When I was a fresher at the University of Ibadan, I stayed in the hostel. The prestigious Queen Elizabeth Hall to be precise. There was this girl who was also a fresh undergraduate. We didn’t stay in the same room, nor had friends in common, but I got to know her because she became quite popular quickly. It wasn’t for the right reasons, however. Let’s just call her Tola. Tola became a known name among not just 100 level students, but everyone. She was famous, or rather, infamous because of her penchant for dating all sorts of men.
And it wasn’t just a rumour. Tola was the hostel prostitute, if one were to call a spade by its name. I am not one to be quick to judge anyone, especially in the light of the knowledge that she wasn’t the only one who embraced that kind of lifestyle at the time, but even I had to admit her sexual escapades were far more glaring than any other person’s.
Beyond her not-too-stellar reputation, Tola was just like any other person. She was an average looking girl from a average family. She even had an elder brother who was a couple of years ahead of us in school then, and word had it that the young man was an easy going, unassuming lad. He was often embarrassed by the kind of reputation his sister had, and kept a low profile to deflect attention from himself. And that was one the reasons everyone marveled at the sharp contrast in the behaviour of the siblings. It was puzzling why Tola opted for the lifestyle she chose since she was from a comfortable background.
One time, Tola was found to be seeing one of her closest friend’s boyfriend. Some girls within her circle of friends had been suspecting that she was up to some mischief with this guy, and laid in wait to catch her in the act. They did, and all hell broke loose. As Tola returned to the hostel from this fellow’s apartment one early Saturday morning, this group of girls literally seized her and proceeded to give her the beating of her life for daring breaking the “girl code.” As I walked past them that day, I was stunned. I had only seen that sort of thing in movies. But this played out right before my very eyes. She was shamed and beaten and humiliated and all. But soon enough, she was back to her old ways.
Movie producer, Seun Egbegbe’s recent misadventures with the law reminds me of Tola and her shenanigans when we were undergraduates. For someone who enjoys some measure of popularity especially within the Yoruba movie industry and should have a name to protect, his two consecutive allegations of stealing and attempting to defraud is a curious matter. It leaves one wondering if there isn’t some undertone to his apparent sudden impulse to take what belongs to another. What makes it even more confounding is the observation that these acts of his appeared to have started soon after his much publicized relationship with a popular actor hit the rocks.
In November last year, he was alleged to have attempted to steal nine iphones worth over N2m at a store in Computer village, Ikeja. Mr Egbegbe denied the allegation, and the case is still court. But, just over two months after the highly embarrassing incident which both mainstream and online media feasted upon to their heart’s content, he has been accused of attempting to defraud a Bureau de Change operator of $60,000, and has found himself a guest of the police once again. It’s a baffling one.
Has the filmmaker been a thief all along, but has just been twice unlucky to have karma on his trail at this time? Why has he suddenly come into negative limelight after his controversial dalliance with the Nollywood actor? The most vocal school of thought believe the movie maker is under a spell. They are adamant that the circumstances surrounding his run-in’s with the law is beyond the periphery and must have some diabolical connotation lurking beyond the vision of the ordinary eye. In local parlance my people will say “The world is doing Mr Egbegbe” He has been jazzed many have concluded.
I am usually not quick to attribute every situation that seems to defy simple logic or common sense to metaphysical forces, however it’s hard not to come to that conclusion in Seun Egegebe’s case. Even if one were to assume he had always been of questionable character, his consecutive bad luck is still something to wonder about. Who gets caught stealing, has a date at the court and still goes ahead to commit yet another crime? Who does that? And on the two occasions he has allegedly been caught stealing there have been more than two witnesses to testify that he actually committed the crime.
Whichever way, the filmmaker will get his day in court, and whether he is found guilty or not, what is sure is that his reputation has been badly ruined.