Nigerian celebrities: Killing themselves, by themselves, By Wale Odunsi

Wale Odunsi

Apparently basking in the euphoria of a new status, many Nigerians in showbiz throw caution to the wind in the process of “living it up”. These days, hardly does a month ends without news of someone in Nollywood or the Music industry, getting involved in car accident or public brawl.

This comes as no surprise, especially to those who are in the know of the background of today’s stars. Most of them, even in their wildest dreams, never thought they would attain their current standing in society. In fact, not only do they talk about the rise to fame in interviews, they also author books and record songs about it.

It is worrisome that the mints these guys stack in bank accounts have overwhelmed them, so much so that some can no longer think properly. In 2013 alone, there were at least a dozen auto crashes involving celebrities. On the average, that is a scary 2 to 3 cases per month. Names like Samklef, Danagog, Maye Hunter, America, Nashville, Asa and others form the lot of those involved.

The most recent involving fabulously talented Ayo “Wizkid” Balogun, rattled virtually every music lover; this is because the young man is adored by the younger generation. He has everything going on well. Good looks, sold-out concerts, record sales, endorsement for big-paying companies, successful international tours, connection to foreign superstars, huge fan base, that feminine attraction, houses and expensive cars. What is more? He now has his record label, StarBoy Entertainment, with three acts, including Legendary Beatz, signed on.

Weeks ago, the “I Love My Baby” and “Pakurumo” crooner posted a picture of his newly acquired Porsche Panamera. The car is priced at $80, 000 – $150, 000 (depending on the sub-model). As expected, the photo went viral on social media. But by 0400 hours of Saturday June 15, 2013, the same car had become a wreck. The gist – as always – is that a tyre of the automobile burst while on motion.

While we all thank God for sparing the lives of our stars, isn’t it time we ask some questions. Bearing in mind the busy schedules, why would someone driving a car worth N15million not take such for regular checks? Or are expensive cars immune from faults?

It is an open secret that our acts, and their entourage, sometimes use “active agents” before and after attending/performing at events. It is also an open secret that these artistes or their friends sometimes get behind the wheels under the influence of alcohol. But nobody is saying anything, solely because of the blind love we have for them. I am not saying this happened in the case of Wizzy, but it does happen.

Some find the demise of celebrities too hard to bear. This is understandable, as despite harsh government policies and dwindling economy, they are able to make us happy; they put smiles on our faces; they liven up our homes, streets, vehicles, clubs and parties and so on.

Our celebrities have a responsibility to look after themselves and not live life like there is a duplicate kept somewhere. They should, for goodness sake be more careful while on the road; they should ensure those around them are the type that of positive influence; they should do away with hard drugs and excessive alcohol; they should reciprocate our affection by staying focused and do only the right things at all times. These crashes are becoming too many; we don’t want to pass through another agony please!

If you think you are popular and then go about ‘feeling fly’, the day you die an avoidable death, your name will trend for a few days; news sites and blogs will as usual talk about it for, at most, two weeks. The rest of us will move on. Live continues. Chikena.

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