Just a few days after popular actor, Agya Koo declared his support for then Presidential Candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, a recording of the actor swearing allegiance to the former President, John Mahama, went viral, bringing the actor into an uncomfortable spotlight.
A few days after another famed actor, John Dumelo, pronounced his support for Ex-President John Mahama, in the heat of the campaign season, photos of the actor in a compromising position with Nana Akufo-Addo, was released – all in a bid to question the allegiance and integrity of the actor.
And now, John Dumelo is generating all the headlines and taking over all forms of discussion over the story of his alleged possession of government vehicles.
That is the typical environment of politics in Ghana; which is inundated with mud slinging, accusations and counter-accusations and of course, the unlawful seizure of state properties and once you are caught up in such situations, you are definitely caught up!
Entertainers Can Do Politics
We are politics and politics represent us, so, it is important to disabuse the minds of people that entertainers cannot do politics.
It is imperative to note, that every constitution-abiding citizen can dabble in hardcore politics and that includes people in the arts.
There are a lot of entertainers both home and away who tried politics and survived; Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Sinatra, Captain Nkrabeah Effah Darteh, Fritz Baffour and many others.
There are also a lot of entertainers who have also endorsed political parties and political candidates openly.
There have also been some entertainers who attempted to venture into politics, which turned calamitous, but regardless, the point is this; that entertainers, just like other personalities with different professions, do have the wherewithal to do politics and do it well.
Know The Terrain
Most often than not, Ghanaian entertainers go into politics thinking it is as rosy as it is in the showbiz world. They are misled into thinking, there’s so much adoration, approbation and ‘kisses’ in the politics. Wrong thinking!
Whether you are just endorsing a political party or a candidate or you are vying for a political position, you are still in it.
Politics in Ghana is rough! When you declare your stance, many, no, multitudes from the opposing front will come at you with all arsenals.
When you venture into politics, your business is out there, your family is out in the open and every step you take is under scrutiny.
And oh, in Ghanaian politics, the abuse is legendary. You will suffer abuse in every space – on radio, social media and on political campaign platforms.
It is therefore vital, that any entertainer with the thought or aspiration of dealing in politics should know the terrain and what it entails. The sense of knowing prepares you!
Deal With The Repercussions
Every venture has it own consequences and that include politics. In a political environment, where state properties including vehicles are being seized from persons not supposed to have them, if you find yourself in such a quagmire, you need to deal with the consequences.
If you are not wary of what you say and when or where you say it, you might be recorded and such recording would be made public, and when your integrity becomes the topic for discussion, deal with the repercussion.
When you declare your stance in Ghanaian politics, you open yourself up to the opposing front to severe scrutiny and they will dig, dig and dig till they find dirt. When such a thing happens, as an entertainer, knowing what you ventured into and having psyched yourself very well, you deal with it!
In dealing with the consequence of politics, it should be done with tact and class, in a way that protects the brand.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, as Governor of California, dealt with all the repercussions that came with politics, including a case of infidelity and divorce. His ability to deal with such challenges with class got him back into the limelight as an entertainer, after he left politics.
Politics and Branding
For the entertainer, there was entertainment before politics. The brand was built before politics. The clout, influence and following for a John Dumelo or Agya Koo were engineered in show business before politics came along.
All the endorsement deals and business opportunities that were grossed by these entertainers were borne out of specialized branding in show business, so, it is crucial to check steps taken in politics, in order not to affect the gains made in entertainment.
The inevitable shenanigans that exist in Ghanaian politics have a huge potential of affecting the brand of the entertainer, and for some; the branding attained in politics directly affects the branding that was tirelessly worked for in show business. Ask Grace Omaboe, Lucky Mensah and some extent, Mr. Beautiful.
As an entertainer, it is essential for one to think deep, weigh the options, put your brand into perspective and make a decision that would protect your brand.
Mind you, before politics, there was entertainment and just like Schwarzenegger, the doors of show business would always be opened again if you order your steps tactfully in politics.
By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo