This is the concluding part of the report publicists and celebrities can’t stop raving about. Isi Bewaji’s points are very enlightening and her step-by-step advice is easy to follow.
Bad Behaviour 3: Saying all the wrong things:
If your words (good or bad) frequently find their way to the front page of tabloids and blogs then you need to watch what you say. Even the truth, sometimes, doesn’t necessarily have to come from you (especially if it is a truth that hurts e.g: “Nigerians youths are sluggards.”) with that tone of superiority. Even if you truly believe so, it still is not a kind thing to say most especially when it’s coming from someone with some level of recognition in society. Employ tact, skill and savoir faire to your utterances—(e.g: “The Nigerian situation makes it difficult to groom young talents)—you are saying the same thing but in a nicer way. If we listen to your music, watch your movies, and laugh at your jokes, we most probably would be interested in the other activities you do, and that is why celebrities are usually instant role models whether they are worthy of the title or not, so discretion should always be applied.
Fix it: you do not always have to express your opinion publicly; as a matter of fact you do not always have to have an opinion. If you observe, the less “opinionated” celebrities in Nigeria are the most loved and respected. Your opinions on various issues will give you some form of recognition no doubt, but the trouble that it will birth in the nearest future will be nothing compared to the little praise that comes with it. So learn to be quiet and speak when very necessary. Though controversy sometimes is a good thing – you can pop in and out of it once in a while (but very sparingly)—keep it warm and heated just the way the fans like, but don’t become a regular judgemental person or one who just loves to give tips on everything. It’s just one of those things we don’t appreciate around here. You know what they say about silence being very wise…twitter has made a mockery of all of that now, unfortunately.
Bad Behaviour 4: Public nuisance:
Fighting in the club, punching a subordinate, screaming for “your right” at the gas station, badly dressed on the red carpet, groupie sex tapes…all have a place here. Do not be reckless with your reputation. Guard it. As a celebrity, you are not giving the luxury of emotions. You always have to strive to be the bigger person in any situation. It’s tough but that’s a small price to pay for stardom. You can’t jump queues, you can’t be impatient with a cashier, you can’t be screaming at a driver on the other lane. You just can’t.
Fix it: Anger Management institutions are desperately needed in Nigeria. And it’s understandable; the system kills—no power, bad roads, crazy bus drivers, mad okada riders, suicidal truck drivers, high cost of living – it’s a miracle that we all still have the ability to smile! So it is plausible to lose your mind and throw decorum in the air in this society, but it still doesn’t make it right. Always think of the bigger picture in a moment of anger. A situation that probably lasted 10 minutes might take years to redeem.
If you are continuously aware of this, you’ll understand why it is your responsibility (as a celebrity) to be the better, kinder, more mature, more forgiven, bigger individual in every situation. Public apology should be given whenever you ‘misbehave’ in public. Use a respected medium to air your position and tender an apology – and move on! It is not your business what people will make of it afterwards. Do what you have to and shut your ears to the tirade that would follow – because it will follow!
Bad Behaviour 5: disgracefully uncreative:
What is this nonsense you are singing/rapping? What is that shitty video about? What bad acting are you dishing out to us? What, in heaven’s name, are you wearing on the red carpet? What’s with all the recycled jokes you keep spitting every time you get on stage? Where’s your creativity?
Fix it: The Nigerian audience is a very complicated one. We appreciate excellence, but we can accommodate less-than excellent work, we can even accept mediocre work. Still we are hard to impress. See? It’s complicated to understand the market. There’s the fear that you may be so artistic and ingenious but your work and the idea behind it will be lost to the audience, and there’s also the fear that dumbing it down might rid you of any applause and acclaim. Still, you owe it to yourself to give your very best at all times.
For instance, Bez isn’t ever going to be the conventional mass-appeal artist but he is one of Nigeria’s best and is international material. So know who you are and where you fit in, and make it the best fit ever! Do not try to play in a field just because you think that’s where the fame and the money is. Do what you must; give your talent the best shot and never dumb your work down to suit the “Nigerian environment”, whatever that means!