Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Many People in Nigeria Are Manic But Don’t Know It - Charles Novia Writes On Depression

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In his latest blog post, Charles Novia writes on the death of actor Robin Williams, who reportedly committed suicide due to severe depression, noting that mental illness sometimes goes hand in hand with creativity. The filmaker also makes reference to legendary Nigerian reggae musician, Majek Fashek, who he says is currently battling with depression.

Read what he said below:

I was having a conversation a day before Robin Williams’ suicide with my daughter, Nosa, about Majek Fashek and how I managed him and his career for 6 years (2005-2011) and released his hit album ‘Little Patience’ on my label, November Records.

When she saw visuals of how handsome and vibrant Majek used to look and his recent visuals of his emaciated and scraggly look, she was touched and pained. Especially when I told her that Majek is battling with a form of depression and other ‘spiritual’ stuff he has openly confessed to in some media interviews.

My association and personal input and friendship with Majek can fill many books all over. Someday….

But the key word right now is ‘Depression”.

Robin Williams died a few days ago of an apparent suicide. He had been battling drug addiction and depression for years. The great actor and comedian who blessed our screens with fantastic roles such as The Genie in the animated smash hit, ‘”Aladdin” and the splendid ‘Mrs Doubtfire’ among other characters he played, is no more.


Those who are blessed with the sprinkling of Heaven’s creative dust more-often-than-not carry a huge personal burden. In Robin Williams’ case it is a wonder that one who could make the world so happy through his art battled sadness and mental illness in his personal life. Despite this, he made us happy.


As the world mourns his death, it is instructive to note that he is being celebrated on Western media for his ART. His battle with drugs and depression is glossed over. Oyinbo nor dey look that tin as big deal. To them, what matters is that one came, impacted, fought and left.

Our people should learn from this. An artiste dies and all the headlines would scream about the negatives of the artist just to sell copies. They would celebrate the bad side of that artiste as if the person never made any positive impact in his/her life.

I tell you, it is not only artists who battle Depression. Many people in Nigeria, in all facets of life, are manic but they don’t just know it.

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