I came to know about Joro Olumofin shortly before the time Toolz of the Beat FM got married in 2016. It was a popular story: how OAP Gbemi Olagbegi allusively called the Olumofin brothers social climbers on Twitter and the Olumofin brothers fired back with the most nasty, vitriolic, image-destroying response they could think of on Instagram. So much so that one of my favourite shows on radio, The Handover Show, suffered a disappearance for some time. Then I got to know that he is a psychologist and self-declared relationship expert, dolling out advice and nuggets of wisdom in navigating relationships, and this is me describing what I think he is doing in clear, sensible words.
I have read a couple of his relationship tips, featured on blogs, and I have always found myself cringing at words like “husband material,” “wife material,” or titles like “10 Things You Shouldn’t Do When You Meet A New Guy.” What annoys me, particularly on the subject of relationships, is that Joro Olumofin’s business of becoming Nigeria’s Steve Harvey feeds into the toxic marriage culture that is heavily prevalent in Nigeria. For example, in this post where Olumofin highlights the tests that men should run on women before they are deemed marriageable, feels like a dark experiment reeled off from a dystopian movie. It informs the agency of men to be insincere, dishonest, and be architects of a susceptible pseudo-reality.
“Olumofin feeds off from the obsession of Nigerians with marriage,” says Titi Olurin, a Lagos-based romance writer, “He calls himself a love doctor and yet he isn’t convincingly authoritative. He has, in a small time, built a cult following that deifies him.”
That aside, in the context of sexuality, Olumofin’s relationship pieces are always heterosexuality-reinforcing. They lack nuance and complexity, mirroring the favouring and overarching privileging of straight people. So, if you prefer, you can follow Olumofin at your own peril.