It might be time for every entertainment publication to create a separate segment for Tonto, because like it or not, not hearing or reading about her is becoming nearly impossible.
On January, Tonto entered the news with reports that she is undergoing body enhancement surgery, specifically a breast enlargement procedure.
This marks Tonto’s 2018 debut in the news, But if your memory serves, young Poko, or whatever she goes by these days, has managed to an important part of the gossip and rumour mill for the better part of the last decade.
Nigerian celebrities make their coin off how relevant they manage to be.
For Poko, in a space where the people who give you a nickname today can forget your actual name tomorrow, Tonto has secured the manual for staying in the conversation.
Now let’s infer what she has in that manual.
Variety is the spice of Life
A big part of Tonto’s news relevance is the fact that she has dipped her hands in everything.
In 2006, she made her movie debut as a bright-eyed, baby-faced love interest in “Tea or Coffee”. Her entry into Nollywood coincided with the death of the home video market and the berth of Nollywood as a major pan-African product.
Never afraid to take on heavily sexualised roles or play the bad girl, Tonto quickly became a sex symbol. But even that was only the beginning.
After acting in several movies, she decided to try her hands at music, with the 2011 release of “Hi” and “Its Ova”. Whether those “occurrences” can actually be termed songs in the strictest sense of the word is open to conversation. But they achieved something important.
For weeks, Tonto was the main topic on social media. Her songs mostly inspired negative comments (the songwriting and her vocals were demoralising, to put it mildly) but she also scored memes, jokes, parodies, articles and more.
Tonto’s music career was short-lived (even thoufh she signed on to D’banj’s DB Records for a brief spell), but since then, we’ve heard of her doing different things; she’s dabbled in fashion, philanthropy, female rights activism, and now with the launch of her show on Linda Ikeji TV, reality television is a part of that list.
As the people who know, controversy sells
Of course, as Koffi will tell you; dabbling in every single field cannot assure you of prominence.
Controversy has followed Tonto through all her major endeavours in a way that a fair share of Nigerians, with what appears to be our insatiable appetite for bad news, are always interested to see what she’s up to at any given time.
One of her first major scandals came in 2011 when she acted in several raunchy roles in the movie “Dirty Secret”. Nollywood was at the time, considerably conservative and her performance in the movie split the movie industry and fans in half.
But Tonto did not care
She stayed in the limelight and waited it out until another controversy came. This time, in 2012, it was on the subject of tattoos. the actress put out a promo photo unveiling a massive back tattoo that she claimed took “10 Hours… and a lot of money to do”
Naturally, the hoopla followed. But the young actress unlooked, spoke when she needed to and rode the wave.
Perhaps her biggest date with controversy was her acrimonious split from her estranged husband, Olakunle Churchill.
Despite being bashed in a well-edited and distributed interview, Tonto drew out many narratives from the end of her maTonto, in tears, campaigns against domestic violence alongside other actresses. (Press)
As a victim of domestic abuse, she raised her voice to bring attention to the issue; she questioned his wealth and brought attention to his alleged infidelity, especially entering a long drawn out battle with actress Roseline Meurer.
In a way, it makes her come across as a spoiled, pretty brat but if anybody cares, it’s certainly not Tonto.