Many individuals today suffer with asthma, a chronic (meaning it doesn’t go away) disease that is under-discussed. In an effort to de-stigmatize and raise awareness of the realities of asthma, even among wealthy and well-liked celebrities today, we will be counting down 5 Nigerian celebrities who are suffering this illness today. Are you prepared to look at the list’s contents? So let’s go on.
The first celebrity on today’s list who has been open about her battle with asthma is Nollywood actress, Etinosa Idemudia. During a Sun interview when asked what she won’t do because of fashion, Etinosa said:
I won’t choke or kill myself because of style. There are some clothes/styles out there, like turtleneck that can choke your neck and suffocate you. There are some things I don’t mess with because I am asthmatic. So, anything that has to do with my throat, neck or breathing, I won’t mess with it.
She also at a later time on Instagram spoke against the fight for free menstrual pads instead saying that we should be fighting for free Ventolin inhalers. She said:
There are more relevant things to fight for than Free Menstrual Pads for girls. No offense but i would rather fight for FREE VENTOLIN INHALERS than fight for free Menstrual pads using the same premise-nobody asked to be asthmatic. While Asthma kills, I have never seen anyone die from blood stain. I write this clutching my now ritualist-expensive inhaler in my hand; and the price keeps increasing daily.
Another celebrity who has asthma but hasn’t really been struggling as much with it since 22 is Big Brother Naija ex-housemate Pere Egbi. The actor said in a diary session on the show:
I was six months old when I started suffering from asthma and I had it up until I was 22. So as someone that suffered from asthma for 22 years, I’ll set something up to help people who are suffering from that as well. Sounds like a lot but I’m sure I can do it.
Asthma is a chronic condition meaning it doesn’t go away but it’s good to see Pere not reacting so harshly to it anymore. It’s also good to see him giving back. On his birthday, his fans gave N200,000 worth of asthma pumps for charity.
Another celebrity who has asthma is Nigerian rapper M.I. Abaga. The heavy symptoms of asthma flare up sometimes off and on, and M.I opened up about how he was bedridden some years back because of his asthma. M.I tweeted:
I’ve been bed ridden for the last few days. My asthma is acting up. Shout out to pepper soup and tea. I have asthma. Hence, I can’t smoke. Sorry, let me be positive. The devil has asthma hence I can’t smoke.
Sometimes, asthma too for some people is seasonal. It is a type of allergic asthma where your symptoms are triggered by allergens that appear at different times of the year. One Nollywood celebrity who has this is Nigerian actress and media personality, Zainab Balogun. Zainab made the revelation about her seasonal asthma when she opened up about contracting COVID-19. Zainab said:
I was extremely shocked when I got the results. I was convinced that I didn’t have COVID-19 but decided to take the test in solidarity with a friend who was not feeling well. I assumed the symptoms I had, such as a cough, were related to my seasonal asthma and allergies.
Finally, popular singer Oxlade is the last celebrity on today’s list. Oxlade has been very open about being asthmatic and his battle with asthma. Oxlade has said about his asthma:
I’m asthmatic, yeah! That’s something many people don’t know. I’ve got asthma. So I don’t smoke at all. I’ve never smoked. I can’t because, it’s not good for my health. I’m an asthmatic patient so it’s almost like an awareness for other guys like me. Letting the world know that asthma kills. It’s as deadly as corona and other lethal health issues
Asthma does indeed kill. Please, as we enter the harmattan season, with the dry air and dust in the air, be careful and check up on friends and family who may be dealing with asthma as this can be quite a hard time for asthmatic patients.