Our celebrities must behave responsibly

celebrity is a condition of fame and broad public recognition of an individual or a group as a result of attention given to them by the mass media. This group of people are highly recognised and revered depending on their individual skills by the larger society. It can be in the field of arts and culture, music, entertainment, pastoral, sports, boxing, wrestling, football etc, one can become famous and earn the tag a celebrity.

All over the world, there are people who have excelled and continue to be popular in various fields of endeavors with distinguished qualities in their countries and international circles and have become celebrities. Some of the most popular celebrities with large following on social media include Billie Eilsh, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Kanye West, Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa, Camila Cabello, Ed Sheeran, Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian, Drake, Olivia Rodrigo, Lady Gaga among others. These celebrities of highest repute, have exemplified and proved themselves in the world of music, entertainment, movies, song writing, book publishing, mobile games, DVDs and are worth millions of dollars.

Over here in Ghana, when we talk of celebrities, names that come out sharply which continue to trend on social media include, Jackie Appiah, Yvonne Nelson, Juliet Ibrahim, Nadia Buari, John Dumelo, Yvonne Okoro, Emelia Brobbey, Fela Makaful, Joselyn Dumas, Martha Ankoma, all actors and actresses, Shatta Wale, Stonebouoy, Mzvee, Berca, Sarkodie, Akuapem Polo and many other musicians with millions of Instagram followers. These are celebrities who are highly recognized, respected and acknowledged in the Ghanaian setting due to their high professional background. Apart from these celebrated actors, actresses and musicians of high repute, there are also some pastors and evangelists who by nature of their work and the so-called miracles they continue to perform, have attracted a lot of followers both home and abroad thereby earning them the title celebrities. Religious leaders such as Pastor Mensa Otabil, Bishop Agyin Asare,Apostle-General Sam Kuranchie Ankrah, Reverend Heward Mills, Bishop Duncan-Williams, Rev. Isaac Owusu-Bempah, Prophet Obinim, Rev Emmanuek Badu Kobi, Apostle Kwabena Owusu Agyei, Prophet Eric Amponsah aka Computer man, Prophet Nicholas Osei, aka Kumchacha, Oborfuo, Rev. Robert Ampiah-Kwofi, Apostle Abraham Lamptey, among others, may fall into that category.

The nature of their work has indeed, generated and continue to fetch them enough funds in terms of incomes and some have recognized the need to donate part of their earnings to charitable and philanthropic work within the society. Some of them continue to provide reliefs to the needy while others are involved in community initiated projects and programmes, such school blocks, clinics, payment of school fees for the needy and provision of school uniforms and furniture to the deprived communities. Indeed, such humanitarian gestures and support are highly commendable to promote orderly developments and to establish acquaintances with the citizens. These celebrities deserve a lot of praise for their dedicated service to their motherland and the people in general. However, there are few others who actions and inactions leave much to be desired and tend to soil the image of the profession they have chosen for themselves. Some of them are arrogant, ‘big in their shoes’ and also difficult to manage. They feel that they have all what it takes and the necessary resources at their disposal and, therefore they can misbehave unilaterally. Some of them even smoke weed and Indian hemp and drink hard liquor excessively.

It is difficult to forget about some of these celebrities who gave us something to talk about with their bad behaviors and negative practices in full public display. Most of these celebrities cracked our ribs and made us so annoyed to the extent that most Ghanaians have demanded that they needed to be arrested and put before the law courts at some point. If our memories serve us right, in 2016, a worst behaved Ghanaian celebrity who tagged himself a prophet, was spotted in a video lying on top of one of his female congregants who had sought assistance for healing. That notorious pastor or prophet, claimed that he was channeling the power of God to heal the woman by lying on top her. That same pastor was also seen on live television administering lashes of the cane on two teenagers for allegedly fornicating. That reprehensible behavior of that pastor generated an uproar among Ghanaians with some asking the government to invite the police to step in and deal with the unacceptable behavior of the pastor.

It is a fact that some of our people, especially women remain gullible and allow some of these socalled pastors and prophets to play on their ignorance and use them for all kinds of negative and diabolical agendas and get away with them. These occult pastors and prophets use their devilish inclinations to visit wicked and obnoxious practices on unsuspecting female congregants who are desperately looking for the fruit of the womb. They will lie to them by telling them that the holy spirit has requested that they should have sexual intercourse with them to open their wombs for pregnancy. Some of them go to the extent of predicting the death of fellow human beings as if they represent God the creator of heaven and earth. That is indeed, a fallacy and we need to guard against those palpable lies from these so-called men of God. Another popular boxer, who goes by the name Bukom Banku, in 2016, after he had bleached his skin amid public criticisms, confronted his accusers with a rather disgusting video showing his complete nakedness dancing on the street of Accra with people including peace officers looking on unconcerned.

Just recently, one of the popular Dancehall artiste, Charles Nii Armah Mensah, popularly known as Shatta Wale, was arrested after faking a gunshot attack on him, thus causing fear and panic. Shatta and three of his accomplices have since been arraigned before an Accra Circuit Court. His accomplices, Kojo Owusu Koranteng, Idris Yusif and Eric Venator were also charged with abetment of crime. Shatta Wale pleaded not guilty to the charge of publication of false news and causing fear and panic. Another prophet known as Bishop Stephen Kwesi Appiah (Jesus Ahuofe) of the New Life Kingdom Chapel was also arraigned before court following his prophecy that Shatta Wale would be shot on October 18, 2021. He was subsequently charged for causing fear and panic. Since these cases are pending before a competent law court, I do not intend to make any further discussions on the case.

All that I can say is that some of our cherished celebrities are trying to misbehave thereby causing disaffection to themselves and their large followers and this is not healthy at all. These celebrities have earned names for themselves and they must learn to protect and guard jealously their high reputations. They must learn to lead by example so that their numerous followers will continue to respect and adore them. This country is guided by a set of laws and those laws are binding on all the citizens irrespective of your status in the society. Going contrary to these laws as enshrined in the statute books, means you are disobeying the rules and, therefore the sanctions will be applied.

Contact email/WhatsApp of author: ataani2000@yahoo.com 0277753946/0248933366

By Charles Neequaye

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