The PR Lessons To Take Away From The Tiwa Savage And Teebillz Story

The PR Lessons To Take Away From The Tiwa Savage And Teebillz Story

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In the past couple of days, Nigerians have learned that behind every celebrity, there is a large amount of unpalatable secrets covered up under layers of make-up, smiles, red carpet poses and seeming charisma.

This lesson has come from pop star Tiwa Savage, who sadly had to reveal details of her marriage to her former manager, Tunji “Tee Billz” Balogun after he leveled terrible and diabolical allegations against her and his own family.tee-billz-instagram-posts-deleted-about-tiwa-savage-1tee-billz-instagram-posts-deleted-about-tiwa-savage-2tee-billz-instagram-posts-deleted-about-tiwa-savage-3tee-billz-instagram-posts-deleted-about-tiwa-savage-4

Rather than gloat or take sides, we’ve picked up some PR lessons from this incident and we thought to share.


This is probably the most underrated statement in 2016.

In order to create and sustain the image of a respected celebrity, it is imperative that you are enigmatic because you’ve done a great job of keeping details of your ‘personal’ life away from the public. If Teebillz had posted nothing about the troubles in his marriage, we may never have known about it…at least not like this.

Look at the Obamas. Doesn’t it feel like nothing seems to be wrong with this family?

Look at the Obamas. Doesn’t it feel like nothing seems to be wrong with this family?


According to one of the founding fathers of modern PR, Sam Black, there are 3 rules to handling crisis management:

Tell it all

Tell it fast

Tell it truthfully

Tiwa Savage managed to do this quite well with her exclusive interview. In the video, she was able to draw her audience in (all by herself) by telling her side of the story in such simple language.

It’s also important to note how her body language, the setting and her “costume” played a critical role in the communication of her truth.tiwa-savage-exclusive-interview-id-africa-analysis

Before this video, people had said all sorts about Tiwa.tiwa mock 1tiwa mock 2

She did well to address these comments.


In recent years, more attention has been paid to superfluous engagements and extravagant weddings. Celebrities have their engagements in Nigeria and then travel out to have “Dubai” weddings, while ‘detractors’ and single ladies can only watch from their phones and television screens.

Tiwa Savage and Tunji “Tee Billz” Balogun Dubai wedding setting

Tiwa Savage and Tunji “Tee Billz” Balogun Dubai wedding setting

Now, Tiwa Savage had a Dubai wedding, making her a bigger object of ridicule. But her team did something smart. They did a spin on a problem till it became an advantage.


They used the African folktale/storytelling approach – one that addresses moral or societal issues and gives lessons.word picIn the interview, Tiwa points out how she overlooked the potentials of a broken marriage because she was scared that she was getting older and the pressure to get married was intense. Every woman can relate with this.

Then she went further to mention her miscarriage in Jamaica, how her husband went around with other women, stole money from her and how she was the breadwinner of the family but was telling the whole world the opposite to save her husband’s face. This sounds like a Nollywood movie but it sure got men and women on Tiwa Savage’s side.


Always give fresh insights aside addressing the issues previously on ground.tiwa gif

People went from feeling sorry for Teebillz to encouraging Tiwa to divorce him.tiwa empathytiwa empathy2tiwa empathy3


It’s 2016 and the social media is “trending”. It would have been a mortal sin if Tiwa Savage had asked us to stay glued to our TV screens to listen to her exclusive tell-all.


If you’ve watched some of the best interviews in the world, you’ll know that the interviewer is as important as the person being interviewed. Watch below Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Michael Jackson, which served as one of the biggest points of her career

Tiwa’s interview was by all journalistic standards a poor outing for an interviewer like Azuka Ogujiuba, who failed to engage and empathize with her subject. There was an overwhelming disconnect between interviewer and interviewee, difficult to explain because the particular journalist is known for empathy – and she only recently worked with photographer TY Bello to rehabilitate bread seller-cum-model and multiple brand ambassador, Olajumoke Orisaguna.

