David Adeleke, better known as Davido, is living a nightmare no parent should ever have to experience in their lifetime. The 29-year-old Nigerian singer lost his three-year-old son, Ifeanyi Adeleke, in an apparent drowning after house staff found the child dead in a pool on Monday.
Ifeanyi was Davido’s first child with his soon-to-be wife, Chioma Rowland. They’ve known each other since high school and started dating after attending college together. The couple were set to marry in 2020 but split up after a cheating scandal involving Davido. They recently reconciled.
The child passed away at the singer’s parent’s house on Monday. According to Lagos police spokesman Ben Hundeyin, Davido and Chioma weren’t home at the time. Authorities have been speaking with house staff – eight of them, to be specific – to try and figure out what happened.
The couple celebrated Ifeanyi’s third birthday on October 20th. Davido wished his son a happy birthday on Instagram, captioning a photo, “I pray with all my heart that God grants you perfect health and pure happiness for as long as humanly possible.” Our hearts are with the family.
The police were notified of the incident around 10:00 PM on Monday – one of the house staff members made the call. “We are reviewing the CCTV cameras to get additional information about the circumstances of his death,” said Hundeyin, adding the body was sent to the morgue.
The Nigerian community came out in support of Davido, who is considered one of the most popular celebrities in all of Africa. “Death leaves a heartache no words can heal and today, I express my deepest condolences to David and Chioma,” said Lagos Governor on Twitter.
“I cannot begin to imagine the pains they are going through at the moment. May God grant them healing, strength, and comfort in this trying time. My thoughts and prayers are with the family,” said Peter Obi, one of the contenders for Nigerian President, in a Twitter tribute to the couple.
Authorities Shift Focus to the House Staff in Search of Answers
Anytime something like this happens, authorities have two goals in mind – determine how it happened and ensure it never happens again. While they haven’t made much progress with either front, they will continue to get to the bottom of it as they now question the house staff.
“Domestic staff at Davido’s home have been taken to the station to give their own account of what happened. If after they all give their own account of what happened and after preliminary investigations, if anyone of them is found culpable, the person will now be placed under arrest,” said Hundeyin.
Just four years ago, Davido was sending his condolences to fellow Nigerian star D’banj, who experienced something strikingly similar. In 2018, D’banj lost his one-year-old son, Daniel, after he drowned in a pool. He shared Daniel with his wife, Lineo Kilgrow – a Nigerian entrepreneur.
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As of right now, not much else is known. No arrests have been made and neither Chioma nor Davido have released a statement since the news broke. I’m sure we’ll be learning more in the coming days and weeks as more information is released to the public.
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