1st December, 2021
By Nehru Odeh
Tiwa Savage is arguably the most-talked about female celebrity in Nigeria. And she is always a handful who always gets people talking. If she doesn’t get people to talk about her lavish lifestyle, she gets them to talk about her nude photos.
If she doesn’t get people to talk about her ravishing beauty and sweet voice, she gets them to talk about her relationships and love life, both real and imagined. Even if she doesn’t get people to talk, they talk about her still. Yet her fans, like the fictional character Oliver Twist, can’t get enough of her.
Welcome to Tiwa Savage, aka Mama Jam Jam, aka Queen of Afrobeats, aka the African Number One Bad Girl. Still of all her appellations, the one she gave herself, the one that has stuck and which she has repeatedly lyricized is the African Number One Bad Girl.
The African Number One Bad Girl? Certainly that cap fits. And she hasn’t failed to deliver on that account. Whichever way one looks at it, she has proved to be the African number one bad girl. Ever since she got married to Tee Billz, which crashed three years after in 2016, she has been romantically linked to one celebrity or the other.
Yet those relationships have been incredible. Nobody has been able to get a handle on her or prove who her boyfriend or lover is. Even when a blackmailer leaked her sex video, she owned up to it, saying she was truly in a steamy session with her boyfriend.
Yet she never named the boyfriend who mistakenly posted the video on Snapchat. Though he (the boyfriend) has allegedly been identified as one Abolo Beckham, a Nigerian who resides in Ghana, she has kept mute about it. That goes a long way to show how elusive Savage has been.
That elusiveness has defined Savage’s incredible love lives. That decision to keep her love life private has fuelled public speculation about it. But the incredible thing about her love life is that the more she debunks them, the more people talk about them.
Savage believes her love life is personal and private, and not a community project. Yet people have continued to link her with one celebrity or the other
“Your relationship does not need to make sense to anyone except you and your partner. It’s a relationship, not a community project,” Savage once posted on her instagram page to debunk rumours making the rounds at the time that she and Wizkid were in a relationship.
“I heard all sorts of stories about Wizkid and me, but I chose to ignore them. At a point, people said I was dating Humblesmith; later they mentioned another (artiste).
“How long will I continue to debunk these rumours? I have been in the music industry for quite a while and I have grown a thick skin, so certain rumours or insinuations don’t get to me again,” she said.
Grown a thick skin? But the questions now are: has Savage been in any relationship, aside from her failed marriage with Tee Billz?. Or she has been able to skilfully make it private? She famously once said she wasn’t seeing anybody at a time. “There’s really no reason why I’m single. It’s just, I don’t know, maybe work. I don’t get people sliding in my DM also. They just ask me for school fees or something like that,” she said.
Yet she has been romantically linked to one celebrity or the other. At the height of her altercations with Tee Billz, he accused her of sleeping with Don Jazzy, Dr Sid and Tubaba. Savage rubbished it saying it was a figment of the imagination. Don Jazzy himself also denied ever dating Savage, even though he was her boss at Marvin Records and crushing on her.
Other celebrities Savage has been romantically linked to include Wizkid, Naira Marley, Humblesmith. Flavour and Obama DMW. Though she featured in several of Wizkid’s video, even playing a video vizen, she debunked she was ever in a relationship with him.
Speaking in an interview with beat 99.9 FM, Savage explained that she and Wizkid were friends with benefits. The benefits, according to her, include making music and money together. “We are friends, very good friends. There are few benefits; we do shows together, we do music together, we make money together,” she said.
When some sensational photos of Savage together with Humblesmith went viral on the internet, they sparked suspicion that they were in a relationship, which Savage flatly denied. Humblesmith himself came out to debunk the rumour in an interview with Showtime, saying those photos were mere promotion pictures taken on set of the video shoot for his latest single.
“Those pictures which went viral online are mere pictures taken on the set of a recent video shoot for my new song, ‘Attracta’, featuring Tiwa Savage.
