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Oma: Fifty Shades of Dilemma



There is a new movie in town that quite a number of people have been looking forward to, particularly those who must have read the book from which the movie was based on. It is called Fifty Shades of Grey.

I must confess my naivety when I first start seeing people use the hash tag #fiftyshadesofgrey back in the University. Although, it wasn’t such a familiar term in my circle, I began to see people use it when they “greyed” their outfits and I just concluded that it was something that had to do with colors. Not until I began to inquire while doing my Masters and people did say it was a book. No one really explained what the book was all about. They all just assumed that I knew what it was or maybe like me, they were not really sure what it was.

I wasn’t really interested because in all fairness, I’m not sure why I needed to read a color book and I couldn’t also comprehend the popularity of a color book. It wasn’t until recently when my colleague spoke about it that I declared my ignorance. Being one who is eager to learn, I asked her and her reaction was: “hmmmm! I have it on my Ipad. I must not even be caught reading it at home”. Now, that sounds scandalous! But I was curious and requested to have the book. One thing overshadowed the discuss and I never got the book.

The same day, a colleague mentioned that the movie with the same title was out in the cinemas. *sigh* At least, that was a faster means of grabbing the whole Fifty Shades of Grey pandemonium. The weekend came and I was so busy showing and getting showered with love that seeing a movie knowing that there would be a crowd at the cinemas was the very least on my mind.

The weekend came and left and then the Fifty Shades of Grey was up in the air again and this time, I was determined to fix a date to see the movie or hope that someone storms the office and announces that they have a clear version of the movie. While on the issue, I saw the display picture of Tosin of Africanism Cosmoplitan condemning indecent entertainment and making reference to one of my favorite TV series, Scandal and then, Fifty Shades of Grey. She went on to do an elaborate post which I took my time to read and my thoughts were aroused.

Tosin and I attended a university where listening to “secular” music could earn you a warning letter and watching “explicit” movies was asking for a suspension. However, we fought the system not understanding why they would try to censor what we listened to or watched as young adults and many of us got into trouble for that. But, a few of us began to embrace gospel music bit by bit and simply created folders where we listened to the gospel in the morning or when we needed to commune with God and then listened to the other songs while the day was in full gear.

This rebellion was what caught my attention when Tosin spoke out. It reminded me of the fact that, though we fight against the laws made by the system, as we grow older, we embrace those laws we once detested and it begins to shape our lives.

After reading the post, I became more curious to know what this movie could really be about. I read a few reviews and since Tosin was clear about the movie questioning my faith as a Christian, I was thrown into a dilemma – a dilemma between satisfying my curiosity for the fun of it or finding an alternative cure for my curiosity and safeguard my heart considering that from her post. I was already selling out with Scandal and sincerely, I’m hooked on it.

Still in that dilemma, I started a new day going through my timeline on Instagram, whilst in traffic. There was a post by a Catholic account calling to mind that the only shade of grey I should be interested in is the ashes on my forehead. Now, this book and subsequently the movie has generated a lot of popularity for the theme, shades of grey or even fifty shades. As we see #fiftyshades of everything and even a more prominent account on Instagram called fifty shades of black (a celebration of the African beauty). But yet, a few are of the opinion that seeing the actual movie or even reading the book arouses one’s sexual urge, corrupts the mind and engages your imagination with immoralities.

If I wish to give myself a reason to see the movie. I could argue that it is just another movie for the fun of it? Or I can decide to guard my heart, see the movie and not let my soul be bought over as is presumed to be the case. Will watching it convince me to accept the acts as a norm that could threaten my faith? I watch Scandal and I’m not in support of being a side chick, but I actually do despise Mellie who is the wife and wished that Olivia was the first lady – thereby justifying her relationship with the president. While I try to make her move on with Jake, Shonda Rhimes tries to convince me that being the President’s side chick was a plus for Olivia.

