Thursday, 29 November 2012

WHO GOD HAS BLESSED

Something happened recently that really made me laugh even in the face of all the negativity. I was so relieved and surprisingly at peace that even my staff did not understand why I was so happy.
Let me take you back to where this all started from.

After one of my articles a few months ago, a journalist publicly tried to humiliate me but got the shocker of his life when he ended up being the humiliated. I wrote an article about journalists and how they can build and rebrand the country. Those that are not able to write good things about the country and it's people should write books or become publicists so they can make good money. Little did I know that I was causing major problems for myself. Unfortunately for a lot of them I am really not the type to break under insults and bad press because God sees my heart and my intentions.
Like I was saying, this man walked up to me at an event in Abuja and started shouting at the top of his voice. He went on and on about how he was going to destroy my image in the magazines and newspapers.  I asked him what he was going on about, that was when he referred to the article I wrote. Without even raising my voice I told him to go and read the article again, this time not with an ignorant and over defensive mind but an open mind. If he does he will realize that I was making suggestions and trying to say that people like him should not spend their whole day cooking up stories about people they know nothing about and help themselves grow to be bigger and better writers.
As he started pointing at me and getting louder, the security men came in, recognized me and felt someone wanted attack me so they took him outside. Knowing the kind of uproar this would eventually cause for me I had to go outside again to get him inside. I made him sit with me even though he did not want to be around me.
At the end of the event which I hosted, he sat with me and started telling me how upset a lot of them were as a result of the article. I apologized and told him that they misunderstood my intentions. By the time I was done he understood a lot of things and we started chatting about a lot of other things happening in the country.


This incident happened some months ago, so between then and now I know I have been doing so many things I consider to be very positive.
I was made ambassador for women 4 Africa, we did "THE ALTERNATIVE" which was a gospel concert, where people came to worship for free and then won some money by answering some bible questions, we had a singing contest where two winners got a hundred thousand naira each to produce their single and a free music video,  we organized a free seminar called ADIVA for young women and A REAL MAN for young men where we talked about money, men, sex, women and God, INDEX TWO STUDIOS did a free five day intensive training in Cameroon on film making and then asked the students to write a script. After that we produced a short film on cancer for them, we also partnered with their film industry to produce a feature length movie titled UNSPOKEN which is still in the post production process. We just finished a short film on Domestic violence called When Is It Enough, I have been doing different Projects with PROJECT ALERT as well. The Stella Damasus Arts foundation has trained up to 40 people for free within the last two years and all my students are doing extremely well. We also have been organizing small events for people to come and donate to the flood victims in Delta state plus so many other things we have been doing.
You might wonder why I am saying all of this which is very unlike me because I do not believe in helping people and letting the whole world know. However there is a need to do that now because of what happened recently. I got a call from the same journalist who confronted me a few months ago to warn me about some stories that were about to break, concerning me. He advised me not to respond to any of the stories in fact I should not even take the calls.

True to his word, some guy called me from one of the popular soft sell magazines and started asking me questions about my partner and I. He went on and on and said we bought a house, we got married and I am pregnant. I laughed so hard that I had a headache; he wanted me to confirm or refute the story. To his greatest shock I said " well, we bought eight houses on the same day, we got married in the Bahamas don't you remember the gift you bought for me and were you not at the reception?, we have fourteen children now, I am carrying twins as we speak, in fact I have just built an estate and I am about to give you one of the houses for free”.
He laughed and asked me to be serious because he is sensing that I am being sarcastic, I told him clearly that his level of intelligence is slightly off if after all I said he is still "sensing".  At that point I decided to give him a piece of my mind and this is what I said:
" whether I confirm or refute you will still go ahead and write your crap in full, then at the bottom of it you will say when you placed a call to the celeb she denied all the allegations, but at that time you would have succeeded in planting the seed in the minds of people, so what is the point of the call. Have you ever changed the story you wanted to write because the person denied the allegations? So why bother me at all when you need the negative stories to sell your magazines. Have you ever put me on the front cover of your magazine because of the good things I have been trying to do to give back to the society? Have you ever celebrated me for the successes I have been blessed with? Have you ever called me once to ask about my work, my kids, my new business, the shop we are opening, the studios we have set up and how I have been coping? Have you ever written anything good about me? But when it is time for negative and destructive stories you are quick to call me. Please by all means go ahead and write whatever you like, after all it's a free world. I ended the conversation by thanking him and people like him who have kept me in the news whether I work or not. By God's grace I have grown much stronger with each experience and I’m improving myself everyday, my children are growing up so wonderfully well that I cannot thank God enough. So no matter what you try to do to my image remember one thing "Who God has blessed no man can curse ".

