some fellow celebrities.
The mother of one recently got into a social media show of shame with crossdresser, Bobrisky following their “bestie” relationship which went sour. Interestingly, Tonto Dikeh is one of the controversial Nigerian personalities that has remained consistent. A king!
Okuneye Idris Olarenwaju popularly known as Bobrisky is a controversial internet sensation and a Nigerian crossdresser. Bobrisky has stirred up controversies right from the moment he became a social media figure and has become effortlessly good at courting attention. Barely a month goes by without a Bobrisky trend.
The University of Lagos graduate came to public notice following his Snapchat engagements which he gathered by telling his teeming followers that he has a male lover.
In 2019, the DG of Nigeria’s National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe referred to the social media sensation as a “national disgrace”, following series of Bobrisky’s controversial videos where he claimed he is bankrolled by Abuja politicians.
In 2020, Bobrisky claimed he was pregnant and even shared pictures of himself rocking a baby bump. He had also hinted severally about going for a body enhancement plastic surgery in order to make his “feminine figure” come out more. In early 2021, Bobrisky claimed he had undergone his much-anticipated surgery.
Bobrisky has clashed with countless celebrities on social media and has had himself beaten by someone at some point in public over vehicular incidents.
The once-upon-a-time Tonto Dikeh’s bestie dragged his friend recently and claimed the Nollywood start borrowed five million Naira him which she has failed to pay back.
Bobrisky, though a male, said he prefers to be referred to as a “Queen” and prefers to be addressed with pronouns such as “her” and “she”.
3. Emeka Odumeje aka Indaboski Bahose
The self-acclaimed prophet and clergyman Emeka Odumeje who goes by many aliases is seen by many as comic relief in the Christian religious sphere. The unlettered “prophet” commands a sizeable congregation in his Onitsha-based church.
Odumeje might be the newest on this list length of years-wise but his controversies are unmatched despite coming to public notice less than five years ago. His unorthodox methods of healing and deliverance sessions in his church have raised thousands of questions as to why the Nigerian Christian body and the government turned a blind eye from grossly abusing and assaulting his members in the name of Christianity.
The Onitsha-based prophet, according to one of his late right-hand members, Ada Jesus, stage-managed miracles with the aid of Nollywood actress, Rita Edochie.
Odumeje who calls himself “The Liquid Metal”, “The War”, “The Fight”, “The Lion”, “Sepre”, “Abidoshika”, “Lemande”, “Coat of Many Colours”, “Indaboski Bahose” amongst a host of other names is close to a decent number of English Nollywood actors who periodically attend his church programmes.
4. Daddy Freeze
Ifedayo Olarinde, popularly known as Daddy Freeze is a Nigerian OAP and self-acclaimed “Leader of the Free Nation in Christ”, a supposedly online church established to “Free The Sheeple”.
Freeze is regarded by many, particularly clergymen as nothing but a nuisance who is trying to make a name from himself by going after popular pastors in order to get recognition.
Daddy Freeze who started his #FreeTheSheeple movement in order to, according to himself, emancipate Christians from the clutches and indoctrination of religious heads, particularly on tithe paying moved from subtle attacking pastors to hurling insults at them. Notable among his prey-pastors is Bishop David Oyedepo whom the controversial OAP referred to as a “screeching bald-headed fowl” repeatedly.
In reaction to Freeze’s constant attacks on Africa’s richest preacher, several pastors publicly laid curses on him and called him unprintable names. Although Freeze later apologised to the billionaire clergyman, he still continued on his quest to “Free The Sheeple” using his online church.
5. T.B. Joshua (Late)
The Late TB Joshua was one of the most controversial pastors in Nigeria up until his passing in June 2021. The philanthropist and televangelist was enmeshed in several scandals and controversies which spanned for over two decades.
Up until his death, T.B. Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) sold “holy water” and picture frames of the controversial clergyman for five thousand Naira each during deliverance and healing sessions. Those who can’t afford both are denied access to the Ondo-born pastor.