I went on to read another post by Michelle of Bonbon Break on the matter, and she had some really powerful words to say about the movie. Some of the excerpts which were also highlighted by Tosin is: “…….. it’s a movie about a narcissistic man’s controlling and violent sexual desires and his sense of entitlement to use and abuse a vulnerable young woman’s body and mind as tools for his own gratification. It’s all about his needs, coupled with the arrogant expectation that she should comply, regardless of her discomfort, to please him.
Please, my daughters, don’t allow this romanticizing of sexual domestic abuse fool you into believing that you should ever allow yourself to be treated like Anastasia Steele. Please, my son, don’t watch this one day and believe that it’s ever okay to intimidate, manipulate or disrespect a woman like the ‘hero,’ Christian Grey. Nobody, male or female, wants or deserves to be disrespected, manipulated or violated against his or her wishes”.

Now, Michelle has a different dimension to this movie which is not in any way related to religion but boils down to some of the responses I got from my last article on how women allow certain things happen to them. If what Michelle has said is true, how could we glorify such a movie that abuses a woman in the name of love? I employ you to read Michelle’s post though I have highlighted some of the points she made on my blog and then prepare your mind to sieve carefully even as you watch.

I am still in a dilemma at the end of the day, because I don’t know if I am spiritually strong enough not to let the tenets of the movie rest upon my heart. I detest abuse for women, so, what is the guarantee I won’t be making me uncomfortable by paying to see the movie. In the end, all of this opens my mind to a new dimension of entertainment. This calls my attention to what entertainment as a Christian should be for me. This will take a while for me to completely ingest though because I am still hooked on scandal and really, I always need to watch something I love when the brain gets bored.

Still in my Fifty Shades of dilemma, I did an opinion poll in the office and majority were of the opinion that the book taught them better. This increases my dilemma since I now have diverse opinions. Thus, would you advise I throw caution to the wind and go have a great time at the movies, watch the movie probably at surface level, get inspired to write another article or simply save my money, guard my heart and let the curiosity die?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Michael Zhang

Oma Ehiri is a lifestyle blogger and a Digital Media Consultant. She is also a Talent Manager with Ascend Talent Management and the Media Brand Ambassador for Veba Textile Mills.Life is her source of inspiration as she curates her thoughts on her website, Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @oma263.


  1. EllesarisEllendil

    February 22, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    a university where listening to “secular” music could earn you a warning letter and watching “explicit” movies was asking for a suspension. – Covenant LMFAO!!
    Serious question though for you “Scandal” lovers:
    That Olivia is a side chick has been beaten to death, but how come Fitz doesn’t make your skin crawl. By the time I stopped watching scandal he had:
    Stalked Olivia.
    Once had sex with her when she was obviously saying No(rape???)
    Sent his buddy to spy on her.
    We found out the reason his wife stopped sleeping with him(his excuse for cheating) was because his Father raped her.
    Don’t get me started on telling Papa Pope the various things he does to his daughter while he had him in chains.
    Fitz is just an overgrown baby and while I like scandal when Olivia is kicking arse her love life is IQ dropping.
    As to the OP’s question, 50 shades has been cancelled in Nigeria so problem solved and if you’re watching scandal might as well get 50 shades from ehem “other sources”.
    Christian Gray is as bad as Fitz but handsome.

  2. Paypay

    February 22, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Sorry lady, no more 50 shades. I’ve seen it sha, for me I’m now 50 shades wiser.

  3. bruno

    February 22, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    biko who has watched the 50 shades of grey?
    how explicit is it? is it as explicit as the movie blue is the warmest colour.

