“Money making” celebrities all over the world, for some years now have seen the need in giving back to the people and society who are directly or indirectly responsible for their fame and huge fortunes. A gesture I think is very laudable and needs to be commended.
As usual, our Hollywood pioneers set the pace and their counterparts in Africa also followed suit. Brad Pit and Angelina Jolie are known to give relief after disasters occur. Elton John and Bono have made so much effort to reduce public health crisis. And no one can doubt the passion George Lucas and Oprah Winfrey have for education.
Very recently, our Ghanaian entertainment industry has seen our very own celebrities making efforts in also setting up foundations in order to give back to the society. As such, we have Yvonne Nelson’s Glaucoma foundation, Okyeame Kwame’s Hepatitis B foundation, Juliet Ibrahim’s Kidney Cancer foundation and just recently, I heard of Kwabena Kwabena’s “Save a Life” foundation etc. (The reason they need to set up foundations before they can give to society still baffles me; but all the same, we are grateful.)
No one is condemning the brain behind these efforts but of late, I am beginning to believe the celebrities with foundations, especially the ones in Ghana are only doing this for publicity purposes and to create a “certain” image for their selves.
My reason is; these so called foundations die away quickly, in the same way they sprang up! Apart from Okyeame Kwame’s Hepatitis foundation that occasionally hosts free hepatitis B screenings, the others are almost dormant.
Aside that, my main reason for writing this piece is how through these foundations, our celebrities pretend to be nice people in character. They pretend to be caring, kind and seem to have respect for people. Mean while, get close to them in person and it is the other way round.
Celebrities in general must try as much as possible to be down to earth and respect the very people who made them who they are now. And to those with foundations, you have to be even more humble because unlike your colleagues in Hollywood who make donations out of their own pockets, you on the other hand rely very much on donations, sponsorships and people’s contributions to be able to donate to the less privileged and carry out your projects.
Finally to all celebrities, let your brand reflect in your personal lives. Be a little nice; it won’t kill you.