We can look at this increasing phenomenon with two lenses, that is; it may feel bad as a celebrity or what others call a ‘local champion’ in your own right and then when you struggle to step out of your country—no one recognises your status. If this is the order and you have one of the bloated egos of some of our Ghanaian Celebrities—you would become desperate to pull in certain tricks, just to feel relevant.
The other way of looking at this is that, all these people are really not celebrities—and increasingly, they’ve bought into the unwarranted hype we give them to make money from their butts, so when the reality sets in while away, they fail to accept the truth since their judgements are clouded by the delusion. This sets them off to do what they believe should be done for them. This is a matter of a person believing in his or her own lies—pretty dangerous.
Being a celebrity sucks but from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, celebrities take pride in their status and love the accompanying attention—either good or bad.
When it comes to places with well established celebrity/pop-culture, we have a whole industry of aggressive photographers who follow (literally stalk) celebrities all around, taking photos of whatever they do and selling these photos to the media—ranging from the blogs to the numerous TV stations.
Even in these established celebrity/pop culture societies, the celebrities play some basic tricks to grab more attention or stay in the media. Celebrity blogger-Perez Hilton said in an interview some few years back, that the celebrities tip off the paparazzi where they are eating or hanging out, so that these photographers will rush to find them.
In fact, some even have certain photographers on their payroll, who just follow them around taking photos and selling/giving these photos to associated media houses, also on the payroll of the celebrities.
It is a long business chain with the celebrities themselves being in charge or playing key roles in the desperate attention grabbing scheme—which ensures we see these celebrities out and about all the time in the media.
In Ghana, we do not have any paparazzi who goes about chasing the people we call celebrities—when in town or when they are on a frolic of their own. Photos are officially taken of these ‘local champions’ when they attend events with media men out there. Apart from events, the same media men will meet a ‘so called’ celebrity outside and not even bother to take a photo—what for?
Interestingly, our celebrities want to have things done like it is done in Hollywood or any of the countries with a proper celebrity/pop culture. They desperately desire to be photographed when shopping, when at the airport and when driving in town—obviously, to have these photos published on the blogs or in print.
But since no one really cares and we are not there yet, these celebrities have become their own paparazzi; posing for photos while at the airport, while shopping or while out and about. Mostly, they beg any one passing by or a friend to take the photos which they then tweet or put on their instagram pages…
These photos become interesting baits, as the blogs including GhanaCelebrities.Com will go for them—and at the end, give the celebrities the relevance they want, just not the way they would have wanted to get it.
For those who do not know, some of these Ghanaian/African celebrities get the photos taken and then send them out to the blogs or media houses themselves. Here, they’ve become the photographers and the distributors. What a hell of work to do just to get some attention—this attention must mean so much to them. Egos must be popped so they are ready to do whatever it takes for others to acknowledge their star status.
A Ghanaian celebrity will travel out of Ghana to shop—and no one should ordinary know about it because no photographer will take a shot. No one really knows them in Dubai, London or Paris—and this hurts their egos. So that is why they hold their shopping bags or pose in these shopping malls and take the photos themselves, edit the photos themselves and distribute the photos themselves via social media.
You think it is easy to be called a Ghanaian Celebrity…huh? Ask Sandra Ankobiah or Yvonne Nelson what the hell they have to incessantly do…LOL
Maybe one day our celebrities will be more recognised in and out of the country—and we will have photographers on bikes all around, chasing them to take shots for the various media houses or for the fans to see what their celebrities are up to. But until that day, the celebrities who are desperate for the attention and want to rock shoulders with the real celebrities out there will have to do the photographing themselves…
At least we’ve come in to help them distribute the photos; else, they would have had to set up their own blogs to write about themselves just to satisfy their bloated egos…
Which Ghanaian celebrity do you think leads the race of photographers?