Fan base: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Fan base: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Fan base: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

NO business can survive and flourish without patronage.  Any start-up, fledgling and mainstream business in the creative industry needs support and that comes from the fans.

It is a no brainer that without the fan or patron, no venture, no proceeding and no personality would survive in the arts industry.

That event planner needs patrons to buy tickets, the film studio and the film producer need the patrons to purchase tickets to the cinema, stream or download the movies to achieve any form of Box Office success and the record label and musician need patrons to stream their songs to realise any form of sustainability in the industry.

The indisputable fact is; every player in the creative space needs support!

The Good

Artistes having a fanbase or fandom have been prevalent in the industry worldwide over a period and there’s such a genuine and justifiable reasons for any artiste to command a collection of people who are dedicated to just their brand.

Beyoncé has an assemblage of uncompromising base called the BeyHive or the Hive, Rihanna commandeers a group of staunch followers who brand themselves as the Navy and Justin Bieber has the Beliebers. Swifters’ is the name of the fandom for Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran has the Sheerios; and in Nigeria, Wizkid has Wizkid FC.

In Ghana, thanks to Samini who paved the way for putting a brand to his fanbase in the name of High Grade Family but the likes of Sarkodie, Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy have elevated the fanbase in Ghana to another level.

The ability of these Ghanaians artistes to put some structure to their respective fanbase is a plus and inuring to their benefit in so many ways.

The likes of Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy and Sarkodie have been in the business for quite a longtime and are obviously adored by many who may not necessarily belong to their well-structured fanbase but the continuous relevance and prominence can be attributed to that fanbase.

The fanbase for these artistes are so committed and dedicated to the point where they support everything from their idols— events, albums/singles, philanthropy, altercations etc. – they support everything! 

These artistes can release ‘whacky’ projects, get involved in anything unpleasant or find themselves at the wrong side of the law and their teeming fanbase will not waver in their support. Every artiste anywhere in the world would kill for such treatment.


The Bad

The lack of unity, which has been a bane for almost all the sectors in our creative space especially the music industry, can somewhat be laid down on the doorsteps of the fanbase – ably edged on by their idols.

Most often, the behaviour, manners and approach by elements among the fanbase for these artistes tear the industry apart instead of shaping it.

Fans of these artistes never see anything good in the other artistes and it pans across all divides of the entire fanbase set-up in our industry.  It’s either their idol doing it and damn everybody else.

Sarkodie would release a project and fans of Shatta Movement would talk ill about it. Stonebwoy would venture into projects that seek to uplift his brand and the entire industry and fans of Shatta Wale would pooh-pooh it with such disdain and almost every meaningful move from Shatta Wale is greeted with jeers and lots of talking-down from the fa base of the other artistes.

What makes it worse is to have their idols, these artistes they adore and look up to, do nothing when their fans ‘attack’ the works and personalities of other artistes. Rarely would you see a high profile artiste call his fans to order. As ‘leaders’ of these packs, they are clearly part of the problem.

The Ugly

A chunk of the groupings in Shatta Movement, Bhim Nation and SarkNation are intolerant, low-minded, abrasive, dim-witted and reckless. All they know is how to be abusive – offering insults upon insults whenever the subject of their idol comes up.

These unscrupulous elements in these fanbases have nothing good to offer except throw invectives whenever they perceive anything ‘negative’ about their artistes. The size of their inanity does not allow them to appreciate opinions and divergent views. Their level of absurdity does not allow them to be able to hold meaningful debates, no; they have been engineered to just spew vituperations when anyone does not talk in favour of their artistes.

They have no regard for legendary status so they brazenly disrespect legends who by some circumstance (s), may not agree or endorse a project or action(s) of their idols. They callously debase journalists, bloggers and media analysts when they pen or say something that they (fans) find inappropriate to the brand of their idols.

Their level of imprudence permits them to be quick to issue unprintable words on persons who say or write what they perceive as ‘negative’ commentary or report on their artistes but remain mute when these same persons offer rave reviews and positive feedback to the actions of their idols.

In their queer mindset, they fail to realise that, we are in a world of positivity and negativity and it is only wise and germane for any well-thinking human to appreciate and accept such a bold fact.

The Black Sherif Effect

There are some with the conviction that having a well defined or structured fanbase is the panacea to any artiste having a buoyant career in the industry. Black Sherif, in a short spate of time has defied that belief.

Without any structured fanbase with any moniker to it, Blacko has been able to navigate his way to the top, turning heads and mesmerising both the local and international audience while mounting high profile stages, garnering critical mention in major awards across the world.

He did all that, thanks to support from Ghanaians, people who belong to no defined fanbase for the artiste. Interestingly, his followers cut across all the popular fanbases splattered across our music industry. The people genuinely have supported Blacko to the top and still see to his meteoric rise to stardom.

Incredibly, hardly does one see a constant castigation or running down of Blacko’s works or actions by any particular fanbase. Any attempt to talk down on his ventures by elements belonging to any of the popular fanbase is quickly shut down by a multitude of people who genuinely support his craft and wholeheartedly want to see him win, for his glory and the glory of our music industry.

If such a concept of having genuine support from the masses without any defined fanbase can work for Black Sherif, why can’t it work for Shatta Wale, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy and everybody else?

Can you imagine if the same level of genuine love and succour exhibited for Blacko is offered to every other artiste without prejudice?

Let’s Do Better

Support is essential and having fanbases is great but it’s also imperative that we eschew the blatant disregard and affront to the works of other artistes especially when they are doing very well.

Artistes should be bold enough to call their fans to order, whether privately or publicly when they go off track—to cast aspersions on fellow artistes, legends or media personalities who would not agree or validate their actions.

We go nowhere as an industry when fanbases are always on a prowl to discredit the works of other artistes and are not tolerant enough to accept criticisms of their artistes.

When these artistes win laurels and garner all the fame, popularity and affluence that come with it, they are the biggest beneficiaries. Everybody else can also gloat and take in some of the glory as Ghanaians, so they (fans) ought to be mindful, circumspect and discerning in their actions.

No artiste stays on top forever, so, whatever you think you are doing in favour of your idol today, be guided that, he/she would definitely fall off and the same treatment would be meted to him/her.

Be wise!


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