Last week when reading about Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend’s alleged swollen testicles, which made the front page of the Guardian as well as headlines in international news outlets, I laughed it off as another case of a celebrity with time on their hands releasing a series of facetious tweets.
However, what one thought would be a two-day story has now escalated into an international scandal that has caught the attention of top public health officials all over the world and has thrust Trinidad and Tobago into the lens of the international media.
On Thursday night I watched Jason Williams and Minister Deyalsingh’s entertaining appearances on Trevor Noah’s show and must commend their fact-based debunking of her ridiculous claims.
This “event” has led me to ask the question: why is this story receiving so much media attention despite it being, in the words of Jason Williams, “parlour talk”.
As a proud citizen of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean, I personally feel that this whole debacle has shone a negative light on our nation and our region.
Ms Minaj has painted our country as a disorganised place and has perpetuated falsehoods and further misinformation.
She has falsely claimed in recent days that access to social media is limited by the Government as well and that vaccines are being mandated by the Government.
Ms Minaj has gone even further by threatening the life of Guardian Media journalist Sharlene Rampersad for attempting to contact her relatives to seek validation of the celebrity’s claims. This is abhorrent.
While Ms Minaj may be a musical superstar renowned around the world, she should stay in her “section” when it comes to public health advice.
Ms Minaj has irresponsibly used her social media presence to spread misinformation about the vaccine.
In an apparent fit of pique, she has gone overboard and shown as we say, a “bad mind” stance towards Ms Rampersad by exposing her phone number to the public.
It seems that Ms Minaj’s ego has swollen much more than her cousin’s friend’s testicles have.
Many may look up to Ms Minaj and view her as a de facto ambassador of our country to the world.
She has not only embarrassed our nation on the world stage but has also wasted the valuable time and resources of our health ministry which had to investigate her claim.
Despite her claims being debunked by Dr Fauci, Minister Deyalsingh and many other health officials, Ms Minaj continues to perpetuate that these respected officials are “lying” on her and that she is somehow a victim.
In local jargon we would say that she is being “wrong and strong”.
Ms Minaj should do the respectable thing by stopping her vituperative attacks against journalists and health officials on Twitter which has exposed her profound egotism.
She should also apologise to the people of Trinidad and Tobago for perpetuating false, vacuous claims about health policies, laws, vaccines as well as the kind of country that we are.