In September, Olawale Ojo, winner of sixth edition of the MTN Project Fame in 2013 shared his grace to grass story when he spoke to Tope Delano on how he bacame a cab driver despite winning one of the biggest talent hunt shows in the country.
He has now shared an open letter on dealing with depression and how he realised he really needed to speak with a professional.
In his words, ‘ I now realize I should eventually talk to an actual professional therapist to help deal with the pains of the past in order to avoid “the Lagoon” and prepare for the future’.
Read his piece below…
I still can’t make sense of it. At my lowest point, I gave an unfiltered interview and talked openly about my situation.
Like many people in Nigeria, things were dire. To make it worse, given my previous achievements, few would’ve expected it.
This spontaneous moment of vulnerability actually sparked something creatively and professionally. I have been creating some of my best work which very soon I can share with the world.
Money still no dey. But I dey see am around the corner. What’s the lesson in all of this?
There is hope in vulnerability.
There is no shame in your situation, no matter what it is.
You don’t need to read the newspaper to realize that people are suffering. You see it in the streets. Hear it from your friends. And even your family.
You witness yourself, or a close relative or friends retreat alone to the edge of the Lagoon.
And in Nigeria where saving face is Rule #1. We suffer alone. We don’t let people into our lives because they might see the cracks that are present. We forget that the more people that join us in pounding the yam, the faster we get to eat. We tie our self worth, our confidence, our happiness to our situation. And pile on self-shaming.
And for some people, they cross over into the realm of depression. And sadly some people take the mortal decision to drown in that Lagoon.
As I said earlier, there is hope in vulnerability. I’m proof of it.
So if you’re in this situation, I implore you, find someone trusted, hopefully someone trained or extremely experienced to counsel. And allow yourself to be vulnerable to them. Share your worse, your darkest of thoughts, your happiest of moments. I promise you, you will be better for it.
Ironically, I’ve essentially gone through therapy sessions in public the last few months. I now realize I should eventually talk to an actual professional therapist to help deal with the pains of the past in order to avoid “the Lagoon” and prepare for the future.
If you can afford it, I suggest you do the same. If you can’t, please refer to the resources below.
You have gone through some shit. You might be currently going through some shit. And since we’re in Nigeria in 2018, the shit might be ghastly. Please don’t suffer alone. Heed my advice. Talk to a professional in a private setting.
I also received many messages from people that were touched by my story. People that pushed forward because of my choosing to be vulnerable. I’ve realized I share more of my story and life.
I also realize that social media is probably not the most healthy place to do that. I want to share my thoughts, my life, my ups, and my downs. And not worry about it going viral. Just for my few loyal fans, and anyone else who cares enough to let me into their inbox.
If you want to, feel free to subscribe via email here (olawale.astro.ng/signup). And please, these will be mostly personal thoughts. Don’t republish the emails.
To wrap up, thanks to all of you who showed support, who reached out, and supported me. God bless you.
On the professional front, I’m committed to being Olawale. I don’t need to be Wizkid or Davido. I don’t need supermodel followers (though I won’t protest).
I’m committed to making music that my fans can vibe to and God willing, make a decent and honest loving from it.