Pulse Opinion: Should celebrities be politically conscious?

Fela Kuti

Celebrities have a right to express their views on political issues although it is not mandatory.

It’s no news that Nigeria is in a recession. With the state of the nation as  it is right now, a lot of people have been expressing their feelings about the current administration.

Veteran celeb and frequent social critic Charly Boy recently wrote an open letter to President Buhari. "First rule of leadership: everything is your fault. Sir, Nigerians are surely dying and, quickly. They can no longer see the light, they feel the heat" penned the Area Fada.

 

Legendary Nigerian rapper and producer eLDee the Don on August 6, 2016, admitted that President Buhari’s government is not the way forward for Nigeria.

Regina Askia, Halima Abubakar, Seun Kuti, Georgina Onuoha, Joseph Benjamin are a few celebrities who have aired their views on the present administration in the country.

 

Beyond the razzmatazz of the entertainment scene, celebrities often express their minds on political issues. Beyonce having a Black Panther tribute performance at the Super Bowl to underline police brutality in America is an example of a celebrity using her voice to throw light on a certain issue.

 

When her husband Jay Z rapped ‘F*ck Bush‘ on his 2008 track ‘Blue Magic‘ that was an example of the Hip Hop community denouncing not only the Bush administration but the old style of politics too.

How far should a celebrity go in being politically aware or conscious? Remember when Kanye West yelled ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people‘ on live TV during the Hurricane Katrina benefit concert in 2005? Well, maybe that was a case of going too far.

 

Celebrities are people and just like ordinary people they have a right to speak their mind on politics. Hey, some have even made a career from it. The best example is Fela Anikulapo-Kuti whose political beliefs was highly embedded in his highly invigorating style of music known as Afrobeat. Even Bob Marley‘s music was tinged with political consciousness.

Yes, celebrities can be politically conscious and based on their conviction can go all out to be an activist. However, if a celebrity chooses not to meddle in politics it’s his or her own prerogative. Just like people, it’s not every celebrity that is cut out to be a political animal.

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