Kiki Mordi : Fresh controversy trails BBC’s Sex for Grades documentary

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Kiki-Mordi-Photo- by EveryEvery-NG-

Kiki Mordi has been scrutinised since the documentary aired in December 2019. She has been accused of reaping where she has not appeared.

 

The controversy trailing the BBC’s  Sex for Grades documentary has refused to go away.

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Sex for Grades was a documentary about sexual transactions for grades in Nigerian and Ghanaian universities.

The first point of contention was over who owned the concept.

Kiki Mordi

The International Centre for Investigative Journalists (ICFJ) has issued a statement alleging that the documentary’s face and voice, Kiki Mordi, is being targeted for sexist violence.

Kiki Mordi has been scrutinised since the documentary aired in December 2019. She has been accused of reaping where she has not appeared.

In her defence of the accusation that she stole the work of her colleague, Oge Obi, Kiki Mordi claims that the BBC audience, not Oge Obi, pitched the Sex for Grades idea.

Kiki Mordi has received numerous awards for the documentary, including the Michael Elliott Award for African Storytelling. Meanwhile, Oge Obi, who played the 17-year-old admission seeker at the centre of the documentary, received nothing.

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Oge Obi

In the film, Oge Obi persuaded a 50-year-old lecturer, Boniface Igbeneghu, to make a deal with the alleged 17-year-old admission seeker. According to observers, the documentary would not have succeeded without Oge Obi’s role in exposing Dr. Igbeneghu. The lecturer was later fired by the University of Lagos.

Oge Obi had claimed that the documentary was her idea and that Kiki Mordi was only allowed to narrate it.

Oge Obi had called Kiki Mordi a talentless fluke, claiming that everything Mordi is or has achieved thus far is due to her stealing her idea and making it her own.

In December 2020, one year after the documentary aired, Oge Obi attempted suicide with a poisonous disinfectant. She left journalism after surviving the suicide attempt and pursued another career.

 ICFJ 

Nigerian Twitter users chastised the ICFJ for claiming that Investigative Journalists’ David Hundeyin was leading a misogynist attack on Kiki Mordi.

Hundeyin has provided evidence that the ICFJ hired him as a resource person in a journalism programme less than six months ago. He wondered if ICFJ had joined forces with a’misogynist.’

The ICFJ sided with Kiki Mordi, alleging that she was being trolled because of the documentary.

Nigerians were perplexed as to why the ICFJ reached its conclusion without hearing from Oge Obi and the other documentary participants.

Toyosi Ogunseye

Premium Times and David Hundeyin have both accused Toyosi Ogunseye, the head of BBC in Africa, of assisting Kiki Mordi to take the spotlight in a work that was not originally hers.

For context, Oge Obi was a BBC employee at the time the Sex for Grades documentary was made. Kiki Mordi was a freelance journalist who was invited to participate in the production.

Toyosi Ogunseye, according to Hundeyin, sees Oge Obi and other female BBC employees as competition.

According to Hundeyin and a Premium Times report, Ruona Meyer, another ex-BBC employee who worked on the documentary Sweet Sweet Codeine, which exposes a network of pharmaceutical firms selling prohibited drugs to Nigerians, almost met the same fate as Toyosi Ogunseye.

According to the report, Toyosi nearly had Ruona removed from the Sweet Sweet Codeine documentary in the middle of production, but was overruled due to the critical role she was playing. Ruona left the BBC the day after the documentary aired.

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