In the heat of the growing debate about the extent some Ghanaians go to ‘slay’ at various events, I’m doing a throwback feature on how some Africans (yes, including myself) dazzled at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.
While different arguments have been made for, and against the need to slay at such events, I hope to share my little view on the subject. I find nothing wrong with looking good and making an appearance. But for me, my issue is the importance people attach to it and the extent they go to make an appearance.
I often use the term ‘slay queen’ derogatorily and I’m sure those who are used to my sarcastic ways would have picked up on it by now (well I guess the incidence where I was compared to Dobby from Harry Porter says it all…wink).
These ‘slay queens’ often than not just want us to remember them for slaying, as though that in itself is a fulltime job. They go to events sometimes with make-up artists on standby, and with their own photographers to conduct a photo shoots at the venue, just to have stunning photos to post on Instagram.
Some of them, sometimes avoid the red carpet because they are not sure what images ‘unofficial’ photographers would capture. I have attended many major events around the world, and watched many such events on TV; and I have never seen international celebrities (from Beyonce to Jennifer Lopez) behave like Ghana’s ‘slay queens’ do.
Let me use Joselyn Dumas as an example. She has been captured looking stunning at various events home and abroad for many years. And all this while, all she has been doing is showing up and looking stunning ‘on the red carpet’.
Now, let me take you to the 2017 Cannes Film Festival where Joselyn Dumas stunned in a lovely Kente gown to the screening of ‘Potato Potahto’. The movie by Shirley Frimpong-Manso had a parallel screening at Le Gray D’albion during Cannes Film Festival.
Joselyn’s co-stars OC Ukeje, Nikki Samonas and Lala Akindoju were also in attendance at the screening. They also took the opportunity to make appearances at Palais des Festivals et des Congrès for main Cannes screenings and premieres.
Perhaps Africa’s most elaborate and media frenzy appearance on the red carpet came from the pair of Tanzanian actor Ernest Napoleon and former Miss Tanzania, Miriam Odemba. Their appearances on various days caught the eyes of the international photographers mostly due to Miriam Odemba’s larger than life sense of style.
I know many people have been asking why Ghanaians go to the Cannes Film Festival anyway. It may seem pointless to just show up and rock the red carpets but the festival also offers a lot of opportunities for actors and filmmakers to network and market themselves.
According to sources, after Harold Amenyah attended the festival in 2016, it opened an opportunity for him to be casted in an upcoming production in South Africa. I also believe that screening ‘Potato Potahto’ at Cannes put Shirley Frimpong-Manso in contact with some people who can market her films or collaborate with in the future.
So I guess all I want to say is that it is important to make grand appearances with a mind-set of gaining from such appearances.