Stars as agents of change… The case of Ghana’s self styled celebrities

As news of an onstage demeaning act by one of the nation’s most sought after female musician and a rather admired character appears to have engulfed all sectors of society, one is tempted to be critical of the very persons society holds in high esteem and tag with all sort of sham titles.

This is cosmopolitan Accra, an ever daring city filled with persons of diverse cultures, ideologies and stereotypes. Life isn’t relentlessly brisk leaving city dwellers with legroom to catch up on whatever is necessary for their survival.

To be described as a celebrity should certainly be fun and enjoyable aside the fame and favours that comes along with such a status. However, it could become tricky and frustrating at a point when you have thousands of eyes constantly on you hence losing your privacy.

In our part of the world, unfortunately, the word celebrity is defined rather loosely to reflect any person who earns a cameo role in any low budget movie or a “half baked” anchor lucky enough to land him or herself a platform on either radio or television to exhibit their amateur presenting abilities.

There is also the one hit wonder musicians who are hailed as celebrities only because their single is receiving rotations on a few radio and television stations.

Let us not forget these artistes often than not have just their family and friends serving as their entire fan base.

Around the world, celebrities are not only known to be famous personalities rather extremely influential characters commanding enviable amount of public and media attention. Being a celebrity isn’t any different from a properly packaged brand an investor cannot resist.

Celebrities around the world are perfectly equipped to represent a paradigm shift with what has now become their natural position as role models. Celebrities have proved to be agents of change by virtue of their clouts and influence.

Get a celebrity to approve a concept and see how many figures will root for that event without accessing such endorsed initiative. This is how powerfully influential anyone best described as a celebrity can be.

These circumstances definitely highlight the diverse reasons why people will work tirelessly towards becoming famed personalities; to receive enviable attention, boundless recognition, populous endorsement amongst several others.

Though a few of these celebrities have occasionally been in the news for all bad reasons, it remains very difficult to doubt their cult status when it comes to immensely contributing to society in order to change the world around them.

What is noticeable about these celebrities is a dedicated attempt on their path to alleviating the plight of several persons within their communities through appropriately structured social, educational and artistic schemes.

Can the same be said about the dozens of self-styled celebrities paraded on the streets of Accra hopping from one public event to the other all in their quest to remain relevant to society and as is usually said, to connect with their following?

It is a fact that most of the supposed Ghanaian celebrities come nowhere closer to the income levels of celebrities around the world but that is no excuse for them to be empowered to initiate giant programmes to benefit society. Who says all stars in the United States dole out multi million for charity?

On the contrary, what is becoming more appreciated by our celebrities is the setting up of foundations. As if that is the latest trend, new foundations are formed almost daily and usually tagged with the names of these persons.

Have you ever wondered the real reasons for the recent “foundation craze” aside a calculated attempt by these supposed celebrities to enrich themselves under the cover of humanitarianism as revealed in latest incidents. For them it’s all about business!

A Ghanaian celebrity donates nothing more than three bags of rice and a hundred dollar note ($100) to an orphanage and that will be the news item on radio and television.

Who knows if that isn’t a fraction of contribution from well-meaning individuals to support supposed projects to be instituted by such a crook called celebrity?