By Duchess of Hackney

Hackney livin' n lovin'. Sarky frosty knickers always gobby, and perpetually pissed off. Wind up merchant extraordinaire, but a nice old fashioned unusually unusual gal... Currently on a mission to get justice. Hackney Poice have been woeful in helping me.

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The curious case of Tosin Oyelowo

Curiouser and curiouser. What happened to Tosin Oyelowo?



It appears the Oyelowo family have released a statement via a blog they have created. Looks like they have accepted she committed suicide and just waiting for her body to be recovered:

On behalf of the entire Oyelowo family, we express our gratitude to everybody for your prayers, support & expression of love during this period. As most of you are aware, Tosin Oyelowo was reported missing on Friday, December 9, 2011. The Charleston, South Carolina Authorities were notified and have been investigating this incident. The information we have from the Police, which is also available on the Internet as an Incident report, indicates that Tosin’s personal effects were discovered around the Ravenel Bridge. This is where the police had gotten a report that someone jumped off the bridge. This is all the information we have for now and a body has not yet been recovered. We continue to covet your prayers and support for the family at this time. The family is in close communication with the Polce. Anyone who has further information should please contact the Charleston, SC police or the family. We sincerely appreciate everyone for the outpouring of love, support, prayers and care for the family.

I was first alerted to her story, by a report in Clutch magazine earlier today and began writing something blistering about how US media historically have neglected to report on missing black and brown people.

A cursory tour of the Internet including google only brought up a few blog reports, most of them belonging to people of Nigerian origin and all included fevered sometimes hysterical pentecostal like chants and prayers. Yep  Nigerians have taken Tosin Oyelowo’s plight to heart.

According to the blog reports, she went missing last Friday December 9th. A recent graduate of the University of Charleston (West Virginia) School of Pharmacy, she began her residency at  Medical University of South Carolina, just last Autumn.

I began noticing comments about her family not wanting anything publicized and even a plea from a Detective investigating her case, pointing out the inaccuracies and speculations on blogs, were very upsetting to the family who do not appreciate strangers starting up missing appeals for their daughter, a woman they don’t know.

You see, on the day the blogs reported Tosin Oyelowo’s “disappeared”, A woman was seen jumping off a local bridge  by motorists and pedestrians.  A while later police found a purse containing her drivers license on the summit of the bridge the woman was seen jumping from. Her car was located nearby in a parking lot, frequently used by people wanting to walk along the bridge.

Charleston,  Mount Pleasant police and the Coast Guards conducted a search for the woman, but a body has not been recovered.

So instead of being a missing person, it appears Tosin Oyelowo may have taken her own life, but the police ain’t saying and her family is staying quiet on the matter. Unfortunately because of the fluid insidious nature of the internet, the Nigerians aren’t letting it go and are wailing, praying and hand-wringing pentecostal style all over the internet.

As much as people who know Tosin have appealed to the blog owner who set up the original “missing” blog, they have refused to remove the post. Probably because of the traffic they are receiving to their sites, but I find it disturbing that a family who is obviously going through the most painful event any family can, has to endure morbid hysterical religious people, go ape shit all over their daughter, whom we can presume is dead.

If Tosin did commit suicide, I can understand why her family want to deal with this privately and not in the eye of the media or internet. I use the word understand, because traditionally suicide is frowned upon in Africa and being half African I am aware of the stigma, even though I don’t understand the taboo of mental illness and suicide.

Me? Sure I’m curious. She has the same name as one of my nieces, is absolutely gorgeous, obviously very intelligent and was at the cusp of a wonderful future.

One thing that struck me is the speed at which MUSC removed her page from their site. Shame on them.

And shame on the person who started the missing persons blog and the various Facebook pages started up, just for popularity.

15 Responses to The curious case of Tosin Oyelowo

  1. Bunmi 16/12/2011 at 6:16 pm

    Aren’t you making a big assumption here? How did you know that the missing person blog was set up “just for popularity?” And what is morbid or hysterical about religious people? If you don’t believe, that’s your choice but you can at least respect the choice of those who believe without name calling.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

    • Charlotte sometimes 16/12/2011 at 7:08 pm

      Err maybe they completely ignored people who actually knew the girl when they repeatedly asked to take it down???

