- The impact of statements made by public figures about national issues
- Celebrities are bound by an unwritten rule to show support for social causes
- The voice of these people throw a spotlight on issues that deserve attention
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Shatta Wale has been receiving vicious attacks on his person for not supporting the #FixTheCountry campaign.
The assumption seems to be that with the influence he has garnered over the years, his social movement backing would make a difference.
It begs the question: does it matter whether Wale supports the movement or not? Does public figures or celebrities, if you will have the power to make any change with their voice?
"In the last couple of years, celebrities have shown how powerful they are. Yvonne Nelson led the #DumsorMustStop vigil at a time the country was faced with erratic power supply and the demonstration was a huge success. Dumsor stopped," said Abrantepa Benefo Buabeng, host of bloggers' forum, and Head of the Entertainment desk at GhanaWeb in an interview with YEN.com.gh.
"Sarkodie's 'Inflation' and 'Dumsor' songs also had an impact. To some extent, it cost the then sitting government votes. And that is an indication that music is a powerful tool."
Buabeng also added: "The examples abound. The recent clash at Ejura cannot be left out of the examples. If for nothing at all, people have become aware of the enormity of the issue. Now, there is pressure on the government to redeem its image. The role of celebrities in shaping national discourse cannot be downplayed."
Fauzu Masawudu, a Presenter with HSTV echoed the sentiments by Buabeng pointing out the reach of the social justice movement 'Black Lives Matter' on the global stage because celebrities threw their weight behind the cause.
"When people say "they look up to" some figures including celebrities it doesn't only mean they aspire to be like them but also hope to find solace in them in times of difficulties that is why many expect celebrities to add their voices to issues of national interest," explained Masawudu to YEN.com.gh.
"Therefore, it is not too much to ask for celebrities to speak about national issues, especially when they directly or indirectly affect citizens who form their fanbase."
The consensus is that celebrities are influential whether they admit it or not. Their teeming fan base expects public figures to make use of their influence when national issues are at stake.
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