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Yes, we have celebrities in Ghana

Often I hear media discussions on the subject of celebrities and if even we have celebrities in Ghana. I have been tagged along in several social media discussions and I think it is about time I gave my candid opinion on the subject. Of course, as someone who describes myself as a celebrity blogger, how I can […]

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2013Often I hear media discussions on the subject of celebrities and if even we have celebrities in Ghana. I have been tagged along in several social media discussions and I think it is about time I gave my candid opinion on the subject. Of course, as someone who describes myself as a celebrity blogger, how I can say I blog about celebrities if I didn’t think they existed?  Yes, we have celebrities in Ghana!  There are usually arguments that we don’t have real celebrities in Ghana due to the financial status of our stars and their behavior but these are not necessarily key in determining who is a celebrity.

There are many descriptions for the term celebrity but I would like to use the definition from Wikipedia: Celebrity refers to the fame and public attention accorded by the mass media to individuals or groups or, occasionally, animals, but is usually applied to the persons or groups of people (celebrity couples, families, etc.) themselves who receive such a status of fame and attention. Celebrity status is often associated with wealth (commonly referred to as fame and fortune), while fame often provides opportunities to earn revenue.

Successful careers in sports and entertainment are commonly associated with celebrity status; while political leaders often become celebrities. People may also become celebrities due to media attention on their lifestyle, wealth, or controversial actions, or for their connection to a famous person.”

Do the likes of Jackie Appiah, Nadia Buari, Sarkodie and John Dumelo have prominence in local media? Do the likes of R2bees, Majid Michel and Yvonne Nelson command some degree of public fascination and influence? The answer is yes for me. I receive thousands of visits on my blog each day with readers from all over the world wanting to read about the people I write about (which is largely Ghanaian celebs).

If thousands of people would check out an article on my blog simply to see what Yvonne Nelson wore to the Ghana Movie Awards then she doesn’t only have prominence on my blog but also has great popular appeal. If I go to a deprived, out of town school and see students screaming out ‘mi love you’ to Jackie Appiah, and as we make the journey I see her face on billboards all over town, then Jackie commands some degree of public fascination and influence. Yes these are celebrities and they are Ghanaian.

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Well, celebrities are usually expected to be wealthy largely because of how western media glorifies the wealth of international stars but as per Wikipedia’s definition fame and fortune are not necessarily linked. That leaves us with the issue about how celebrities behave; often we hear Ghanaian stars behave like common people, they hang out everywhere and anywhere and they do not know how to manage their fame. Yes, while these may be true for the conduct of some celebrities it is not enough to rule them out as celebrities; as such conducts are mere assessments of character and not status.

Often people also argue about who is a celebrity. If someone appears on TV once or twice, does that make him or her a celebrity? Which fields of endeavour must one be in to become a celebrity? Again I will refer from Wikipedia. While people may gain celebrity status as a result of a successful career in a particular field (primarily in the areas pertaining towards sports and entertainment), in other cases, people become celebrities due to media attention for their extravagant lifestyle or wealth (as in the case of a socialite); for their connection to a famous person (as in the case of a relative of a famous person); or even for their misdeeds (as in the case of a well-known criminal).

People may become celebrities in a wide range of ways; from their professions, following appearances in the media, committing a mass murder, or even by complete accident. The term “instant celebrity” describes someone who becomes a celebrity in a very short period of time. Someone who achieves a small amount of transient fame (through, say, hype or mass media) may become labeled a “B-grade celebrity”. Often, the generalization extends to someone who falls short of mainstream or persistent fame but who seeks to extend or exploit it.

So, it is not wrong to refer to Elikem Kumurzdie or Selorm Galley (Selly) as a celebrity for appearing on Big Brother Africa. I hope this little insight will change the perception out there that we don’t have real celebrities in Ghana. We have a growing celebrity culture and we should embrace it as a people. As usual www.ameyawdebrah.com is here to provide the platform for that, no matter the opposition to that. I have had people say on twitter that as a degree holder I am wasting my time chasing and pushing celebrity news but I remain unshaken (and well it puts food on the table).

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Hopefully  in 2014 people will stop asking the question “is this news?” If it’s not news for you, tune in to BBC, Al Jazeera, or CNN for the news you want.  Laugh out Loud! Boys abre!!!!!!

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