Several core members of his church who left for reasons best known to them raised serious allegations including stage-managing miracles and other unprintable vices.
In 2014, SCOAN’s guest house in Lagos collapsed, killing over a hundred people from far and near who lodged in the guest house. The Lagos State government revealed that the six-storey guest house structure was defective and was never approved but the church went ahead to build the guest house.
T.B. Joshua tried to cover up the disaster and was caught on tape bribing journalists who visited to interview him about the collapsed guest house. The clergyman instead offered reporters in attendance the sum of N50,000 (fifty thousand Naira) each to “fuel” their cars but that they should not report the event (sic). Nicholas Ibekwe who secretly recorded the bribery scandal later took to Twitter to state he was the only journalist who rejected the bribe.
T.B. Joshua was never prosecuted despite overwhelming evidence that he was involuntarily responsible for the death of nearly 100 people.
The clergyman had also claimed, during one of his church services that he saw Hilary Clinton winning the US 2016 Presidential election and had also posted the same on his social media handles but swiftly deleted them after Trump won and claimed the “prayers of Americans reversed his prophecy”.
So controversial was T.B. Joshua that top Nigerian pastors, the Christian Association of Nigeria, and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria neither sent their condolences to his church and family nor paid a courtesy visit, even during his burial.
6. Burna Boy
Burna Boy whose full name is Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu is a Nigerian Afro-fusion singer and songwriter and one of Africa’s most bankable and successful artists.
Not many are aware that the Portharcourt-born singer has been controversial right from the moment he came to the limelight. His controversies stem from being too blunt coupled with his perceived arrogance which doesn’t sit down well with many.
Despite his talents and his many successes, an obvious flaw of Burna Boy is the fact that he is insecure; always trying to measure up to some other musicians, specifically Davido and Wizkid. Make no mistake, Burna’s quality of music supersedes the duo who have been consistent for years but that doesn’t seem to be enough for the African Giant who won’t stop claiming to be the best.
He once partly halted his concert and paid someone in the crowd his ticket fee and asked security to show him out because the person wasn’t dancing
Burna’s full arrogance came to light shortly after his Grammy win in 2021. Obviously displeased that Wizkid won a Grammy Award alongside Beyonce for the “Black Skin Girl” video, Burna shaded Wizkid claiming he singlehandedly won his award and didn’t have to “gum body” (meaning to attach himself to others). Burna was attacked by Wizkid’s fans who reminded him of starting out as a Fela clone and didn’t singlehandedly write the songs on his albums.
In 2020, Burna Boy rich-shamed Davido and asserted that Davido’s billionaire father bought him fame when he obviously has not talent. Although Davido didn’t respond, Burna Boy received thousands of backlash for his social media post.
Somewhat intimidated by how much Wizkid and Davido makes alongside their net worth, Burna Boy claimed his net worth was over $3.5 million. A Davido fan on Twitter made a jest casting aspersions on the quality of Burna’s necklace. In a bid to prove it was a genuine pendant, Burna Boy did a live video on Instagram struggling to make his pendant spin.
Recently, legendary Beninese singer-songwriter, Angélique Kidjo defended Burna Boy for being arrogant claiming that Burna Boy knows he is talented but stressed the need for artists to be humble.
7. David Oyedepo
Uneasy, they say, lies the head that wears the crown and this is the case with Bishop David Oyedepo, the General Overseer of Living Faith Church Worldwide also known as Winners Chapel who is often subjected to criticisms over statements credited to him.
The fiery preacher has been known not to mince words, particularly when he speaks on certain matters bothering on the polity.
In truth, David Oyedepo is not in any way new to controversies and the temperamental General Overseer has somewhat managed to be unapologetic about his stance on certain issues.
Circa 2012, Oyedepo was sued by a young woman he viciously slapped during a deliverance service at Shiloh at the time. In the video surfaced, the woman claimed she was a “witch for Jesus”, a statement which angered the fiery preacher and made him slap the disturbed-looking lady on the altar.
