Although Nigeria is not alone in the nonsensical abuse of the term “celebrity”, we obviously rank among the greatest culprits, after America, of course. In the US, news would tell you what you need to know in five minutes, and what you shouldnt be bothered about at all in fifty-five minutes. from the seductive dress that an obviously deluded individual chooses to use in ‘uncovering’ her body and bossoms especially, to the make of the vehicle a heavily pierced athlete cruises, and how much it costs; and then, to the latest break-up between ‘celebrity’ couples.
In reality, we hear more of these gossips, than news about the latest victims of malnutrition in Africa, how people are being beheaded daily in Saudi Arabia for offences ranging from petty stealing to adultery; or how much was budgeted for military hardware in a starving North Korea.
Bloggers have exploited our low moral state, knowing our lust for knowing what shouldnt be our businesses has exceeded olympian heights. So we have blogs springing up everywhere like weed. Twitter users are inundated with posts as these intermittently: “See what so-so wore to church last sunday! Unbelievable! Click to look”; “Nude pictures of so-so leaks. click to view” etc. Such capitalistic adventures are what most social media users are busy with. Thats why we have a very weak revolutionary spirit. Our youths have been weighed down by tonnes of gossip they consume online daily. This weakens the self consciousness, robs them of how to participate in creating a better society, and turns them to addicts of other people’s business.
Meanwhile, its the people gossip blogs talk about that often amuse me. Because they are called celebrities, they quickly assume they really are. The unfortunate equation of fame, or popularity, to celebrity is immoral. Fame can be achieved overnight, and through any means- good or bad. Celebrity status can not. Just as every radio presenter immediately grabs the strange appelation ‘OAP’, or on air personality; a term completely alien to broadcast journalism, so does anyone visible for a while on TV, radio, or controls some heavy traffic on social media claim the term celebrity.
Whereas, a celebrity is a person whose whole life is an inspiration, a story worth telling, a person who is worth celebrating, and whose life is a model for upcoming ones; our present-day “celebrities” are anything but this. The only thing any reasonable parent would wish their children pick from the lives of our stars today, would be their fat paycheques. Yet, money, is not all it takes to make a celebrity.
Even if our ‘celebrities’ werent so in deed at the onset, the fact that they now appear on magazine covers, on TV commercials, and everywhere online, means they should at least watch the way they live. Since so many eyes are on them, and many innocent ones would naturally want to take after them. But it seems the celebrity status only confers on them the license to lose all the sense they have left. So the ladies start appearing almost naked at public gatherings, the males drive more recklessly and further strengthen their ties with alcohol, which they sing about tirelessly. They express lewd acts openly and bask in the euphoria of the paparazzi, who already know the worth of bad news: it sells!
Then they turn on the sacred institutions like family and marriage, and desecrate it. They conduct society weddings in Nigeria and Dubai, spendings millions of money that could have been better utilized, and insult all their well wishers and admirers by divorcing after seven months due to domestic issues. Shame. Thrice shame.
They never understood the weight of responsibilities attached to being a celebrity. They love to soak in the glories of fame, but never can pay the price of being a celebrity. The price is actually high. It includes chastity, morality, competence, intact family lives, and blamelessness. Our celebrities epitomize illicit sex, drug abuse, waste and lavish spending, and utter lack of respect for the importance of marriage, as long as the money flows in. Thats why they hardly last. Like the stars they say they are, in the morning, they fade away.
To the real celebrities, the faithful wives, husbands and parents; to the hardworking civil servant and artisan, to the incorruptible judges and songwriters who only seek a better Nigeria, and to social media activists who only seek for a better Nigeria, and wont sell their platform to the highest political bidders, you are the heroes. There may be no spotlight on you today, but I assure you, if you keep your light, one day, it will lighten the whole world.