Damilola Adegbite says many indigenous entertainers struggle with depression and anxiety due to the challenge of maintaining a balance between their public image and personal priorities.
In a chat with Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, TV host, the Nigerian actress revealed how she tackles social media toxicity and trolls.
Adegbite also spoke of the intrusive nature of social media as it affects the lives and careers of celebrities.
“I haven’t always been the type to put myself out there. I’ve learned how to shut off and build a wall around myself. My experiences and what I’ve been through have given me a new level of strength,” the actress said.
“I wouldn’t say I’m completely numb because the truth is that people’s opinions about you matter to an extent. But I’ve learned to not take it too personally. You say anything I don’t like on social media, I delete it and block you.
“I’ve just learned how to be stronger. You just have to draw a line and know that, in the end, social media is not a person but a million and one voice who have different opinions and experiences.
“You can’t allow those people to judge who you are. We have to be able to strike a balance between maintaining who we are and managing people’s opinions about us. That’s where the challenge is as a public figure.
“You’re thinking, ‘I have to maintain this and still do me.’ That’s why a lot of us are depressed, dealing with anxiety.
“Some of us live larger than our capacity. Being able to find a healthy balance is key, where you’re right in the centre and everything else gravitates around that. Whatever comes, you figure it out. That’s how I live.”
Between late August and early September, some celebrity relationships in Nigeria fell apart, raising conversations on social media.
In some cases, the parties involved went public in social media call-outs while others reacted to online discourse.
On the extent to which marital struggles should be made a public affair, Adegbite said she considers the practice of resorting to social media in such situations as a “desperate cry for help” after other alternatives must have failed.
“I feel like when somebody goes that far, it’s a desperate cry for help. They must have tried other avenues and just need help. A lot of time when we reach for anything [on social media], we’re not really thinking,” Adegbite added.
“That’s not the time to start processing. We just need help. As much as there’s no judge on social media, pouring out there is often a case of breakdown, although the audience doesn’t really care. You’re just giving them a gist.
“It’s only in a situation of you defending yourself against wrongful accusations that I think speaking out is justified.
“But when it’s about things happing within the home, we should try as much as we can to avoid doing social media.
“It’s easy to sit and give advice because you’re not the one in these situations. They (celebrities) are breaking down. As much as we can, we just have to be understanding.”