  4. Moyo

    February 22, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    The same argument about guarding your heart can be made for Orange is the new black. Watching it made me realise how low humans can sink and it inspired me to pray for people – in prison, out of prison, drug abusers and so on. You can say that I didn’t have to watch the show to be inspired to pray. I agree with you. But by watching it, my empathy moved from the head to the heart. It reminds me of the black American guy who was strangled in a chokehold. When people were putting up ‘I can’t breathe’ pictures, I’ll be honest I really wasn’t moved. I just came took it as a sad occurrence and carried on with life. But the I watched the video. To say I was livid would be putting it mildly. By watching that video, my empathy moved from my head to my heart and I was inspired to pray.
    Funny enough, I went to this university which shall not be mentioned. 😉 I never used to listen to secular music as well. As per prayer force member. But now I do. I don’t believe dancing to ‘shoki’ has taken away from my relationship with God. Some zealous person might be quick to question it’s benefit to my relationship with the big man. My reply would be, it enables me enjoy life more. My point is when it comes to things like this, know yourself. I wouldn’t listen to some music because of the feeling it awakens in me, especially since your baby girl isn’t married.
    Watching OINTB (I’m not really interested in watching 50 shadesof grey, so I’ll make reference to this instead) does not make me question my faith as a Christian. I’m secure in what Jesus has done.
    I have a question for Oma. Will you ever support a side chick in reality? As long as we can recognise the ills/wrongdoings the media tries to sell us for what they are, I believe we’ll be fine.

  5. Bunny

    February 22, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    I am confessing to using fake name and email because I want to holler on fifty shades. I hear your hesitation but as a married Naija woman, here is the deal. Fifty shades domination and bondage approaches are just a reflection of a western cultural interpretation of excessive show of manhood in the bedroom. In Africa (Nigeria included) this same domination and bondage method is reflected in men who say to their wives or girlfriends – “go and wait for me in the bedroom”. They expect you stripped naked and legs widespread on the sheets. Nigerian men in a certain age demographic (older) are also specialists in “bang wham thank you madam”. That is excessive show of male stealth in the bedroom. When a Nigerian man pays you and wants you to perform all kinds of sex acts on him – that na bondage expressed in Naira. That demographic I am referring to also always want to be on top and do not know or care about how to please a lady. That na domination. All the people marrying small small girls and inviting them to an overused bedroom where the girls are almost mentally subdued by the age difference to the point of calling them “daddy” – that is domination and bondage. What I am trying to say in summary is that if you are not playing an equal role in stimulation in the bedroom and you are being commanded around (verbally or otherwise) and you cannot demand your pleasure – you are participating in some kind of domination and bondage exercise with a cultural twist to it.

    • vivienne

      February 22, 2015 at 6:04 pm

      God Bless you biko!!!!! #Nuff Said
      Even some of our Mother figures have seen enough 50 Shades of Grey, black and Blue for a lifetime. They can act the complete Feem sef! Lol
      Naija is banning the Movie… Once again here we are blowing air on the surface of a wound instead of pouring spirit on the damn thing!

    • tilda

      February 23, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      Sorry I do not agree with you. S & M is practiced with either the male or female being the dominant. s the woman can take the lead role. It takes two or more consenting adults to engage in the activity. The goal being BOTH adults reaching CLIMAX It is not for every one. It is not the same thing as When papa Nkechi says come make I poke u small. For one you get no pleasure from it, he doesn’t understand that you have a right to enjoy sex and mama Nkechi doesn’t understand what her rights are in the bedroom. Any sexual activity that does not respect the rights of the other to enjoy that contact is degrading. Go figure.

    • tilda

      February 23, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      I honestly fear for the level of education in Nigeria. Is comprehension such a big problem. In the book the girl consented. And she ENJOYED IT. If she was FORCED it would be a different thing. The one when your husbands mount you whether you like it or not nko?

  6. Iris

    February 22, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    LMAO. My dear it is not that serious. I read the books and now I’ve watched the movie. I don’t think the movie will make you question your faith as a Christian, unless you’re an avid follower of that pastor in London that believes missionary is the only acceptable position in the eyes of the Lord. In fact to all the Christians making noise, I’m surprised that pre-martial sex isn’t the issue for you, but the kind of sex they had is. I haven’t seen anything in the bible about consensual BDSM being an issue – not as much as I’ve seen about fornication. Furthermore, what exactly is the problem? Is it that people don’t have kinky sex or is it that the fact that it is in cinemas in public instead of a porn site for you to watch in private?
    The story becomes a little more about romance and tries to explain why Christian Grey is the way he is in the later books at which point certain aspects about him change, even though sex is still part of the story. In any case the movie isn’t that great. It has much better production quality than the book, but since the book was a literary disaster (complete with tired dialogue, poor editing, overdone description of Christian Grey’s character, display of excessive stupidity and internal whining by the girl, and extreme churlishness by the guy), that isn’t saying much. Thankfully the movie took out all that mess and made the girl seem a little more sensible than the book did.
    I hope I have helped you a little. You don’t have to watch the movie, but if it is going to bug your peace of mind, feel free and if you truly are a Christian with any form of thinking beyond the surface Christian way I think you’ll be alright. If The Da Vinci code didn’t break our faith, Fifty Shades of Grey can do nothing.

