It is a norm in Nigeria to flaunt wealth accumulated either through legitimate or illegitimate means and the reason for this cannot be far-fetched. Nigeria is a society where premium is being placed on wealth (material things) as the basis for stratification. The society is less concern on how you make your money; it is even common among Nigerian Youths to be ranking the richest yahoo boys (internet fraudsters) in their localities.
It is quite unfortunate that in a country where majority of the citizenry live in abject poverty, one still finds the privileged few deliberately displaying their economic power publicly by acquiring luxury goods and services.
It may interest you to know that it is the lackadaisical attitude and conspicuous spending of Nigerian celebrities especially the nouveau riche social class (Hip-Hop artistes) that triggered this write up. It is an undisputable fact that the hip-hop artistes are the rave of the moment in the music industry and they emerged as a result of Nigerians’ love and patronage of local hip-hop at the expense of foreign music.
Only of recent, the media was flooded with the news of hip-hop singer, Ayo Balogun popularly known as Wizkid replacing his #15m crashed Porsche car with new one just two weeks after crashing it along Lekki-Epe expressway on June 15, 2013. Also, in what looks like a show of economic power, his cohort, David Adeleke aka Davido acquired a Mercedes Benz G-Class worth #21m. As if that is the criterion for being a big boy, the Limpopo master, KCEE recently acquired two 2013 luxury cars (BMW X6 and Range Rover). In the same vein, the soft spoken co-owner of Primetime Entertainment, Dayo Adeneye (D1), just purchased a Bentley Continental GT valued at #25m to add to his collection of exotic cars.
Did I hear you say it is their hard earned money? Therefore they can spend it as they like? I say NO! This is because this act of squander is gradually becoming a norm in the industry and sociologically, it tends to have negative effect on the young ones who look up to them as their role models. This is not to undermine the important role these artistes play in our society especially in this time of hardship. They should be applauded for putting smiles on the faces of Nigerians despite that the economy is not smiling at us. They remain our companion at this time of suffering and smiling.
Although, one cannot totally blame the celebrities when those (the government) that are supposed to lead by example failed in their own capacity. Nevertheless, we should take our mind away from the blind love we have for these artistes and ask or task them to publicly engage in humanitarian services. Apart from the fact that they make us happy through their God-given talent, they should realize that impacting positively in the lives of the masses would make us happier than to publicly display their economic power through the purchase of exotic cars.
If a 21-year old Swansea football club ball boy, Charlies Morgan that was kicked by Chelsea’s Eden Hazard could give up the tracksuit he wore on the day of the famous incident for sale, with all the money going to cancer charity; what then is wrong if 23-year old Wizkid or Davido donate to the rehabilitation of the Almajiris? Also, if the newly crowned Wimbledon champion, Andy Murray could donate all his hard earned £1.6m Wimbledon cash prize for cancer research and care, just after a month he donated his £73,000, been prize money for winning the AEGON championship to the Royal Marsden cancer charity; then what is wrong if Tuface Idibia donate to combat HIV/AIDS in Benue state or to any other MDGs goals? What is wrong if Nigerian Artistes organize a concert and donate all the proceeds (money) to the victims of bomb blast, plane crash, or even Boko Haram victims? We know they are already contributing to the economy either directly or indirectly, but is it a crime for them to invest their hard earned money on profitable businesses that can help reduce unemployment rate in the country? After all, the society made them what they are and they should be able to give back to the society.
It is high time we all realized that poverty will remain our friend when we leave the issue of poverty to government alone. We all need to change our mindset in other to make Nigeria a better place for all. What is the rationale behind the purchase of #25m car that cannot fly you away from the traffic of Ikorodu road? Although I am not a mathematician, but am quite sure that as hard as our economy is, #25m will conveniently pay the school fees of about 300 students or empower more than 500 traders. The earlier we all realized that all these material things are vanity upon vanity, the better for us all. Your expensive cars or jewelries will soon become outdated but your service to humanity will forever linger in the memory of the people.
As much as we genuinely love and celebrate you guys success, we also share your pains with you just as the case of Dagrin and OJB and we would appreciate it if you guys can reciprocate that love by genuinely giving back to the society.
However, please do not blame this writer if our celebrities take up the aforementioned responsibilities. Rather it could be that only few of them involve in it or that they prefer to do it secrectly and show off their luxurious life in public. May be we should even put the blame on the press that feels that story about the celebs’ acquisition of luxurious goods and services will be more attractive than their social responsibilities.