“Don’t get it twisted, love is a beautiful thing”.
It is a line from D’banj’s hit single, ‘Fall in Love’, from the album ‘The Entertainer’.
It is 2008, and D’banj is one of Nigeria’s biggest musical talents and one of the country’s most eligible bachelors. He has been linked with many celebrities but the most-profound, the most-believable and the most-anticipated is the rumour that links him with Genevieve Nnaji, the thespian that has been the dream woman of every Nigerian male.
But rumours are what they are; until the visuals to ‘Fall in Love’ was released and that seems to confirm everything: they weren’t rumours, after all. D’banj and Genevieve, in the same video, singing about falling in love, and then kissing in the end. Heaven could not be sweeter!
Not since then had there been such a national fervour in the love interest of a Nigerian celebrity until now, 12 whole years after D’banj supposedly broke hearts (of men who wished to be with Genevieve and of women who crushed on the singer).
The setting is now different, so also are the players but the anticipation is building and looks set to match the one that gripped Nigerians in 2008.
Enter Samuel Chukwueze and Ifedioku!
While Samuel Chukwueze’s name would almost certainly ring a bell, but you might ask, ‘who is Ifedioku?’
Well, if you have been in the ‘Twittersphere’ over the last week, you must have come across the pictures of a no-make-up-wearing, slim, dark beauty, whose beauty radiated as she went braless in a black gown. Black is indeed beautiful – in and out!
Born Klarabella Ekemma Kalu, ‘Ifedioku’ (an Igbo word for ‘something hot’), is the latest beauty to take the Nigerian social media space by storm but not in the usual cleavage-bearing and buttocks-twerking style of most Nigerian slay queens, no, she has come into our consciousness fully-clad and with gracious beauty.
So, what then does she have to do with Super Eagles star, Chukwueze?
This is where it gets interesting.
Ifedioku, a confessed Manchester United fan, has, one more than one occasion, suggested she is in a relationship with Chukwueze, who plays for Villareal in Spain’s La Liga.
In one post on Instagram, Ifedioku captioned a picture of Chukwueze with the words, ‘El Bebe’, which is Spanish for ‘The Baby’. In another post with a picture of the Super Eagles winger, she wrote, ‘The Baby’.
Although it remains unclear if they are in a relationship, her posts suggest they may at least be friends.
When asked about the development, a former teammate of Chukwueze’s at his grassroots club Diamond Academy, in Umuahia, where Ifedioku is based, said: “I am not sure if they are dating. I’ve heard of her (Ifedioku) and I think they are friends but I don’t know if he (Chukwueze) is in a relationship with her or not.”
Meanwhile, a random post by a Twitter user also suggests there might be a relationship between the pair.
The user, who goes by the handle @MaziGerald, while responding to a tweet to Ifedioku’s pictures, said: “Nwanne, hapụ nwunye Chukwueze áká. Nke karịrị ónyé nkuzi,” Igbo for “brother, leave Chukwueze’s wife alone. This is bigger than a teacher”.
While neither Chukwueze nor Ifedioku might currently have D’banj and Genevieve’s 2008 national appeal and popularity, however, the interest that is being garnered on social media suggests it could yet be another hugely popular celebrity relationship rumour, thanks in large part to Ifedioku being exactly what her name suggests.