    • Fiona

      February 23, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      I’m a fan of the book (I guess i like cheesy and awful writing), but I completely agree with you. It’s not that serious. I think the hype about this movie from psychologists and feminists is an overreaction. I’m all for women standing up for themselves and not letting a man manipulate them, but I don’t see how consensual BDSM is different from emotional manipulation. I also don’t see how different this is to people who like rough sex – it’s all sexual preference to me, so long as you don’t let the other person manipulate you or force you into doing what you do not want to do.

  7. lara

    February 22, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    I have read the novel fifty shades of grey, fifty shades darker and fifty shades freed, personally I am a novel person but I was looking forward to watching the movie and seeing if justice was done to the novel by the movie!
    Yes I am still curious and I will like to watch it

  8. chi-e-z

    February 22, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Reference => Salem Witch Hunt Trials. People always trying to persecute novelists just cause we right down passion on paper that they do in secret issorait… I’m a passionate person I can’t knock the book or movie because I read reviews and they said the writing was horrendous and I haaate bad writing and not a fan of violent anything esp. sex. But you guys are telling me you’ve never read romance novels or had sexual fantasies.. Y’all ain’t normal

    • chi-e-z

      February 22, 2015 at 6:04 pm


  9. chi-e-z

    February 22, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    ….Was gonna say can’t knock book or movie cause haven’t seen or read any of em.

  10. Wifey

    February 22, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Put sex aside, there are women that are controlled mentally, physically or spiritually by their husbands, boyfriends or “spiritual fathers” (read pastors). The essence of 50 shades is control and submission. If you look at it that way,a lot of women freely submit to men in their lives, so what’s the problem?

    The problem occurs when someone controls of forces their wishes on you, when you didn’t consent. That’s abuse or rape. This controversy about the movie is much to do about nothing

  11. kilishee

    February 22, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Can peeps just chill on this 50 shades issue? I’ve read the first and second books, I got bored during the second one cos it started getting too prolonged and dramatic for my liking (Obe to dun, owo loo kpa! I.e it all became a little too dramatically predictable).

    The point is, Christian Gray and Anastasia Steel had CONSENSUAL SEX! BDSM or not, it was consensual, for pete’s sake she even signed a contract!

    O well, I remember when the craze for 50 Gray started a couple of years ago, even a few conservative westerners kicked against it. So I expect nothing less from Africa my Africa.

  12. blaqgurlrock

    February 22, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Christians like to over complicate matters, the bible clearly says to avoid anything that may lead you to sin. If you feel conflicted about doing something just pray for the Holy Spirit’s direct. I personally read the first book although the love story was okay the whole S&M thing was too much for me, I did not feel at peace with myself for while after reading that book tbh ergo I decided not to read the rest of the books or watch the movie.

  13. wifey

    February 22, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Put sex aside, there are women that are controlled mentally, physically or spiritually by their husbands, boyfriends or “spiritual fathers” (read pastors). The essence of 50 shades is control and submission. If you look at it that way,a lot of women freely submit to men in their lives, so what’s the problem?

