Every celebrity’s life is everyone’s business; hence they are always in the news for even the clothes they wear much less their relationships. Hence almost everyone had an opinion about Tonto Dike’s relationship drama and controversies.
It is heart-warming for me to see her lover take the fall. He was blamed, shamed mercilessly dragged especially for leaking a recording of their private conversation. I say this is heart-warming, because it is an entirely new and unexpected turn of events that is unfolding for the first time in centuries, women are sticking out and supporting their own regardless of who the man is. I mean, he is a prince and all right? But nah, he isn’t getting away it.
I am a woman who proudly (identifies myself) as a feminist based on conviction. However, this piece is not an analysis on Tonto Dike’s relationship breakout and who is to blame, but about a segment of the audio recording her lover released to social media bloggers where Tonto Dike was asking her lover to take care of her son in case anything happens to her.
This is what I intend to talk about.
Adekunle Churchil was Tonto Dike’s first husband and father of her son Andre Dike, not Prince Kpokopgiri. Why would she want him to take care of her son if anything happens to her and even periodically request her lover to ensure his father never gets to him? Does Tonto Dike have any justification to alienate Churchill from his child? Did Churchill deny the paternity of the boy? Does he not love his son? Is he abusive to the child?
Tonto has alienated her son from his father since the breakdown of their marriage. Yes, the breakdown of that relationship was nasty, all-over social media and messy as hell. But is that reason enough to alienate a son from his father?
There is nothing wrong in having your partner love your child, every child deserves the love of every adult in their life. That’s where the saying that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ comes from. But that does not in any way exclude the love of the child’s father. It is paramount and above all.
A lot of people do not know and understand the concept of Parental Alienation even though it is very common in and around our circles, maybe if I had not been a victim of it, I would not have understood it either.
Parental Alienation is the situation where feuding or divorcing partners use the child/children they have between them as a weapon to fight the other parent by denying them access to their child. This is usually done by the custodial parent, in a bid to hurt the other non-custodial one. And in a bid to concretise the alienation, the custodial parent resort to labelling allegations (truthful or not) discrediting the other parent before the child and others just to ensure the relationship between the child and other parent suffers.
The most significant and obvious indication of parental alienation is the refusal of the alienating parent to talk about the other parent to the child or anyone else, and that is exactly Tonto Dike’s body language signifies. I am not close to her or anyone she knows, but all her social media footprints indicates that, her son bears her surname, she does not speak about her son’s father; not to him or anyone else.
Being a celebrity, the divorce between her and her ex has been followed keenly by social media bloggers and news outlets, so basically everyone knows the drama that ensued. It is painfully clear that Tonto Dike has alienated her son from his father regardless of the court’s rulings granting him access.
One can’t help but wonder what she tells the child when he asks her about his father is. Does she give him the common line used by alienators of ‘Your father/mother does not love or want to see you’? Or does she say he is dead?
When two elephants fight, it is always the grass that suffers. This is a fact we cannot change nor delete, but we can choose to ensure we do not engage in fights that destroy the grass. One thing that feuding couples must always remember is the silent voice of that child/children involved. Divorce is our choice, but a child’s right to both their parents love is not. Divorce is our choice, but ensuring each parent have a relationship with their child is not. It is a scared right that must be respected and protected.
Divorce can be a bitter experience; I know, I have been through it. I never anticipated it would happen to me much less that it would be bitter, because I though myself and ex were matured enough to ensure it does not happen much less get bitter. But it happened, and it did turn bitter. I also know that had I not had the hindsight to bite off the chunk of bitterness and let go, it would have been worse.
Tonto Dike has allowed herself to turn into what PA researchers call ‘the malicious mother syndrome’. And this is inherently destructive to both herself and the child she loves.
It is surprising to me that out of the multitudes of Tonto Dike’s friends and fans that have shown support for her, none have called her attention to this faux pass.
Everyone who knows Tonto on, or off social media knows how she loves and adores her son; yet she is destroying him without knowing it. Parental Alienation is the worst and most harmful form of child abuse. No amount of love you show your son now will erase the hurt he will feel when he grows up and learns the truth; that you cut his father out of his life due to your own personal grudges.
I would like to call on Tonto Dike to redress her steps and let her son’s father have a relationship with his son. It is not a choice; it is a responsibility that she owes her son to let his father have access to him.
If Tonto were the alienated parent, I will advise the same thing. I was the alienated mom; I know just how much it hurts.
We must not continue to repeat old patterns of abuse simply because we can, or it suits us. We must learn to do the right thing.
Hawwah A Gambo is a Multimedia Journalist, Feminist, Social Entrepreneur and Anti-PA Campaigner.