I have heard and read too many familiar lines like, "Ghanaian media do not help Ghanaian stars, they always lambast and criticize us at the least provocation", "Nigerian media support their stars while Ghanaian media are just the opposite" and so on.
To be honest, the reason for writing this piece is because I think it is about time Ghanaian celebrities stopped the complaints over not so important and trivial issues.
Even if there are things that need to be complained about, it is imperative that the right channels are used to address the issues and stop blowing hot air.
Loose talks here and there won't help anyone and can't help them for that matter.
Instead of working tirelessly to shape and elevate their deteriorating careers, some Ghanaian celebrities have resorted to and suddenly developed the penchant for complaints at the least chance they get.
Surprisingly they don’t seem to know how this is affecting their careers as the trend is getting way out of control.
I'm not in any way saying or suggesting that one should keep quiet when they are unhappy about something, far from that.
But, it can do us all a lot of good, perhaps, if all the noise and complaints were minimised. After all, lodging complaints is not a guarantee that the problem would be automatically solved.
Now to the reason for this piece. It is a normal practice everywhere in the world that when celebrities overstep boundaries, they are dealt with by the media. Don't forget that, such transgressions are news. In fact, they make news.
When a movie or music star in Ghana, goes contrary to what is normally expected and accepted of them and they are lambasted for that, they accuse everyone including the media of being vindictive and hateful of them.
To some extent, some of them join the chorus, “Ghanaian media do not like projecting Ghanaian celebrities and stars. They are always looking for our downfall”. Well, in Ghana, every criticism is regarded as hatred.
According to some, the Nigeria media has always supported their stars who are doing well all over the world after taking over Africa.
Interestingly, I wonder why the sudden comparison in terms of how the media treat stars in the two countries. Since when did the practice in Nigeria become a yard stick to judge what happens in Ghana?
One can only compare oneself to someone or something they think is better than them or they are better than.
Comparison in its entirety is not wrong but if you are bold to compare yourself to someone else, it makes sense or it is believed that you will work towards getting yourself closer to whatever you compared yourself to.
The question is; are the Ghanaians working hard enough or doing things to get closer to the level their Nigerian counterparts have reached or are enjoying presently? I leave the answer for you to figure out.
In an interview on collaboration between Ghanaian artistes and their foreign counterparts, D-Cryme said, before his compatriots can have collaborations like the ones Nigerian musicians P-Square and D Banj had with Rick Ross, Akon and Snoop Dogg, the attitude of Ghanaians towards musicians must change.
He said unless Ghanaians start endorsing their artistes and take risks on their behalf, international collaborations like the above would sound impossible.
He said “… in our beloved country Ghana, we don’t endorse our own”. He continued that, “Nigeria’s D’Banj didn’t just walk up to Snoop and asked him to work with him. He was endorsed by his countryman who later connected him to Snoop. Nigerians push their stars more than we do here in Ghana and it is one advantage they have over us.”
I must stress that, this isn’t a new composition. It is an old chorus from the rapper who became a star following his recognition as ‘Mr Fine Guy’.
There are a set of people who don’t necessarily need to have talent to be stars in Ghana. Their looks are enough to make them stars and it is painful to admit that D-Cryme falls in that category.
Anyone in doubt should take a good look at the current movie and music stars in Ghana. These are people who became popular through other means aside their talents. So it is understandable that they do not take pragmatic steps in addressing their concerns but instead resort to complaints and the tendency to compare apples to oranges.
Is it worth doing what D-Cryme is asking Ghanaians to do? What is it that Ghanaian stars can do to help themselves. Remember that there is a saying, "God helps those who help themselves".
For instance, how must the media intervene in the ongoing feud between Shatta Wale and Samini? Must the media stay unconcerned? If the two have not taken steps to make peace, should Ghanaians bother at all?
I’m not too surprised over the constant comparison between Ghana and Nigeria with regards to entertainment and media practice.
It only tells me that indeed, the industry is doing something right after all for us to want to engage in comparisons.
The industry in Nigeria is growing very fast unlike that in Ghana which lags behind and is in constant denial believing that it has come of age.
I have attended many entertainment events in Nigeria and of course they treat their stars in the way they ought to be treated, like stars.
Ghanaian stars may not be getting the same treatment from home because it’s a case of being treated the way you want to be treated. Period!
The Nigeria entertainment industry is structured and so it gets all the support it deserves. It does not complain needlessly and also does not compare itself to others.