Baby Charis and the mischief makers

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By Grace Anderson

It was a moment of joy and then Pastor Blessed Uzochikwa and wife, Mercy, decided to share a few of the pictures on their social media handles. Now, to say that Mercy Chinwo is famous would be stating the obvious. Mercy and her husband are public figures indisputably and the couple married in 2022. God blessed them with a child in 2023 and recently, they were celebrated; their pictures as well as their baby’s pictures were posted online. That was the beginning of a series of dragging and trolls on social media.

That singular act heralded a myriad of table shaking and speculation by people who had no relationship whatsoever with the couple apart from the fact that they saw the pictures online. Then the mischief makers started their analyses. They insisted that the baby resembled the famous Nathaniel Bassey, a gospel artiste (a family friend to Mercy and her husband). Some went as far as suggesting that Pastor Blessed should go for a DNA test to ascertain the paternity of the baby. Then came the arguments for and against the motion to embark on a DNA test. Others blamed the couple for bringing the picture of their son online. They made it seem as if there was a law that stated that public figures should not upload their children’s pictures on the internet. Isn’t that bullying?

So the picture of Baby Charis started flying up and down. Some would post something about the baby, delete same post and apologise then the others will continue from where they stopped. The trolls continued unabated. This particular incident is a case of the mourners crying more than the bereaved and obviously, they want to use Baby Charis to trend. Bloggers want to grow by dragging Mercy in the mud. The only way they intend to get more followers is by posting unverified contents and this is one of such. Imagine the trauma they have made the young woman to pass through these few days because they are busy intruding into someone’s privacy. So, what if Pastor Blessed goes for a DNA test and it says the child belongs to Pastor Blessed, what should be done to the mischief makers? Just what?

The only contribution the mischief makers can make for Baby Charis is the paternity analyses. It is their own way of welcoming the baby. Pastor Blessed’s family matter is now their biggest problem. Some said the baby is an ancestor, others said he resembled Zack Orji, while majority said he had a striking resemblance of Nathaniel Bassey. They even went as far as posting Nathaniel Bassey’s pictures side by side with Baby Charis’ picture to justify their analyses.

These analyses are coming at a time when the dragging between Chioma Egodi and Erisco Food has not fully subsided. The dragging was not unconnected with a negative review which Chioma made on Nagiko Tomato paste, a brand of tomato puree produced by Erisco Food. On September 17, Chioma had published a product review which says, “I went to buy tin tomatoes yesterday that I will use to make stew. I didn’t see Gino and Sonia so I decided to buy this one, when I opened it, I decided to taste it. Omo! Sugar was just too much. Ha, biko, let me know if you have used this tin tomato before because this is an ike gwuru situation,” she stated. Perhaps, Chioma’s intention was to create content on her page and truly, the post was an engaging post with people arguing for and against.

On the other hand, Erisco Food did not see it in that perspective. They saw the post as a write up intended to mislead their customers and discredit the image of Erisco Food. According to Erisco Food, over the years, they built a reputation as a credible organisation committed to due process and the good of humanity and they decided to bring the said publication to the attention of relevant authorities by writing a petition to the Police to investigate Chioma’s claims. So, in a petition dated September 19, 2023 and addressed to the Inspector General of Police titled, “Complaint of criminal conspiracy, demarketing and mail of killing people with our product against an organized syndicate faking our products after failing to extort money from us and cyberbullying.” The management of Erisco Food was forthcoming. The petition read, “We write to seek your urgent intervention in stopping an organized criminal syndicate that has been faking our products as well as posting false and unsubstantiated information that cannot be proven against our products but offline and online with a view to close down our operations so as to give advantage to their cohorts including greedy manufacturers and importers of substandard products into the country.”

Erisco Food went all out for Chioma and the internet was agog. Some influencers went as far as urging consumers to boycott Erisco products but the company stood its ground. The point Erisco Food made was that one can’t just wake up one day and then decide to bring down another person’s enterprise for nothing, an enterprise that the person has invested so much into and done the relevant certifications with a relevant agency like NAFDAC. When the dragging became sore, Chioma apologised to Erisco Food. Since it is a season of analyses, I take my time here to analyse and remind us of what happened in the case between Chioma and Erisco Food so that those dragging Baby Charis should bear in mind that their dragging may not be without consequences.

If tomorrow Pastor Blessed decides to sue those who dragged his baby, I hope they will not start boring us with narrations relating to right of expression and the rest? Why should the mischief makers take Panadol for Pastor Blessed’s headache? If the man feels that the child does not resemble him, he is man enough to take his own decisions. He does not need instigations from mischief makers to do so. It is solely his family affair and should not trend on social media. But the mischief makers will not hear until something drastic is done to them. Apparently, their real intention is to portray Mercy as a character less woman by sowing a seed of discord in the young marriage but God pass them. For now, they are trending with Baby Charis’ pictures but when the table finally turns, let them not disturb us with stories of how wicked Pastor Blessed is, bla bla bla. Now that their only business is to intrude into another person’s family affairs, their cohorts are cheering them.

Whoever came up with the slogan, “no gree for anybody”, was absolutely correct. When Pastor Charis decides not to ‘gree’ for them, will they stand the heat? How do we explain that someone left his own problems unattended to only to concentrate on another person’s affair and is so concerned about it to the extent of ranting in public about it? In order to make it appear as if they are right, they will begin to talk about freedom of expression, freedom of expression to do what? To instigate a man that his wife slept with another man so that the man will let go of his wife just like that. To put it in proper perspective, they want to scatter the marriage so that they can have more things to talk about and gather more followers. That is what they have reduced the social media space to, a place for mischief making and spreading of unverified information. Seriously, some people need to be taught one or two lessons so that they can learn to mind their business.

*Anderson who writes here on Fridays, can be reached via [email protected]