‘#EndSARS is a result of anger’ — Funmi Iyanda talks mental health in ‘Public Eye’

Funmi Iyanda, a Nigerian talk show host and broadcaster, says the #EndSARS campaign against police brutality is an expression of anger by Nigerian youths.

She spoke while hosting Amanda Iheme, a psychotherapist, on ‘Public Eye’, a TV show, on Sunday.

Iyanda’s ‘Public Eye’, which made its television debut on November 1, features stakeholders from different sectors, who analyse various issues while also suggesting solutions.

During the show, Iheme raised concerns over the state of happiness and the degree of anger in the country.

She said Nigerians find little reasons to be happy, as those responsible for protecting them have engaged in abusing the people.

“No one can defend you because the people who should protect you are the ones abusing you. What do Nigerians have to be happy about?” she asked.

“Are we really the happiest people on earth, or are we happy because we choose to deny our problems rather than confront them or face them?

“There is so much anger — suppressed anger; transferred anger; violence as a part of our culture; narcissism as a part of our culture; poor interpersonal relationships; unhealthy, manipulative, controlling family dynamics.

“Every day, people fall below the poverty line. When you have issues, no one can defend you because the people who should protect you are the ones abusing you. So what do you have to be happy about?”

Iyanda also hosted Michael Ejoor, an actor, who shared his mental health experience during the show.

Michael revealed that, in the past, he had harmed himself and attempted suicide twice.

He added that silence makes the situation worse, saying those having mental health challenges should seek medical help.

“I am an actor. I am my director, I say action and present a different front to the world than how I feel on the inside,” he said.

“Sometimes, I look back and think, maybe I shouldn’t have suppressed it. If I wasn’t told to deal with it because I’m a man, my mental health wouldn’t have gotten as bad as it did.

“Things got really bad for me, I tried to take my own life. I cut myself. At the age of 23, ten years ago, was the time I really tried. I was taken to the ER where drugs had to be pumped out of me. Silence makes it worse. If you’re dealing with depression, soro soke (speak up)!”

In her remarks, Iyanda urged Nigerians to seek medical help in handling mental health matters.

She said “with COVID lockdown, the consequences of the shutdown of businesses, of people restricted to their homes, would have added to mental health issues”.


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