As I sang the last few lines of my song, ending my performance for the night, thunderous applause greeted me. I waved and curtseyed a few times, grinning from ear to ear while blowing kisses at my fans even as they screamed my name in a rhythmic chant:Chibugo! Chibugo! Chibugo! They threw roses at my feet and the camera lights went off from all directions, almost blinding me….. “Wake up jooor! Sleepy head! It’s time for morning prayers.” As usual, my big sister, (whom I will call Kembu for the purpose of writing on this blog) had put on the lights and shaken me roughly out of my sweet sleep. Here was stark reality. I was no superstar. As I grabbed my bible and groggily stumbled over into the living room, I wondered what it would really be like to be a star.
I am pretty sure this isn’t too far from the dream of many young people. To be famous. These days it’s really easy to become famous, what with the help of social media and the Internet boom. All you have to do is consistently take sexy pictures of yourself and gain many followers, and bam! You’re an Instant Instagram Celebrity. Recently though, in my more serious moments of soul-searching, somehow my teenage dream of being a star slid into my consciousness and I marveled at how things had changed between then and now. I’m no longer so sure that fame would be such a great thing for someone like me. So., what’s your take? Do you crave celebrity status? What extent do you think you can go to get there?
Let me breakdown some of the pros and cons of being a celebrity. I’ll start with the good part.
1. You will be rich:. This is the most obvious benefit of fame. Whether as a sports person or an entertainment personality, you’re generally going to make money much faster than the average Obi that works in a bank. This translates to luxury houses and cars, designer everything, first class trips to places only seen in magazines and the best of everything money can buy. Dang! It is a great life, I must admit. Who nor like beta tin?
2. You will get special treatment almost everywhere: You will be given the best treatments in restaurants, bars, at the cinema, in the banks and airports, and even in church. People of the opposite sex will come running when you call. Enough said.
3. You will have a lot of fans: If you are a guy, be prepared to see girls faint when you enter the mall. Whatever field you’re a star in, get ready to be constantly surrounded by your supporters. You will be asked the dream question: “Could you please sign my autograph?” Trust that you will be recognized everywhere you go. This can be a serious ego boost.
4. You will have more opportunities: When you excel in your field, it is highly likely that you will be called upon to be a brand ambassador for a brand associated with what you do. This translates to more money! I heard the alleged amount that Kim Kardashian charges to promote a brand by only sending out a tweet and I was dumbstruck. Ees not a small something oh.
1. No privacy: This is the number one problem with fame, I think. With the advent of social media, it gets worse since whatever you put up is out there for the whole world to see.. Even if you don’t subscribe to social media there is every possibility that the paparazzi will stalk you wherever you go. This can make one get paranoid or live one’s life always trying to be and look perfect. We know it isn’t possible to always be perfect, so being caught in an unflattering position is going to happen often. Your life becomes fodder for the gossip blogs and they can be ruthless. RUTHLESS, I tell you.
2. You will be constantly judged: You don’t have to be bad to be judged. Just one bad outfit to an event, or one grammatically incorrect statement and you’re it. You decide to give birth in Nigeria, you will be called broke. You decide to give birth in the US, you will be called unpatriotic and ostentatious in spending. You decide to drive an average car, you will be called aka-gum, you decide to do the flashy cars, people will prophesy about your imminent downfall due to overspending. You really can’t please everyone, heck, even an average Joe couldn’t please everyone if he tried. Your case will only be worse.
3. You can’t do what the average guy can do or go where he can go: You could be mobbed by fans just because you stepped out to get a bottle of water from the shop down the street. You will need security. Not nice. Everyone will feel they have a right to you, like, brother, you just became public property. You have to always be in the mood to smile and say nice things to people you don’t know, even when you’re in the exact opposite mood. So somebody cannot just be free to vex as he/she wants? Na real wah.
4. You will be surrounded by lots of fake friends: You will have lots of friends but may not be able to distinguish between who is in it for you and who is in it for what you offer them. After all your fame also rubs off on them. This translates to every relationship including romantic ones. Celebrities that are on the hunt for “true love” may find it twice as hard as the average Kunle or Bala that does a normal job and lives a normal life. Everyone or almost everyone will want to exploit you because of what they think they can gain from you. Including family.
5. You become a target for criminals. Even if you’re not financially buoyant at the time, you will still be seen as a star with loads of money. So the criminals may feel they need to relieve you of a couple million and decide to rob or kidnap you or a loved one.
I think that to be a celebrity you need to have spine. It’s easier to just be rich and only have to worry about your security but to be a celebrity, you will need to be a certain kind of person to get famous, remain famous, and have some semblance of normalcy in your life, just like every other human being(which we often forget that celebrities are).
Would I want to be a celebrity? My default answer is no, but then, who knows tomorrow? 😉 I can’t tell what could make me famous someday. I would like to be rich though, that brings some kind of fame, just not as glaring. That kinda fame, I can handle. 😀 What about you? Do you crave celebrity status? Do you think you could deal with everything that comes with it?
Kisses, hugs and steaming suya
Make sure your desire to do what you’re aspiring to do is deeper than just fame and being a celebrity – Meagan Good