Entertainers As Political Voices and Representatives -By Gimba Kakanda

Filed under: Political Issues |

Gimba Kakanda


Our entertainers are mostly politically ignorant, and so I’m always wary of any public protest led by them, especially those with no history of political engagements. Mostly, not entirely. I’ll not clarify this if misunderstood.

But even though I can’t queue behind an insular celebrity who sees political protest more as a tool of reviving a fading career than as a means of empathizing with the masses, I’ll never excuse attempts to stop them from exercising their fundamental human rights.

We know that Charly Boy is not Fela Kuti. It’s an insult to even attempt to compare them. Fela was not your elite comrade who hobnobbed with the politicians, lived among them and enjoyed all the privileges they had. He was not a hypocrite who paraded himself as a bogeyman. He’s not Charly Boy who threatens to shoot anyone coming around his roadside residence in the nation’s capital. He’s not a contradiction. Fela’s career, instead of being sustained by his activism, was troubled by it. He sacrificed his luxury for the struggles of the common man at the time doing so meant signing one’s death warrant.

I’m not on the street behind Charly Boy for the same reason I thought Tuface Idibia’s dramatically aborted #iStandWithNigeria protest was ridiculous. Idibia’s press release was the most badly-written bullshit I’ve ever read, all his reasons for the protest informed by ignorance of how public institutions are managed. It’s like saying many things without saying a thing.

If you think Tuface’s theatrics was devastating, then you haven’t seen what his kinsman and fellow entertainer, Terry-G, proposed as his campaign promise in his bid to be the Governor of Benue state in 2019. He’s promised to ensure “water stability” and that “everything will be legalized.” Water. Stability. Everything. Everything. Legalized. Read that again!

The last time I was on the street, the subject of my grievance was defined and led by someone who had full grasp of the advocacy, Oby Ezekwesili. We asked a pathetically nonchalant administration to #BringBackOurGirls at the time it wanted to abandon the girls as yet another collateral damage!

I can only ask Buhari to resign if he had not transferred power as required by the constitution. The rule book has no limit of the number of days he can stay away from office and I’ve no fact to say the acting President is a badly dragged puppet.

I just watched a video of Jim Iyke, one of the spent forces of Nollywood, at today’s #ResumeOrResign protest, and it baffles how someone exhibits such amount of ignorance in just three minutes. He justified my fear of political campaigns headed by celebrities who deploy political advocacy as conduit for regaining relevance, and that annoying accent didn’t help this matter.

First, Jim Iyke said Buhari can’t be ruling Nigeria from London, and that’s tolerable. Then he said, “even traditional states like Saudi Arabia” are now presenting young men as political representatives. I don’t know who defined Saudi-type monarchy for him. There are a million and one angles to laugh at this, only that it’s not funny.