Of course, some Nigerians gave her a piece of their minds Twitter and Instagram.Screen-Shot-2016-04-30-at-12.06.54-PMScreen-Shot-2016-04-30-at-12.07.30-PMAnd then they we

Regardless of Azuka’s disconnect, Tiwa still managed to pull an emotional weight.

At the end of the day, we hope both parties are able to resolve their issues and find happiness in their own way.

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  1. ambivalentone
    May 02, 06:35 Reply

    The vitriol that followed this fiasco could flay skin and dissolve it in an instant. I was pretty shocked a couple of female OAPs could hate Tiwa that much (given, I live in a backward town in a backward thinking country). But it was nauseating. Frankly, even if Tiwa had gone back to IG to rant, it wud b enuf. You just can’t level such accusations and not expect answers

    • Pink Panther
      May 02, 06:39 Reply

      Female OAPs lashed out at Tiwa? Why am I even surprised by that. Even the interviewer looked like and was acting like someone who didn’t like Tiwa right there in front of the cameras.

        • Pink Panther
          May 02, 07:15 Reply

          In the immortal tweet of Elnathan:

          So you are a professional. Globally known. Pay bills.
          But you have to come back home and cook for another adult.
          Because you have a vagina.

  2. belcullen
    May 02, 06:36 Reply

    lol funny. Ppl even went after d interviewer.

  3. Dennis Macaulay
    May 02, 06:59 Reply

    I vowed to stay away from this mess but it gets harder.

    I’d just say that Azuka is a print journalist not a TV anchor and I wonder who thought it was a good Idea for her to do this, Toke Makinwa with her cacophony of (phony) accents would have been better sef.

  4. Kenny
    May 02, 07:31 Reply

    And then Daddy Freeze had the guts to spew trash about Tiwa on Instagram only to come back and say he regrets his rant after she called him and told her story. People judging her without knowing the full story. Azuka should never be allowed to interview anyone on camera again.

  5. Paul
    May 02, 07:50 Reply

    It all comes down to one thing – who marriage don epp?

  6. Delle
    May 02, 08:46 Reply

    Firstly, Teebillz is accusing Savage’s mother of witchcraft? That’s deep.
    That interviewer, Azuka woreva, should be sent to ANSU for a one year skill brushing programme and another year at a Rehabilitation centre where they’d teach her to have emotions.
    Tiwa and Teebillz have just shown that marriage is an overrated shit. Too overrated esp in the country.

  7. pete
    May 02, 09:02 Reply

    Sad event. One bad marriage doesn’t negate the bliss most have found in that instution.

    • Delle
      May 02, 09:54 Reply

      Trust me, after that first three years, nothing like marital bliss. It becomes a sequence of events and you trying to keep your family as an African man.

      • pete
        May 02, 10:15 Reply

        So, bliss goes after the third year & you’ve this on good authority?

        • Delle
          May 02, 10:52 Reply

          Let’s just say I have a lot of married relatives

  8. posh6666
    May 02, 10:35 Reply

    Gosh the whole drama was such a mess! Then i have never seen such a crappy journalist like that lady interviewer.That bitch totally has zero emotion or human feelings left in her….I was blown away like bitch this is a fellow woman like you going through so much and weeping like hold her hands or offer her a tissue jeez!

    • Pink Panther
      May 02, 17:32 Reply

      Bitch just kept rolling her eyes from Nigeria to Namibia, gaze fixed on the ceiling as if that’s were Tiwa was answering her from.

  9. posh6666
    May 02, 10:39 Reply

    She deserves to be fired infact in other more advanced countries i’m sure by now she would have been fired….Such a bad look for the tv station….Even if u dont like Tiwa personally or believe her story atleast pretend to care i mean this is where ur food cums from..

    • Pink Panther
      May 02, 17:31 Reply

      That’s what I said. If na oyibo land she dey, wallai, she’d have been relieved of her job. Her lack of professionalism was just shocking.

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