Over ten years ago, somewhere at Ketu, Lagos, a woman had an altercation with a young gentleman named, Uche. Upset, the woman went in and activated her husband with a few drops of tears falling from her pretty eyes. The husband confronted Uche. “How dare you insult my wife?”, he violently enquired. Uche, in defence, pushed him away. The husband missed his steps. Landing with his back, his head hit the sharp edge of a metallic item on the floor and that was how he met his abrupt end.

It was a similar “dangerous passion” that came over the famous actor, Will Smith, at the Academy Awards (popularly known as the Oscars) of 2022 organized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences – an international organization for qualified filmmakers around the world.

Will Smith attended the event with his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. While the audience, including Will Smith, were enjoying the jokes being cracked onstage by the comedian, Chris Rock, Jada Smith rolled her eyes in displeasure when her hair loss caused by alopecia became the subject of the joke.

Jada’s rolling eyes of discomfort passed a wave of passion to Will Smith, activating him instantly, as he jumped on his feet, walked up the stage like a matador, and delivered a thundering slap on the face of Chris Rock.

Luckily, no fight ensued and no life was lost. But for Will Smith, everything may soon be lost, except his pride that he defended his wife. Although they’re reportedly in an open relationship as a couple, the bond of protection seems to be closed.

Will Smith who subsequently tendered an unreserved apology later resigned from the Academy, which on its own is still considering the likely consequences of the incident.

For Will Smith, the 94th Academy Awards which held at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood, Los Angeles, on Sunday, 27 March 2022 will forever be remembered as the Oscars of Scars, in view of its unpleasant memories, notwithstanding his big win on the night.

Today, Chris Rock has become the hero, not for making an insensitive and expensive joke for which he paid with his cheeks, but for being a victim of violent behaviour. Undoubtedly, lessons have been learnt on both ends.

For others, violently defending your woman has it’s own risk and avoidable results like we saw in the story of Uche and other similar incidents. Except using violence is the only reasonable and possible means of defence at the material time, it should hardly be employed. Allow passion to cool and make a well-calculated decision on how to address issues. The rewards are greater.

Even where, as the husband or partner, you defend your woman by reacting in the heat of passion causing death or grievous bodily harm to another, the defence of provocation may not totally exculpate you from criminal liability as you may be handed life imprisonment for manslaughter. While you’re away, you may not reasonably expect or guarantee that your woman will also imprison her body and soul at your home for the rest of her life.

Violence may seem romantic when passionately defending your woman is the drive, but being alive and around for her is more valuable and rewarding for all.

Stephen Azubuike
Author: Stephen Azubuike
Stephen is a lawyer with expertise in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Technology Law practice. He is a Partner at Infusion Lawyers. He has successfully argued cases from the High Courts of various jurisdictions to the Appellate Courts on behalf of financial institutions, other corporate bodies and multinationals. He has worked with a number of startup tech companies. He tweets @siazubuike.
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