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    To hell with your stardom and your hood

    by Frank Gyimah, africanPromo.com
    posted Friday, 07 May 2010 11:59| 0 Comments

    Time and time again, we’ve had public figures persuade us into believing that their vicinities come second to none and that their fame amounts to making their hoods proud. Undeniably, it comes with saturated brag at times, making people who reside in the not so popular areas feel left out of the party.

    In Ghana, this theory or should I say norm, has definitely come to stay as everyone is quick to inquire where his favorite star resides or even hail.

    It seems the stars themselves have embraced this and are in fact dancing to the rhythm of this so called hood representation.

    The sharp increase in this swagger talk is certainly clinging to a deep sense of pride, puffery and protuberance.

    The mood that comes with this saga is at times so exasperating while those being represented always heave a sigh of relief to show satisfaction as their areas of abode are highlighted. It seems one might not be so sure of what I’m trying to throw light on.

    Indeed, you have to put on your thinking cap in order to comprehend with this mind boggling issue. The irony of the whole situation is that those not benefitting from this area/hometown hype are the ones found airing their dissatisfaction every now and then. The fresh feeling that comes with a star residing in your area is so rejuvenating. I might as well delve into this issue vividly.

    I’m so sure the non-represented “citizens” of entertainment and stardom in general have raised their green flags, probably saying “go on brother, we’ve got your back”. To tell you the truth, it’s almost like being deprived of your share of the stardom cake.

    The commencement of this neighborhood hype dates back to almost a decade or even more. If my archives won’t deceive me, I believe entertainers started this long chain of brag and publicity. I don’t quite get the whole scenario.

    Is it that stars are loved and cherished more if they endorse their neighborhood everywhere they go? Well, to begin with, let me unveil a little politics even though I’m sure none of you are interested. The politician poised in oratory, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo, proclaimed to the whole country that he is a Nima boy and some folks drew the line immediately saying he only wants to gain the support of the masses. The mention of Nima reminds me of the noise made sometime ago by hiplife group, VIP. It was so obvious they love their neighborhood and were even at times termed as “Nima boys” everywhere they went and this tag has since not dropped.

    The attention swaged all the way to Dansoman also known as DC. A refreshing crop of artistes also joined the train and decided to put DC on the entertainment map in Ghana. Among them are Samini, Kovoveli, Tictac, and the likes. One was so damn sure Dansoman would definitely come up anytime they appeared on any show.

    This mindset our stars are breeding has had its feel in different vicinities. One area which has always been associated with brag and big talk, Kumasi, A.K.A Oseikrom has had its reign before. At a point in time, we were forced to believe Oseikrom was the hub of music and movies. There came Nana Ama McBrown, Naana Hayford, and Agya Koo.

    The other crop includes the energetic, Lord Kenya, Reggie Rockstone, Akyeame, and recently joining the train, Bradez. Of cause, there are those of us who will shrug our shoulders and say to hell with whatever crap that has to do with anybody’s neighborhood. This not withstanding, we’re the same folks who are so much concerned about where our stars live. Well, let me not deviate from my actual piece.

    From our stop at Oseikrom, the sites and sounds of this exaggerated hype moved a little closer to Agona Swedru. The delightful hiplifer, Castro, made his mark known to all of us. This was somewhat exhibited in his Fante lyrics. I can certainly not mention Swedru and leave out Kwaw Kese, the king of the streets. His season was huge like a big bite of some pepperoni pizza and that’s if I’m making a lot of sense here. There came the addition to the Swedru hall of fame, Konfi, who are kind of holding things down. I know my next stop will be characterized by screams and cheers from its inhabitants whereas those “against” will receive this with sham.

    If you don’t mind, permit me to exhibit my shrewd nature. Anyone who’s not been captivated by the noise and awesome euphoria must be living in Jupiter, Mars or some other planet on their own. Well, let me introduce you to the hood whose stars say it as it is and make the chips fall where they may, it’s Tema or should I say TM.

    Yeah, right what’s so special about the squad anyway? You dare not argue with anyone from Tema, there and then, they’ll give you a quick rundown of the stars from Tema. The stars holding stuff tight in this hood include Chemphe, D Crime, Macho Rapper, R2bees, and Yaa Pono, Opanka, Caroline and Sarkodie etc. I must admit that it’s Sarkodie and R2bees whose hard work has made Tema a household name in entertainment.

    Yes indeed it’s Tema, Tema, Tema everywhere you go. I have no problem with that. My beef, however, is that there are those who are not making any effort but have their hands stuck in between their legs with no achievement to their credit and yet take pride in thudding their chest over someone else’s hard work. Oh my brethren, isn’t this something to laugh about? I’ll leave the detailed scrutiny for you to decide.

    Let’s critically dissect the whole saga of “my hood’s the best and what have you got?” There’re remarkable benefits from this “star-hood-flex”.

    This not withstanding, there’re also some red lights attached. Let’s not overlook the favors that come with a star residing in ones area. There’s some sort of respect that comes with residing in some of these areas. I’m not saying it’s out of proportion for a star to heighten his neighborhood but at times it’s overdone, resulting in unending rivalry.

    Just as it’s not a footballer’s fault that two rival clubs fight, it’s very similar here. You know what, instead of generating unnecessary rivalry, I think the best remedy to this is to turn deaf ears to some of these provocative brags and rather direct our actions towards productive activities.

    I know I’m playing the saint over here but the reality of the whole situation is that these brag talks cut as sharp as knives. To say this practice has affected reality shows will be an understatement. It’s a dominant practice in all reality shows which require public voting.

    You will realize there are some contestants who have an upper hand simply because their areas are deeply routing for them. This explains why not all talented contestants win all the time.

    I would say stars will continue to be trail blazers and holding them in high esteem could be the least we can do. For now, we just have to live with all the additional things that come with their stardom. Well, for the neighborhood brag and flex, I believe as human as we are, our mindset have been programmed in a way that we can succumb to some of these things.

    If it’s a difficult thing to do, then act as if you’ve not heard at all. I know talking about this issue doesn’t really make a difference. This topic will never fade as it will come up every now and then. So far as our craving for stars continues to grow, we’ll live with this forever. For now, let those who have stars in their areas share in the glory while those without stars keep hoping.

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