“I’m not in any form of romantic relationship with her. I think this rumour came up because she has not taken such sensational or romantic picture with any other artiste apart from Wizkid; so I think that’s why the pictures went viral.
“You know bloggers always look for sensational stories to drive traffic on their blogs; that’s the reason they were suspicious and went ahead to write stories that I may be dating Tiwa Savage, but there’s nothing of such,” the Osinachi crooner said.
Many also believed that Savage and Naira Marley were in a relationship after she allegedly declared herself a Marlian and confessed she had a thing for him. The only thing that sparked the rumour was that they were once seen hugging each other and Savage referred to Marley’s as President on his Instagram page, accompanying it with a love emoji.
Dr Sid, whose real name is Sidney Esiri, is another celebrity, who many believed dated Savage. Though in the same record label at a time, it was alleged that their relationship commenced because Savage was always finding herself without company and was always complaining about not having fun. They were so close that Dr Sid used Savage as video vizen in his single Over The Moon. But still that was a speculation.
Savage was also at a time alleged to be in a relationship with Patoranking and Flavour. However, the only thing one is sure of is that she has been involved in one musical project or the other with the artistes, though nobody can prove if she was actually in a relationship with them. Though it was reported that Savage and Flavour were caught kissing during the shooting of “Oyi Remix,” that is not enough to prove they were in a relationship.
Still, most of the celebrities Savage has been rumoured to have dated had collaborated with her in one music project or the other. They include, Wizkid, Patoranking, Flavour, Dr Sid, Don Jazzy and Olamide. That scenario, however, somewhat cast some doubt on whether they actually dated, as many believe that collaboration in a music project does not translate to a romantic relationship.
However, the only celebrity Savage never collaborated with but whom many believe she dated was Obama DMW, one of Davido’s aides and associate’s. It was a Nigerian blogger, “Cuitie Juls” who first alleged that Savage and Obama were dating but had managed to keep it away from the public eye for some time.
The blogger made the allegation after Savage dropped a comment on Obama’s page, “praising” him for his talent. Obama then replied Tiwa, referring to her as “babe”.
Still, Obama confirmed the speculation when he sent a birthday message to celebrate Savage on her 41st birthday. Taking to Instagram, Obama posted a photo of the female singer and penned a heart-warming birthday note for her. In the message, he referred to the singer as the ‘one and only Queen T’, leaving many to suspect that they might be more than just friends.
“I have met lots of special people in my life but you surpass them all. There’s no better day to let you know this than on a special day like this. Happy Birthday, One and Only Queen T”, the caption read.
And when Obama died of cardiac arrest this year, Savage expressed her deep pains and grief in a heart-touching tribute she paid to him on social media, accompanying it with videos of him while he was strong and healthy. She wrote:
“Braveheart, strong heart, soft heart, kind heart, pure heart, peacemaker, hot stepper, incoming politician, I know you’d want me to add “stylish” to this list but umm yeah lol.
SOMEONE SAID THEY TRIED TO RUIN YOUR REPUTATION BUT YOU SAVED THEIRS BY NOT TELLING YOUR STORY
I’ve never met anyone as brave/strong as you who was also as soft and kind as you. I don’t know why my cheesy jokes always made you laugh, you were ready to take a bullet for your loved ones
44 my black president, you chilling now, resting well, away from this cruel world
All your boys are a wreck, I’m sure you see them all crying like babies. You better tell them to be strong men
I’m allowed to cry, I’m a girl so don’t try to console me, I won’t listen to you anyway
I really don’t know what you were trying to prove sha, by leaving like this. It is so unlike you. This isn’t the end, that thing you and I always talked about. I PROMISE I WILL DO IT and you will be proud. We are only burying your body today cause your beautiful spirit can never be contained in that sand and don’t worry we got @manlikeabdul_omw He must finish university or imma whoop his behind
I LOVE YOU, WE LOVE YOU HABEEB. Till we meet again KING.