Pop singer, David Adeleke, aka Davido, has undoubtedly had an illustrious career. Since he released his debut album, ‘Omo Baba Olowo’ in 2012, he has continued to make giant strides at home and abroad.
However, he has also attracted controversies almost in equal measure. Between 2017 and now, four people close to the singer have lost their lives, some in controversial circumstances. Saturday Beats takes a look at the times death has crept into the singer’s inner circle
Habeeb Uthman, aka Obama DMW, was a dyed-in-the-wool Davido loyalist. He was never tired of talking about the singer and amplifying his good deeds. Always boisterous and full of life, not a few were shocked when it was reported that he passed away on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. He was said to have complained of breathing difficulty and had driven himself to the Evercare Hospital in Lekki, Lagos. However, despite being attended to by doctors, he gave up the ghost shortly after.
Since his death, several personalities in the entertainment industry have been paying tributes to him.
In a long post on Instagram, Tiwa Savage described him as a strong yet kind person. Her post read in part, “Brave heart, strong heart, soft heart, kind heart, pure heart, peace maker, hot stepper, incoming politician. I’ve never met anyone as brave/strong as you who was also as soft and kind as you…You were ready to take a bullet for your loved ones…”
Peruzzi wrote, “You had the answers to all my questions about life. This one hits different. Love you forever.”
Davido’s manager, Asa Asika, also wrote, “You had the biggest heart and always let everyone know how you felt. Always ready to take one for the team and step up when needed. I’ve cried a lot since I heard the horrible news…Many people have come into my life due to my relationship with Davido but nobody has been like Obama. I still can’t believe that this is happening.”
Though Davido has not made any public statement concerning his aide’s death, those close to him have said he is distraught.
Meanwhile, Obama was buried on Wednesday according to Islamic rites.
About six months ago, precisely on December 8, 2020, Davido’s erstwhile bodyguard, Tijani Olamilekan, aka Teejay, died after what was described as a brief illness.
Mourning Teejay who had worked with him since the early days of his career, Davido wrote, “Please tell me I am dreaming. My TJ gone? What would I do without you, uncle TJ. (For) 11 years, you did all for me. Put me before you at all times… You were such a big person with a baby heart. Everyone loved you. I want to wake up late for a show so you’d come and carry me again. I don’t even know what I’m typing. RIP uncle Tijani.”
Sources claimed that Teejay had been battling with diabetes before he eventually succumbed to the cold hands of death.
Olugbenga Abiodun, aka DJ Olu, a son to the incumbent Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, was a young man with a promising future. He seemed to have found his passion in disc jockeying and was already pursuing a career along that line. At the time of his death, he was the official DJ for Davido.
However, many were stunned when on October 7, 2017, his corpse was found alongside that of a friend (Chime Ameachi) in a car parked in the garage of a Banana Island house. According to a statement by the police at the time, illicit drugs were allegedly recovered from the car and he was said to have died of a drug overdose.
A statement by the police read, “They were found dead in the car and blood was coming out of their noses and mouths. A doctor was also at the scene. Physical examination of the bodies indicated that the victims must have died of an overdose of substances suspected to be hard drugs. The substances were found in the car.”
Obviously still feeling the pang of Olu’s demise, Davido took to social media one year after his death to write, “A year since you’ve been gone. Love you and miss you so much. You took a part of me when you left! We always spoke about taking over the world together. I know you’re looking down, proud of what we have achieved so far. Your legacy lives forever! We celebrate you.”
On DJ Olu’s posthumous birthday in 2019, Davido also wrote on social media, “I think about you every day. Long live Olu. We’ve taken it worldwide for you, brother. Happy birthday.”
Days before DJ Olu’s death, Davido had been in the eye of the storm when another friend of his, Tagbo Umeike, died on October 2, 2017, after a night out with the singer.
Tagbo was said to have taken as much as 40 tots of tequila and was inebriated that night, which was also his birthday. Hours before his death, Tagbo had been spotted in a nightclub with Davido, though the latter claimed that they both went their separate ways at the club.
However, the then-Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, had stated that the deceased was abandoned at the hospital by Davido’s driver and friends.
Tagbo’s alleged girlfriend and actress, Caroline Hutchings (Danjuma), also accused Davido of being complicit in the former’s death.
But, after an investigation by the police, Davido was allegedly cleared of any wrongdoing. His lawyer, Bobo Ajudua, had said, “We’ve been to Panti and my client has given a statement there too. It’s clear from all the investigation, evidence and statements given so far that David was not at any point with the deceased after he left him alive at Shisha room and as such, he’s been released to go about his business.”
Prophecy of doom
On June 6, 2021, a video showing a pastor prophesying that Davido would be poisoned by a friend went viral on the Internet. The cleric had said, “I am telling you about one singer called Davido. They will poison him. I don’t know him. I’ve never seen him in my life. But they will put something inside his drink. He’ll be rushed to the hospital (and) he’ll be admitted. He’ll be unconscious.
“I’ve been dealing with it in prayers but the Lord says it will happen. And the person that will poison him is sleeping in his house. Somebody give the lord a clap offering. Did he die? I didn’t see him die, but he will lose something in his body that will handicap him.”
In an apparent reaction to the prophecy, Davido had tweeted, “God will expose and deal with any wickedness around me near and far. Amen. I’m blessed.”
Warning to entertainers
In the wake of Obama’s death, many had advised entertainers and the people around them to take good care of their health.
In a video posted on Instagram, veteran singer, Daddy Showkey, said, “You see why we are telling you people to take care of your health. Know the situation of your body. Go to the hospital for check-ups.”
A medical doctor, Mayowa Ogunsanwo, told Saturday Beats that entertainers had to be more intentional about their health because of the fast-paced lives they lived. She said, “It saddens me when young people die. The four people close to Davido who have died in the past four years are all young people. I believe that their deaths could have been avoided if they had paid more attention to their health. There is really no such thing as ‘sudden death’. The body often gives people warning signs but they ignore them.
“The intake of alcohol and other illicit drugs are risky behaviours that have negative impact on people’s health. Most importantly, people should submit themselves for regular medical check-ups.”
A public relations expert, Ayo Ibrahim, also advised Davido and other musicians to make sure that their aides and other members of their entourages were in good health. He said, “In the past four years, Davido has been associated with quite a number of deaths and that’s not good for his brand. I would advise him to reduce the number of people in his entourage and to also mandate his aides to take care of their health. That’s because if anything happens to them, the singer’s name would be mentioned in association with them and that’s not good for his brand equity.”
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