Ace movie maker and critic, Charles Novia in this article titled ‘Flaunting it, faking it’, called out Nigerian celebrities for their fake flashy lifestyle constantly flaunted on social media.
Read his concise piece below:
Among the present crop of Nigerian musicians, I would vote for 2face Idibia as the most humble of the lot. His humility is well-known by a lot of people as one of his greatest assets added to a very warm and friendly disposition. Apart from his humility, one appreciable virtue he has is his sense of modesty even when he is easily one of the richest musicians in Nigeria. You don’t really see Tuface going on instagram or other social networks to flaunt a new watch or new car or some material possession. Not because he cannot afford them but because he has sense of proprietary
I had an informal conversation with him in Atlanta, USA in October 2013 one evening when we were both hanging out with a bosom friend and brother, Chris Ikpefua of Vogue Entertainment, USA and Tuface told me something profound. I have known Tuface since 1997 when was a member of the then duo-group, Plantation Boiz with Blackface and I was a contract staff with the network service of the Nigerian Television Authority. I was a Presenter of a youth programme on NTA Network then, ‘Youth Dimensions’ and I featured Tuface and Blackface for the first time to a national audience, over 30 million strong. Tuface wistfully took my mind back to that episode and kept regaling everyone with tales of how ‘this man helped his career way back’. He was also effusive in his praise about how I brought back and rehabilated Majek Fashek in 2005 back to the music scene, after Majek’s years in a self-imposed wilderness. Personally, I was pleased at Tuface’s verbal obeisance to me. In an industry of short memories, he knows where he has come from and remains who he is even after getting to his destination.
Tuface then told me something profound and touching. ‘You know what? Sometimes I look back and remember how I started, who I started with, the other musical groups we had when we started and the solo artistes then. I look around now and for some reason God has made me still relevant till now for close to twenty years in the music industry. It humbles and chills me. I feel sad that most of my peers are not where I am too. Artistes who struggled with us to build the music industry to this level with their talent when there was no structure. I feel very sad for them, Bros. I am also aware that many of the young and even the established artistes look up to me as a role model of sorts. ‘If I screw up, they too might screw up. So, Bros, I went into properties. Immediately I started buying houses, the others looking up to me slowed down and began to invest in properties too. It made me happy because they would have something to fall back to later in life. Bros, I get properties but nor be wetin dem dey shout about.’
I was impressed by his sense of acumen and again modesty in wealth. But Tuface is an exception and a cursory calculation of his income from worldwide concerts and endorsements in the past decade would show that he has made money impressively to explain his commendable investments.
I wish I could say the same for the crop of Nigerian artistes who love flaunting their material possessions for all to see. More often than not, those things being flaunted are part of a hype culture. There is a need to ‘belong’ and most of those acts, wracked by a poverty mentality, believe a $300,000 designer wristwatch or an expensive car or SUV are the yardstick to measure their wealth. No, they are not. Maturity and moderation matters. A rich person does not need to tell the world he or she is loaded. The world perceives it.
Our musicians and actresses deluding themselves on social media with this flaunting fad are not being true to themselves. The entertainment industry is a coterie community and the statistics of income are not hidden. When you try to hoodwink the public that you bought a house or a diamond watch just from the singing and prancing on stage in an industry where CD sales are dropping, or that you bought some house in Ikoyi just by being an unmarried actress when we all know how much an actor is paid for a role, is stretching the story a bit too far. Granted, these artistes might have other legitimate sources of income but such sources are negligible in turnover.
One day, very soon, those wealthy shady barons and pimps using the artistes in the industry as cannon fodder might just move to another area of interest. And don’t get me wrong, how people make their money is entirely their own business. What I am pissed about is the deception; the whole stinking deception. These artistes hoodwinking the public that they made their money through their art when there is more to it. Others who are not in the entertainment sector make money through these same avenues these artistes use but they don’t come out shouting about it as such.
In essence, what I am saying here is; Guys, make una cool down. Make your money as codedly as una don dey make am. Make your work dey speak for you for one side and your money dey quietly answer you for the other side.
The fake life and lies don dey too much for many of una. Shikena!
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