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What we see on social media is usually far from what really happens in real life

By Nina Steele 

A video kept popping up on my Facebook feed recently. At first, I chose to ignore it. Then out of curiosity, I decided to watch it. In it, two men were having a fight. It was inside a home, in Orlando, Florida. It soon became clear what the fight was all about. There were two women present. One of the women, now known to be Barbara Tommey, was the wife of one of the men and sister to the other. Her brother had come with her to her marital home so that she could collect some documents. She and her husband had been separated for 3 months and Barbara was planning to divorce him. In the video, the husband threatens to kill her. And a few days later, on Tuesday September 8, he did just that.

The video has now gone viral for obvious reasons. The saddest part of the story is that Barbara who was aged 27 at the time of her death, asked her brother not to report her husband to the police for threatening to kill her, because she didn’t want to get him in trouble. The couple, who have no children together, were married since September 2015.

The couple have a social media presence. The husband, Slyvester Ofori, is described as a pastor. As is often the case with social media, until recently, the picture that was painted of their relationship was that of a happy one. But of course, as we now know, the truth was nothing like what was being portrayed on social media.

The internet is awash with stories about them. There are claims that Barbara Tommey was having an affair, a claim her family strongly denies. Needless to say that, whatever the truth, nothing can justify her life being taken away.

I am deeply moved by the story because I watched it unfold. I never expected to wake up to the news of Barbara’s death. I thought her husband was just making these threats out of anger. To now know that he was being serious is chilling to say the least.

Social media has completely changed the way we live our lives. Ordinary people are recording their daily lives and uploading it to their followers. Ten years ago, not many people would have known about Barbara’s story. Only those closest to her. Not only do the authorities know that she was killed by her husband, thanks to social media, there is proof that it was premeditated.

This sad story is another reminder to take everything we see on social media with a pinch of salt. Too many times, people post pictures on social media pretending that their life is something it isn’t in real life. Some people have wised up to these photographs, while others still have not. Nobody’s life is perfect no matter how beautiful the pictures on someone’s timeline. Unless you know the complete truth of what goes on in someone’s life, don’t make assumptions, because more often than not, those assumptions are far from the truth.

Barbara Tommey

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