OPINION | Debbie (Mummy Zee) and Corporate Hypocrisy in Nigeria

A simple Tweet on X, formerly Twitter, was all it took for the life of a married woman, Mrs Deborah Olaki, popularly known as Debbie or Mummy Zee to turn around.

Things happened so dizzily fast that before you can say “social media”, an obscure geophysics graduate and a housewife became an instant celebrity with favours raining in on her and her family from left, right and Centre.

Her case has since become a prayer point especially among the Charismatic Pentecostals. It is not out of place to hear “O God that turn the life of Debbie around, my life and destiny is available, turn my life around”. The attendant “kabashing” is better imagined from a religious populace.

The writer, being a Pastor himself, completely understand the fairy tale transformation and definitely join all well meaning Nigerians to celebrate the uncommon favour and overnight stardom. It reminds one of the instant transformations of an illiterate bread seller, Jumoke Orisagunna, whom destiny made to walk accidentally into a photo shoot by celebrity photographer, TY Bello. Her life took an instant turn and before you can say “agege bread”, she was the toast of corporate organizations who were in a competition to outdo themselves with sponsorship and endorsements.

This brings me to talk about the hypocrisy of our corporate organizations who usually transform themselves to opportunists in such circumstances.

Fake Love Shown to Debbie (MUMMY ZEE)

Let’s take the Jumoke (Agege bread seller turned model) issue as a case study. How many of those corporate organizations would have opened their doors to her if she had walked up to them for sponsorship before her fame? Same thing with the case of Debbie or mummy zee. Now, all the corporate organizations are in a competition to outdo themselves.

The list is endless. kuda Bank, NNPCL, Finteck companies etc. From the last count, some estimated her gifts in cash so far to be over 15Million with car gift, computers, job offers and recently, international trip to Canada. Really?

Don’t get me wrong. I am absolutely happy for the family of Mr and Mrs Abiola Adebisi. I wish them more corporate blessings. It is a good thing and I am not going to be a “bad belle witch” to want it to stop. Am only reflecting on the crass opportunism of these corporate organizations who suddenly want the whole world to see them in “good light” with their gifts, donations and offers.

Would Kuda bank had given any listening ear to a woman who works into their office with a story “I need assistance to help me wake up at 4:50am so I can cook for my husband who is working”? Let’s assume what she is asking for is a loan to buy a microwave so that after cooking before going to bed, all she needs is 5 minutes to warm the food and pack for her husband. The same Fintech bank has gifted her as I learnt, the sum of 2 million Naira. Same thing with NNPC or whichever subsidiary gifted 200,000 worth of fuel voucher.

There are so many “Jumoke’s” and “Debbies” out there with perhaps more touching stories. But no. It is the “instant sensation” corporate Organizations will be after. Their interest is never raising any “Jumoke” or “Debbie” out of poverty but to use their situation for a cheap publicity stunt!

The summary of this writer is to draw attention to the hypocritical “love” shown to Debbie. It is not “genuine love” but one borne out of hypocrisy and cheap publicity stunts by these corporate vultures who only want to feed on the carcass of her rising fame and popularity.

If it were electioneering period, trust me, even aspiring politicians will join the bandwagon seeking “cheap electoral publicity”. Am not surprised that the politicians are in limbo for now. It is the political clock that is chiming “no elections for now” that has made them turn a blind eye. Like Davido’s hit track, “they are unavailable”. Debbie is not seeing the political version of our corporate organizations.

To the housewife of the moment, receive my heartfelt congratulations. May you all enjoy the attendant limelight while it last. I know your fortune has turned for good and I rejoice with you.

Yours is a worthy prayer point that God should cause us to take one action that will turn our lives around for good. Enjoy the moment. Take advantage of the fortune and invest wisely for the future. Trust me, the euphoria will not last forever but the impact, well managed, will change your lives forever. Let’s watch out for the next “Internet sensation”. May he or she be you and me. Did I hear a loud “AMEN”!

Pastor Anthony Eshemokhai writes from Lagos.

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