By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo
The P.R.O. of Ghana Gas, Ernest Owusu Bempah became the next political figure to cast vituperation at Ghanaian celebrities. The loud-mouthed politician, in his vitriol, stated how he couldn’t wrap his mind around the fact that entertainers in Ghana wade into politics to the point of criticizing the President. He unashamedly took the entertainers to the cleaners.
Mr. Owusu Bempah has since issued a half-baked, unconvincing and an unflattering apology but his point was made loudly; entertainers should not speak on politics.
He adds to the other ignorant politicians who have also openly repudiated the thought and actions of entertainers dabbling in politics.
The call for entertainers not to speak on issues relating to politics is the most ignorant and daftest opinion or suggestion any sane person can share. Like Owusu Bempah, I also cannot fathom or to use his words, wrap my mind around the fact that, a learned, well-thinking and educated fellow would eat, sleep, wake up and come up with such a thought. It is simply incomprehensible!
Anybody that has a problem with entertainers or celebrities having a say on political-related matters is a problem. Anybody that has qualms with entertainers passing genuine commentary on any President or government has malfunctioning faculties.
In fact, anybody that has issues with entertainers expressing their opinion on anything to do with standard of living in the country is a nutcase.
Don’t Get Involved
The incessant calls from some politicians to entertainers not to engage in politics is from a wrong place; a place of ignorance and sheer inanity.
It is irksome to have some of these dilettantes denigrate entertainers, perceiving them to be dimwits and not worthy to engage in politics. They abhor to hear and see entertainers vie for political positions, including seeking the mandate of the people in a bid to enter Parliament.
Funnily, these same politicians who detest entertainers engaging in politics would rather embrace teachers, beauticians and business men into politics.
To them, a teacher can leave the classroom, a beautician can easily walk away from her beauty parlour and walk into Parliament as a Member of Parliament, but it is an abomination for the actor, musician and producer to also get a seat in Parliament.
It makes no sense!
Lack of Respect
The point is; in this part of the world, some of these politicians have no appreciation and regard for entertainers. As far as they are concerned, entertainers are just born and programmed to just offer just entertainment.
These politicians do not even recognize the positioning of the creative industry in the country’s economy. They do not regard the clout and influence these entertainers command. In essence, they do not respect these entertainers!
Alarmingly, this disregard and disrespect for the creative industry and its players have persisted for quite a longtime – especially from politicians.
Entertainers Are Citizens
Entertainers and celebrities are indigenes of the land, they are citizens and most are of voting age and exercise their franchise every electioneering year.
These entertainers have businesses that employ people; they pay taxes, pay salaries and pay bills. They have every right to speak to issues that hinge on the development of the country or otherwise.
Just like anybody else, entertainers have a voice, arguably bigger and far-reaching than that of politicians and most importantly, they also have the right to tinker with politics – have the right to engage in politics, to contest for political positions and everything else.
Show some respect!