After the phone call I was so relieved and happy because I had the opportunity to tell him how I felt and did not care what he would come up with. The next week, as I predicted, I was on the front page and he had written all the crap he could imagine. Guess what, the other journalist who had become my friend used the same photograph that was used in this one on his own front page and really celebrated me. He then called me and said I did not have to worry about all that anymore as he now saw me as his colleague and friend.
 I still insist that if the Nigerian media can be positive about the things that have been promoting the country, the whole rebranding process will be smoother. No matter what the government tries to do, without the media they cannot reach out to the people. When you go out of the country and you say that you are Nigerian, a lot of people will immediately ask you if you know Genevieve, or Omotola, Stella Damasus or Ramsey, or Aki and Pawpaw. These are the people we should refer to as the pride of Nigeria. Some years ago when you mention Nigeria, people will hold on to their bags tightly because the name Nigeria spells dishonesty and fraud. How can we get people to do business with us or make us Ambassadors when our images are being dented by the same people who are supposed to celebrate us and commend the work we are doing.
In their defense though, people do not like to read positive things about others, they do not like to see other people's progress being put out in their faces everyday, they find it very irrelevant to know how much work and how many awards Stella is receiving.  Stella is not in the habit of paying people to write good things about her so you may not get to know half of what she has been doing. Stella is not one to do things for orphans and carry a television crew to show the world who and how she is helping.
Bottom line is that nobody wants to know how good you are. But they all want to know who Stella is dating, who Stella went out to lunch with, where Stella got money from and other juicy stories. Then they will say “it is the way the industry is. Stella you must be ready to take bad publicity". I still believe that if you want to write bad stories ( that are probably not true), then you should also write the good things as well so that  there is a balance somehow as opposed to making us out to be demons.





 




A lot of things will be written and a lot of things will be said but what I know for sure is that God has chosen to bless me and nobody can change his mind. If Stella decides to buy 500 houses or marry ten husbands or have 50 children, she will carry the burden alone and face her life and future alone. So to those people out there who feel that trying to make me look bad will make them get ahead in life, i say good luck to you in all you do. God bless and keep you now and always.

Quote: God does not call the qualified, he qualifies the called.

3 comments:

  1. WAO!!!, She 's really the BOMB!!! anyday, anytime. keep it up ma, the LORD is ur strength.

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  2. Hey Stellz...you are the BOMB! You are who you are and nobody can change that. They can't stop your shine...they can't hold you back. For a million people who hate you...there are 20 million more who love you.
    It's amazing the kind of society that we live in where people celebrate stupidity and nudity while the people who are intelligent and poised to bringing about a positive change are regarded as boring and old fashioned. No wahala...make dem dey talk.
    As they scrutinize to criticize and crucify...we will continue to fly high and watch them from up above. Like M.I. said...you're easier to see when you're in flight! We will keep doing what we are doing and give them enough things to talk about. You should be happy that our activities are making people feed because as them dey write to sell paper, their family dey see food chop.
    DaBishop says sooooo!

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  3. Hmmmm very deep and insightful.
    That positive attitude of yours is actually the right approach to such claptrap from tabloids. Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Only small-minded numbskulls read and BELIEVE everything they read in tabloids. I don't even believe everything I hear in global 24hr new channels, talk less of some ragtag piece of junk.

    However, I would even pray they don't stop. Seem bizarre isn't it? Well, if King David didn't have his Goliath, he would probably still be tending to sheep. Tabloids wouldn't bother with the small fish in the pond will they? So rejoice!

    - Original rudebwoy Don Shoggino!

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