Controversial Nollywood actor, Jim Iyke, caused a stir yesterday, showcasing a dramatic picture that suggested he was fleeing Liberia, for fear of contracting the Ebola virus.
The actor had posted the picture on Instagram, with the caption: “Monrovia unfinished business; leaving tonight. Not ashamed to admit this scares the Jesus outta me #Ebola.”
But for a mask clutching his nose, the actor was dressed casually, while sitting in the airport’s luxury first-class lounge. His pant was also rolled up, revealing bare legs. He was also spotting a short-sleeved shirt.
In a series of comments that accompanied the story on the social media, fans believed the actor took the virus for a joke.
Obviously, there was a huge contrast between Iyke’s image in a first-class luxury and the thousands of terrified Liberians who are living in fear of contracting the deadly disease. Already, about 600 people are said to have died of the disease in Liberia.
Fans berated the actor for wearing an expensive face mask to protect himself, whereas he was wearing a short-sleeved T-shirt.
Apart from chiding the actor for trivialising the virus, other Nigerians took him to task for travelling back to the country without having been tested to see if he was infected.
“Please ooo, James Ikechukwu, aka Jim Iyke, should be quarantined,” one said.
Ebola is transmitted through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals, and in many parts of West Africa, people are being told to cover as much of their body as possible to ensure the infection doesn’t enter their bloodstream through a small cut.
Perhaps one of the harsh comments was that Iyke was giving false information about the virus. “Ignorance is a true folly! My dear Iyke, the Ebola virus is not airborne. Did he not bother to pick up a newspaper or tune into news stations there whilst in Liberia? I’m sure it’s all over the news and all networks! So besides telling us that he has no clue about what’s going on where he is, he thought it best to show us his foolishness too! Granted, it is a scary situation. But as a so-called celebrity, can he not publicise his ignorance on social media? There are people out there looking at his updates 247, can he take it upon himself to spread the right information for the sake of his other illiterate followers! It’s the least he can do,” said an observer.
However, others thought that the actor might be acting a portion of his popular reality show, Jim Iyke Unscripted.
With the second season of the TV show being concluded, the actor had earlier released a teaser for season 3. In the trailer, the actor and Ghanaian beau, Nadia Buari, are seen flying in private jets, playing hard, partying hard and attending events together.