A celebrity is person who has a prominent profile and command a great degree of public fascination and influence in day-to-day media. The term is synonymous with wealth, implied with great popular appeal, prominence in a particular field and is easily recognized by general public.
Various careers within the fields of sports and entertainment are commonly associated with celebrity status. These fields have produced prominent figures within these two industries. Many professional athletes have raised to fame, such as golfer Tiger Woods, a footballer Jay-Jay Okocha, a basketball player Michael Jordan and many more.
Prominent entertainment figures have also reached celebrity status, we have TV presenters like Frank Edoho political figure Muhammad Buhari, Radio personalities like Nura Muhammad Ringim National TV Correspondent Muhammad Kudu Abubakar, stand up comedian Basket Mouth to mention but a few. While people may gain celebrity status as a result of a successful career in a particular field primarily in the areas of sport and entertainment, in other cases people become famous due to media attention for their extravagant lifestyle or wealth as in the case of business tycoon Aliko Dangote, a social media activist Japeth Omojuwa as in the case of relations or family of a famous person like late Abacha’s son Muhammad Abacha or even for their misdeeds as in the case of Umar Faruq AKA Mutallab.
Celebrities may be known around the world for instance Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, Real Madrid footballer Christiano Ronaldo or a Jamaican Athlete Usain Bolt. All these are world renowned celebrities, if you don’t know them you must hear at least about one of them if not all.
Cultures, religion and regions with a significant population may have their own independent celebrity system with distinct hierarchies. For example Nigerian region of South is popularly known as “home of Nollywood”- (Nigerian movies and music industry mostly produced in English) has its own system of celebrity status perception among its people. Likewise in the North where Kannywood- (hausa movies/music industry mostly produced in hausa) is situated, their celebrity status system is partially different. A person here may garner a degree of fame in kannywood and considered less famous or even obscure in Nollywood.
Some nationwide celebrities like Jim Iyke, Mike Ezuranyi, Nonso Diobi, Van Vicker, Ali Nuhu, Jackie Appiah, Genevive Nnaji, Nadia Buari, Tonto Dikeh Omotola Jalade and many more might command some attention outside their own countries. All the listed actors and actresses are Nigerian and Ghanian celebs, but due to their fame they can hardly pass without notice in either of the countries.
The question here is how does a particular celebrity’s status affect his or her relationship with family, friends, fans and other people around his environs? This phenomenon is also applicable to fictional characters in Kannywood. When most people think of superstars or celebrities in this (kannywood) industry, Sani Musa Danja, Ali Nuhu, Adam A Zango, Nura Hussain, Zainab Abdullahi, Rahama Hassan, Nafisa Abdullahi & Hadiza Gabon would probably be the first to come to mind. And if one has to name famous directors or script writers, people like Ali Gumzak, Aminu Saira, Falalu Dorayi, Yakubu M. Kumo, Abdulkareem Papalaji would ring a bell. Looking at the previous question, to me, celebrities around the world often have fame comparable to royalty and that of tough politicians of nowadays. Here kannywood celebs are not in exception, as a result there is this strong public curiosity about their private lives. The released of Maryam Hiyana’s sex tape with her boy friend some years back brought her to a new level of career ending ‘fame’, her name and pictures all over newspapers, magazine, and international television stations like BBC, CNN, Aljazeera, France24 and others. Moreover, celebrities are alternately portrayed as glowing example of perfection when they garner awards. For instance when Ali Nuhu emerged as a pioneer Kannywood actor to won Afro-Hollywood as well as AMAA awards in his performance in Ruhi and Sitanda respectively, he became popular, he is not just Kannywood actor now but an African actor.
You see! Celebrities may be presented for their accolades and the public may have a love/hate relationship with them due to the high visibility of their private lives. Again their success and short comings are always made very public, they would only be portrayed as a glowing example of perfection if and only if they garner awards, and otherwise they will be depicted as a source of moral decadence if they became associated with scandal.
Meanwhile I don’t know who spread rumors more between print media and ordinary people like you and I about celebrities. I am sorry to say “we” the people are very excellent in spreading rumors. Someone may just frame a broadcast and sent it to all his/her BBM (Blackberry Messenger) contacts and “I” as a contact who received the broadcast without any investigation or questioning the source spread it to my contacts too. Before you know, it’s allover the town that so-so actor/actress had an accident and died instantly! For God sake where are we heading to? I am not saying celebrities are above death or accident, perhaps most of them died as a result of accident, but why do we accept any garbage that came to us?
My little advise to celebrities is to try and not only register with the social networking like facebook and twitter but be punctual despite your tied schedules, for it’s the only medium that you can reach and communicate with your fans and the general public as well, especially when rumors are been casted over you.
Thank You For Reading.