While the video outraged viewers who saw the video, Oyedepo claimed he slapped a witch and would slap another if he sees one.
Other than the issue of physical assault, Oyedepo is known to be swift at cursing, citing the powers of the prophets while at it.
In 2016, the tuition fees of one of Oyedepo’s universities, Covenant University was leaked to social media. The tuition fees sparked social media reactions. Reacting to the buzz, the fiery cleric responded, claiming God approved of Covenant University Fees before it was set and one of the critics was struck with mouth odour but was pardoned by God and “my intervention before he was restored to dignity”.
There are claims that Oyedepo particularly “thrives in threatening, intimidation and brandishing curses (Spell) on his followers to whip them into positions of endless seed sowing and collections.”
How can we forget the “gates of hell”?
8. Biodun Fatoyinbo
Self-styled “Reverend” Biodun Fatoyinbo is not new to controversies. As a matter of fact, controversies push him further to “stardom” more than goodwill did. Of all Nigerian pastors, the Abuja-based pastor ranks top on the list of pastors enmeshed in sex scandals with a generous dose of sexual predatory allegations.
No less than five ladies who were at some point workers in Fatoyinbo’s Commonwealth Of Zion Assembly (COZA) have all come out to share some disturbing stories of how they were sexually exploited by the opulent, stylish “Pastor B” as he is fondly called by his members.
Of the many allegations levelled against him by females who were once close to him, that of Ese Walters and Busola Dakola (wife of singer, Timit Dakolo) made headlines across Nigeria the most. Other ladies came out as well to narrative how Fatoyinbo sexually exploited in his home, office and even out of the country.
According to Ese Walter, she met the stylish pastor where their illicit affair started with “Pastor B” claiming she will show her a “different level of grace”.
Though Fatoyinbo never directly responded to the allegation, the clergyman denied and claimed he was putting up a “robust” response that never happened till tomorrow.
9. Pretty Mike
Mike Eze-Nwalie Nwogu, popularly known as Pretty Mike is a Nigerian socialite, social media sensation and celebrity known for pulling off some of the most unthinkable, audacious “stunts” in social gatherings.
The Anambra-born socialite has been subjected to criticisms and backlash over the years, for demeaning women. At some point, Pretty Mike turned up at parties with several ladies whom he placed leashes on and controlled like dogs. Other times, he would turn up with several ladies, each carrying child many came to know as his “baby mamas” and his child.
While it is fair to say Pretty Mike is one of the very few who deliberately court controversies as a means to trend or stay relevant, the Lagos social media sensation was arrested early this year by the Lagos State government for breaching COVID-19 protocols.
10. Naira Marley
Azeez Adeshina Fashola popularly known as Naira Marley is a Nigerian singer, rapper, record label owner and songwriter. He is perhaps the most controversial Nigerian personality in recent years and is often in public court over either his song or his social media posts which many find unsettling.
Naira Marley is seen by many as a “dangerous celebrity” capable of corrupting and negatively influencing the younger generation who are his target audience.
Naira Marley has been arrested on several occasions for his eccentric lifestyle and nonchalant attitude. The EFCC had at some point arrested him in the company of some friends whom the anti-graft agency claim to be cybercriminals. Another time, he was arrested and brought before a mobile court in Abuja for violating the country’s COVID-19 protocols.
Naira Marley’s fanbase popularly known as “Marlians” are just as controversial as the singer himself. Unlike most fanbases, Marlians are guarded by certain anti-social principles that serve as pointers in recognising them.
The highly controversial singer revels in recording and churning out obscene songs that are quickly banned by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) both on TV and radio.
There have been claims over time that the Agege-born celebrity chose to be controversial in order to remain relevant and drive sales. And while this can not be established to be true or false, Naira Marley enjoys cult followership, mostly from delinquents, street urchins and morally bankrupt youths, all of which makes a sizeable number of the country’s population.