Uche Maduagwu’s never-ending wrangle with singers and actors is hardly ever taken seriously. One moment, he vows to submissively turn to an overnight laundryman as a way of signalling undying affection for a never-to-be lover. Other times, you’d find him uttering unsolicited comments and makings vexatious predictions about whose marriage is to crash next.
Even the media takes his words with a grain of salt. If there was any such thing as an adroit thespian of no known film, then you have your man, who has long proclaimed himself the best Nigerian actor there is — yet he has no major movie to back his claims.
Maduagwu’s mind-boggling obsession with Nollywood actresses had started off with the controversial social media personality poking his nose in the business of others. He would fantasise about wanting to marry DJ Cuppy and washing her underwear. He once begged Cuppy for marriage in a post he later deleted, as with many others. From Cuppy, Maduagwu would soon hop onto Chika Ike, declaring that his New Year resolution for 2020 was to walk down the aisle with the actress. He’d spill about Rita Dominic, Genevieve Nnaji, Ini Edo, and Mercy Aigbe as though he had a stake in their marriages.
He bragged Nnaji would bear his child. Even Davido and his fiancee didn’t escape him. In November 2020, Maduagwu took a dig at the pop star over his delay in wedding Chioma Avril. He’d go as far as criticising Davido’s sound and throw up words like “cracked vocal cords” while speaking of his failure to secure a Grammy nomination. He also waded into Tonto Dikeh’s divorce from Olakunle Churchill and her bum surgery.
Maduagwu’s antics didn’t end with Nigerian celebrities. It also moved beyond the shores of the country. He once bragged about being the only actor who has ever “gotten the attention” of Chrissy Teigen, wife of John Legend. For a while, he had that written on his Instagram bio section.
To him, getting the attention of Teigen — that attention thing he so much pines and hankers for — was a badge of honour.
Sexual assault & rape narrative
Despite never getting any response from most of the celebrities he targets, Maduagwu’s gimmicks never abate. In fact, they don’t end with known movie stars. He also made allegations about how unnamed individuals touch him seductively and harass him on movie sets. Asked about what movie that is, he would neither say nor give names. In a chat with Linda Ikeji, Maduagwu dubbed himself a product of sexual abuse on film sets.
“I’m mistaken for John Legend and a lot of people. People like to sexually abuse me. I’m a product of sexual abuse. It’s bad and that’s one of the reasons. People molest me a lot, especially popular actresses, physically and verbally. I wouldn’t want to mention any name but they know themselves in Asaba, Lagos, and Enugu. Some actresses are too proud, yet, they want you on set. When they see you in public, they act like they don’t know you,” he said.
“They come to your hotel room at odd hours. Why would a grown woman lick toes? In a restaurant, I was stretching my legs and, the next thing, somebody was licking my toes because she thought it looked like that of one actor. They come into your hotel during movie sets and remove their bra. When I post these things, people say ‘nice, nice’ but they don’t want to come out with their own experiences. Immediately actresses see me, they have that sexual urge.”
As much as you don’t go dismissing people’s accounts of sexual assault, Maduagwu has so far not made a direct claim against any actress. In 2019, he had spoken of how two women raped him at a party and later about how an actress attempted to rape him. He had also added in late 2020 that he had been raped at his first movie location sometime around 2012. In his words via his page at the time, “Homosexuality is gradually swallowing Nollywood”.
Once a critic, but now queer
The same man who lamented about homosexuality in Nollywood would later identify as queer, publicly declaring himself gay. In no time, photos of a half-clad Maduagwu wearing a bra surfaced. The self-acclaimed actor went ahead to post the clip of an effeminate man making known his affections for him.
In an open letter to US President Joe Biden, Maduagwu said: “I’m proudly gay. I beg you to sanction Nigeria’s government for its inhuman laws against law-abiding homosexuals. This government pampers wicked Fulani herdsmen who kidnap and cause trouble in the southern part of Nigeria. We’re tired and scared despite the fact that more than 40% of current legislatures and over twelve governors are homosexuals in Naija.”
He would also later claim that he has joined the Anambra governorship race ahead of November 2021.
Maduagwu isn’t the first of his kind. Social media is home to a deluge of clout-chasing figures who erect the entirety of their identity on deceit and bouts of controversy. This hunt for likes and comments births a faction of people who would choose to make themselves a living experiment. Oftentimes, you find that this comes at great personal costs. The more make-believe you put out; the more you’re forced to compensate for them.
No matter how you amass it, attention is no doubt one very highly-priced resource of the contemporaries. Even the big techs make cool cash off it. There are also those who built massive platforms for themselves and have the bucks rolling in. However, it becomes counterproductive if the means for gaining that influence sever relationships that might just have yielded lucrative opportunities.
Dear Maduagwu, chew on that.
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