Hey…I am still laughing my sides out at the front page screamer in a local newspaper on Thursday that read: SLAJ PREXY MEETS CHRISTIANA BULL. Isn’t it interesting how smart some journalists can be in making something out of what even another journalist might not have thought of? Anyway the truth is as well as being the SLAJ President I work for the BBC. I had planned to interview Christiana Bull for a story. But after an editorial brainstorming with Bush House, we decided to drop it.
She is not a public official who has shown double standards so should not be further tormented, if that’s the word. It’s a private affair by a private individual whose action has not contradicted any earlier pronouncements she had made about herself. And there is a difference between “in the public interest” and “in the interest of the public”. Not everything that interests the gossip-loving public is in their interest. In any case I met with a colleague at Radio Democracy with whom I was to have done the interview. She, the colleague, did do the interview. But the screaming headline in Salone Times was probably smart of their editorial team. But that is neither here nor there.
Anyway…My Facebook page has been on a 24-hour overdrive may be that’s where the above-mentioned story emanated from. And the number of people who have been sending me friend requests in the last one week has increased to its highest in three months. Since many of those who are confirmed as my friends almost immediately post a thing or two regarding my Facebook status on the ongoing Christiana Bull conundrum, I tend to think my new arrivals are coming on to comment on my status which has been simply only reporting the issue as it has been happening as opposed to commenting or taking sides on it. And following Miss Bull’s apology which I posted on my wall, the deluge of comments has been mostly in sympathy with her. But here is how I feel about it all.
First her woes: Perhaps the most troubled person in Sierra Leone today is Christiana Bull. She is the person and the issue being talked about by everyone everywhere and maybe every time. The talk is about a video clip of her that is being watched probably by dozens as I write this piece. The 15-minute clip is about a serial beauty contestant having sex with her boyfriend. The sin, as many would view her action, does not end there. The man in the video is a married man. But because he is not as known-widely as Christiana, he does seem bothered by it all. And that is why I think the biggest victim in all of this is the wife of the man. NOT Christiana Bull. But she is also not without sympathy or maybe empathy.
Beauty, the exuberance of youth, the probable insatiable desire for ostentation, and the lack of a counsellor are some of the reasons that have driven our young to self-destruction and by extension taking the country sometimes with them. The young and beautiful Christiana is believed to be in her 20′s. Her rise to fame seems to have brought her infamy. Her near-superstardom she apparently could not handle. Hence she decided to video-tape herself having sex. Never mind with whom.
The clip, now doing the rounds in Sierra Leone, UK and North America, is an embarrassment which has been admitted to even by Christiana. Josephus, the co-star, not as known, is a perpetrator both against Christiana and his wife. And this is where Christiana has cast a slur on her character which will take some time to get off her. Any man who has seen that clip will always imagine Christiana naked whenever he sees her. No matter the beauty of the dress she has on. But that is what I think should let her be taken off the hook. That is punishment enough for a lady who has only naturally shown the frailty that sometimes comes with youth.
The public has been clearly judgemental of the young lady. I don’t think overly when one considers the gravity of what she has done. But I think she deserves a second chance. She has a young daughter. You may wish to ask why then had she not thought of that when she was doing what she did. That is in the past now. Except we want to bully her we should give her reprieve. Contrary to what I felt was an arrogant interview she granted The Exclusive newspaper and apparently gave for publication a photograph of her and the man in the clip who is now more recognisable since that publication, Christiana has now apologised for her frailty. Somewhat impressively, she has asked for forgiveness. We owe it to the young lady and her daughter who can barely talk, to give her a chance and forgive her and stop punishing her further.
Many young men and women have done what she did filmed or taken photographs of their naked partners. Let us say many others have not. How many times have we not read about young people who have done equally or even more horrendous things here and abroad and were given another chance to atone? They include people who went on to serve their countries at home and abroad but had started life as prostitutes, porn actresses or something worse. As someone asked on my Facebook wall, as a country we have forgiven coup plotters and rebel leaders, why must we not give the young lady another chance.
Perhaps the person that should be most punished in this, if Christiana is to be believed, is Joe. He is said to have suggested the filming. And as a gullible lady who, from the Radio democracy interview, felt so indebted to him, could she have resisted? I doubt that. And perhaps the most impressive in it all is the wife of Joe. Her quietness and calmness and her ability to suffer in quietness with the pregnancy she is said to be carrying, has made her stunningly impressive to me even without knowing her. And I think Christiana should have singled her out for an apology more than she did to her daughter’s dad.
But perhaps Christiana Bull’s best assurance and even insurance is the lifestyle she will choose to live henceforth. Saying what she has said may be impressive. But living a life reflective of that will be all the more so. And Joe should stop being Joe The Plumber and become Joe The Blacksmith and repair his apparently ruined marital home. Let our wives be our wives.
By Umaru Fofana