    The problem occurs when someone controls of forces their wishes on you, when you didn’t consent. That’s abuse or rape. The controversy about the movie is much to do about nothing

  14. molarah

    February 22, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    The comment above mine got me thinking about it this way. Like already, we understand that the act of being entertained by worldly stuff (e.g. watching ‘Olivia pope’, listening to or dancing to ‘shoki’, reading Da Vinci code or 50 shades) in itself does not constitute sin. Or at least I think most Christians know that. What IS problematic is the ‘deposits’ on your soul – the reconditioning of your mind to glorify or excuse adultery and other vices, the impure thoughts, the doubts about your faith – and what could happen if those deposits are not properly disposed of. Big sins start from little thoughts. So the big question is, why would you even start such a warfare in your soul? Aren’t there enough battles to fight already? This is the reason we try to keep away from such as Christians. And yes, sometimes we feel we are strong enough in faith or sure enough of our Christianity, but to be honest with ourselves, are we really sure about that? Peter was sure he was not going to deny Jesus Christ, so let’s not try to form super-spiritual. While we are still in this casing of weakness (our flesh) and while the devil is still alive and active, seeking for whom to destroy, we must not take anything for granted. Another point that comes into question here, and I feel this is more disturbing than any of the acts mentioned here.. The desire to even be entertained by perversion is a problem all by itself. Truth is, there are wholesome alternatives to a lot of the filth on TV we Christians call entertainment. All we need to do is seek them out.

    • Amaka

      February 23, 2015 at 9:39 am

      I love you, Molarah. You speak truth. And it is the truth which gives light and drives away the darkness in the hearts of men. Christians tend do fall into temptation deeper when they believe in their very own strength. “let him that think he standeth, take heed. Lest he falls” This life is war – from the cradle to the grave, we shall keep fighting for our soul, heart and spirit. God bless you for that beautiful comment once again!

  15. Slice

    February 22, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    I guess I don spoil finish cause nothing they did in that movie even made me bat an eye lid. The last scene where he straight up whipped her I sure can’t agree to cause that’s a lot of pain right there. But the rest was just spanking and tying up, which seemed perfectly fine with me

    • Iris

      February 22, 2015 at 11:38 pm

      LOL according to some Christians your ticket to hell is a first class one. I wonder what they would say if you married a man and then divorced him because he wanted you to engage in BDSM and refused to follow you to church to pray over it. After all, divorce is a sin. This one too na sin. Or do you do it to please him as you are supposed to submit to your husband, and at the same time pray to God to change your husband’s mind?

  16. lafayette bunny

    February 22, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    The buzz was too much here, so i decided to go see it. I have not read the book
    but went knowing fully well it was an erotic movie as the trailer suggested. However, it did not make me any shade better or worse. My concern is that some guys will wanna start experimenting with ropes and whips on us African sisters. Hell No! babes please don”t let the guys use you as muse, for what they watch on TV only if you are comfortable on being dominated. I will not hurt or willingly be hurt, all in the name of seeking pleasure/ satisfaction.
    Guess, my curiosity got to me but i should have used the money for muffins, then go cheer the colorful mardi-gras parades instead.

  17. LULZ

    February 22, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Fam, it’s just a movie. Either you watch it or don’t.

  18. mimi

    February 22, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    you do realise that theres no such thing as big sin hence sin is sin. just saying!!

  19. Paix

    February 23, 2015 at 1:24 am

    Read the book a while back but haven’t watched the movie yet……this is ongoing whether christians should read the book and watch the movie. There is a book in response to 50 Shades titled “Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman’s Heart by Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery””. A friend who does not agree with christians reading the book and watching the movie as it does not promote purity shared the book title and these links.: and

    At the end of the day, reading the book and/or watching the movie is a CHOICE……Life is a sum of choices. You choose to read the book and watch the movie….You choose not to read the book and not watch the movie……It is YOUR CHOICE…….make your choice and live with it.

  20. kemi

    February 23, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Dont judge people because they sin differently than you do…. not quotin bible verse atall to dis cz it really doesnt have nythin with that. Just ask urself will watchn dis lead to wrong behavoiurs and thots? Its nt about watching its about what watchin it will make u do. After all dont start wat u cant finish or wat ur not surr d aftr result will be. Watch it if u knw urself… to thyself be true.

    I personally said no to it cz im nt sure of what i would see aftrall i read d three books And i still have them on my laptop as pdf copies. Its just a personal and honest decision. Afterall an idle mind is d devils workshop so i wont gve it a chance personally

  21. Olaa

    February 23, 2015 at 7:17 am


  22. jess

    February 23, 2015 at 9:11 am

    i have read the book and i have seen the movie…..the movie was just as explicit as the book…. compared to half of a yellow sun where so many parts/scenes from the book was cut….madam chimamanda please do not spoil ‘Americannah’ for me, read the book 3times and i love it the way it is…..