      Sorry, but it’s a total dick move to drag something through the internet that is absolutely none of your business, especially when you’re told by those who’s business it is to not do so.

      And yeah, I totally buy into that “I never met the girl and don’t know who she is, but her dissappearance affects me so bad, I have to blog about it”-thing.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    • Duchess of Hackney 17/12/2011 at 5:27 pm

      Well I see the person has deleted the posts, although the blog still exist. I think they (or was it you :))were shamed into it, but why did it take so long?

      Hysterical religious people? How else would describe all the “babbling” about god and jesus saving her?

      In any case I believe she took ker life and it’s only a matter of time before her body is recovered.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  2. david 16/12/2011 at 9:45 pm

    MUSC had to remove her page, i can imagine the level of traffic they’ve had to endure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Duchess of Hackney 17/12/2011 at 5:18 pm

      You know, that did cross my mind after I published the post. I’ll revise it to reflect.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. Resonance 16/12/2011 at 10:56 pm

    MUSC moved Dr. Tosin Oyelowo’s webpage. She is still a resident. The address changed because like David said, to minimize the level of traffic. As far as comments from religious folk in the comment sections of various pages, most of those religious Nigerians are family and friends of Dr. Oyelowo. I can only speculate why the family wants Dr. Oyelowo’s story left out of the media, and I believe it’s because like you mentioned in your article, suicide is frowned upon. It’s alarming the number of young people dying from suicide! Because of stigma surrounding mental illness, etc. people want to brush it off or bottle it up. If Dr. Oyelowo did commit suicide, it’s obvious she was facing a problem that she could not handle on her own. Unfortunately, she felt that it’s something she could not discuss with her family! As a society, we need to investigate why it is that young people are turning to suicide, despite how painful it may be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. ediva 16/12/2011 at 11:04 pm

    I can agree with you! The family wanted to keep her case private and work with the authorities. Note! anytime someone goes missing! The family will come foward and set up interviews or ask for media coverage. At first I found it strange as well! But as the story unfolds, I can understand why the family and friends were making comments for bloggers to remove their post! People are morbid or hysterical with all the prayers Bunmi! Quit with the naija judgmental behavior! I can agree it was pure non sense the way people were writing all this stuff and I am a believer but that was extreme for my liking! This is her blog and she can write whatever she wants so get over it!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. anonymous 18/12/2011 at 9:32 pm

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

    • Duchess of Hackney 18/12/2011 at 10:11 pm

      I wouldn’t take any notice of this “anonymous” post. Her body has not been found and certainly won’t be found in Canada.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • Dr Wu 19/12/2011 at 4:55 pm

      Another religious freak, Shut up with your rubbish.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

      • Klutz NC 19/12/2011 at 9:17 pm

        If you don’t believe, just keep to yourself. Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion…ignorance is lack of knowlege.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  6. Klutz NC 19/12/2011 at 9:18 pm

    Wu or whatever you call yourself….If you don’t believe, just keep to yourself. Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion…ignorance is lack of knowlege.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  7. Not that anonymous 23/12/2011 at 3:40 am

    Sullivan’s Island isn’t in Canada, last time I checked.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. Grace 24/12/2011 at 11:05 am

    I went to the University of Charleston with Tosin and she was so happy and bubbly all the time. I do not think she took her own life. And for you all to sit here and read all the posts people are putting about her and to turn around and start your own to give your opinion on it is sickening! Just reading this website made me so furious! Tosin is one of the best people I have ever met and she does not deserve this nor does her family! So just drop it leave your thoughts for yourself because the family is having a hard enough time dealing with this let alone dealing with people like you posting crap online!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • Duchess of Hackney 25/12/2011 at 9:06 am

      Listen Grace, this is my blog and I spout out what I want, when I want.

      If she didn’t take her life, what do you think happened?

      There are times when families and loved ones have to question law enforcement and coroners reports, but I doubt the Oyelowo’s feel the need to do so this time. From what I can gather they accept it.

      I don’t know if Tosin left a suicide note or if her family were aware of whatever was troubling her, but it’s quite evident to any reasonable person reading the few reports, that she took her life.

      If you want to run off with some kooky conspiracy theory, feel free.

      As for the Oyelowo family, I wish them nothing but the best and healing in time. I doubt we will be hearing from them anytime soon.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1


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