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The Gains of Stardom

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There’s hardly anyone in life who doesn’t want to swap affection and attention; paraphrased, everyone wants to love and be loved. The rats that belong to ‘Be Your Brother’s Keeper School of thought’ most significant prayer is that God should make cats fall in love with them so that their lifespan could increase quantitatively and improve qualitatively. “Oh Lord, our High Blood Pressure would stop raging, calm down and finally stabilise if ‘ogbologbo ologbo’ (contextual meaning: cats our no.1 enemies) stop having us for dinner. This will make us more productive and effective and hence make more money, enjoy better health and life to the fullest!” If God answers their prayers, then advocates of this school of thought would be too glad to form one big happy family with cats.

The other school of thought, ‘By Fire by Force’ is guided by the philosophy of no permanent friends or foes in life but permanent interest.’ They claim that if God replaces the hate cats have for them with love it may not last. They use humans as case study. They say that in politics your best friend in an era might turn out to be your sworn enemy in another if the mutual interests that bind you initially falls apart. To this end they claim that God should as a matter of fact wipe cats away from the face of the earth because if He doesn’t cats may become their holocaust one more time. God, over to you sir!

The average Shusma and Zenia in India would love their husbands to treat them like the queen they truly are. Love and respect them the more and finally abolish the outlawed bride dowry which often lead to bride burning as a result of dissatisfaction from the dowry.

Nearly all of us want to be the centre of attention in love and life. The woman with sublime beauty knows she has attention-calling resource at her disposal; the one loaded to the brim with curves overflowing their banks knows that men’s eyes are assessing, their ‘mouth’ salivating and women’s eyes are analyzing and envying. The rich, young bachelor in town knows that the dream of every lady most especially the novel addict is to marry a rich, handsome prince, live in a castle made of diamond and live happily ever after.

To most phenomena in life there are two sides. Therefore the pains of stardom go hand-in-hand with the gains of limelight. Being famous is an asset, a resource, opportunity, possibility and of course an intimidating CV. Therefore, if you’re looking for a personality with lorry-load of opportunities think of no other but a celeb. Job opportunities for family, friends, fans and relatives abound with no limit. Oh that reminds me of an American-based conglomerate owned by American rapper Percy Miller (Master P) called No Limits: No Limits Records, No Limits films, No Limit Sports and No Limits Clothing. Indeed ‘no limits’ for celebs!

A note from a celeb could get a fresh graduate an oil and gas job, a call could get a prospective student admission into the university of his choice, chit-chat over lunch could secure visa for a neighbour, a visit to ‘The Office’ could fetch one a ministerial appointment maybe gift another commissioner portfolio. The bottom line is that they have contacts and connections. They know Nicholas – the tourist in Calabar; Mallam Shehu, the scholar in Sokoto, Otunba: the politician in Abuja and Igwe, the executive in Lagos.

A celeb may have her phone credited with N20, 000 worth of airtime by an anonymous donor, a fan might foot her bills at the hospital, department store, movies or restaurants. Brand new cars, houses, all-expense paid trip could come as wedding or wedding anniversary gifts and the like. Unsolicited gifts could come at the least expected time. He’s cash-strapped so he complained casually to his friend a day later he receives an alert of 250k from his friend’s friend. Maybe she had a flat tyre on the highway; help came not just in the way of fixing the tyre but gifting her four new tyres.

I once heard Pastor Sam Adeyemi say that the rich spend money to save time and the poor spend time to save money. Think about it! Let me use a simple analogy to substantiate this argument. Ojo walks from Oje to Agbeni to save some token better still Agboola AKA Interior walks from Agbowo exterior to UI to save N30 but did a burnt offering of 45 minutes of his time resource; whereas Alaba who took achaba (okada) spends N50 and burnt 5 minutes of his time resource. In summary Alaba who was ‘richer’ spent N50 but saved 40 minutes which is very precious because time is money. I also discovered that the bigger the differences in the amount of money spent, the bigger the margin of time invested. Abu travels from Abuja to Lagos by plane but Owooniran took Owonikoko Transport, an 18-seater bus to Lagos. You can compare and contrast the huge time margin here.

Celebs spend ‘fame’ to save time and where fame is unavailable they spend money! Let me expatiate this. There’s a long queue in a facility in demand for a product maybe service and a celeb walks in but decided to behave the civilized way so he joined the queue but the attendant noticed him and sent someone to call him to be attended to. Hasn’t his fame saved him time and stress?

Hero worship from fans makes celebs feel good about themselves. Go watch some live concerts of Michael Jackson to understand my point here. All these make celebs feel superhuman and see themselves as gods. People perceive celebs as gods and it’s this hero worship that makes an 8-year-old boy stereotypes Profs and argue that his uncle isn’t one of them, why? He’s clean shaven. Ask him the profession of veteran broadcaster Yemi Farounbi and hear him say he’s a lecturer and a Prof.

(Omotola Jalade has an older version of her look-alike in the person of Lisa Vanderpump, an entrepreneur, TV personality and actress, check out her picture.)

In this era of political permutations ushering in another dispensation please put Nigeria above your selfish interest. Before you collect that token and sell your birthright remember you’re entitled to the proceeds from the sales of ‘peas and nuts’ not peanuts! We won’t live here forever so let’s not sacrifice the future of this great nation on the altar of our passing interest. By the grace of God Nigeria will outlive all of us. We pray our nation stand the test of fire and time.

If we continue to depend on Western world to survive we’d remain voiceless and faceless in the comity of nations. Remember no man would help you more than he would himself. You go abroad, come back and brag about their advancement and civilization but don’t forget that you belong here not there and they won’t respect you more than they respect your home country. So let’s come together and work it out!

My video for this week is ‘Pot of Gold’ by Akon.

Olayemi J Ogunojo is the digital-age relationship cum life coach, public/motivational speaker and freelance journalist. 

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