  23. Tina

    February 23, 2015 at 9:41 am

    I read the book and watched the movie.All the sex was consentual.I may not indulge in the tying and chains but I enjoy spanking DAT don’t make me a sinner does it?

  24. Beamer

    February 23, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I sincerely love the comments i’m reading on this post. I didn’t think that a lot of people were aware of the crap being sold to us as love by the western media. It didn’t start today but it seems to have been accelerated in recent times with the making of films such as twilight. Don’t get me started on the characters in scandal because i can write an article on that alone. We need to be careful about what we expose ourselves to. When the buzz about fifty shades of gray came out, i read the books out of curiosity. I didn’t make it past part two. I was livid! What are young women supposed to carry away from such material? That it is okay for men to abuse you and tell you that it is love? I wouldn’t advise anyone to watch the film…if you must, then go in with the knowledge that the enemy is using the media like he always has, to change God’s definition of things and make us accept a world view that will eventually destroy us at the end of the day if we embrace it…

  25. nur

    February 23, 2015 at 11:23 am

    according to Nigerians, the only kind of sin there is is sexual sin.

  26. isaid!

    February 23, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    @ Beamer , Thank you!!!! Enough said. Its really a battle of the conscience after all.

  27. tx

    February 23, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Please do not watch the movie. The devil is old at the game and he does not come with two big horns and red eyes otherwise, we’ll identify him quickly and run for our dear lives. He comes in different forms and metamorphoses through the ages to get at Christians. Remember, little foxes spoil the vine. I can understand that some married Christians want to watch the movie because they enjoy that kind of sex. I cannot judge you on that, but I think that sex is rather instinctive, you know what to do while you’re at it and watching pornography, whether glorified or not, will not give you a better sex life. As a single lady, I don’t see what purpose watching the movie will serve. You have written this article as a Christian, therefore I’m addressing you as such. Do not fan flames that you cannot quench in a godly manner. Lastly, remember, whatsoever things are honest, just, pure, good report, think on these things. The standards of the world are changing, and that is to be expected. Those who uphold godly standards are hated and despised. It’s just unfortunate that some Christians cannot identify these ploys of the enemy.
    I’m sorry if my opinion ruffles some feathers.

  28. obi

    February 23, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Dear Oman. I believe you are a well educated , exposed individual. Therefore I am some what confused at this dilemma you seem to have. It is a piece of erotic fiction. It is not Shakespeare or Wandsworth. It is not deep. You can get a synopsis of the book with one click of your mouse or do it the old fashion way and pick up the book turn the back and read it. I myself read for pleasure. If philosophy is your thing then i supose the dilemma would be what text to read next _ religious text , quantum science text , grays anatomy or a great law volume. So why don’t you put yourself out of this unnecessary drama and decide to read or waka pass. It’s not by force. Notting spoil if you read or don’t. It is Just Fiction. I don’t want to believe that you are that fickle that a piece of erotic fiction would be like eureka to you. Or maybe it would

  29. Koffie

    February 25, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Dear writer, its just an erotic movie. See it or don’t, its not that deep. To think that you haven’t even read/watched it and you wrote an entire article on your deliberations/thought process on whether or not you should.
    To those who equated the book/movie to women being in abusive relationships and blah blah, how is it abusive when she clearly consented (and enjoyed it sef) and I want to believe we know that men can be in sub roles too. Don’t make this another women abuse matter naw
    Maybe I don spoil sha, but to me, its just sexual preference and the issue here should have been premarital sex not the ‘holy and acceptable’ types of sex.

  30. Beverly

    March 23, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    I have read the book,still reading it and honestly I don’t see anything in it that people have not been doing.People watch x films and not many are prostitute.For me, I always want to see for myself, never like people telling me do this or don’t do that.So Isio, go see the movie and judge for yourself.

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