Nigerian celebrities can do more a whole lot more than jingles and TV adverts when it is election season.
The night was kicked off with a rousing speech from multiple Oscar award winner Meryl Streep. "And tonight, more than 200 years after Debra Samoson fought, and nearly 100 years after women got the vote, you people have made history. And you're gonna make history again in November. Because Hillary Clinton will be our first woman president" said the elegant actress.
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Other celebrities like Lena Dunham, Bryan Cranston, Alicia Keys, Kerry Washington, Mark Ruffalo, Neil Patrick Harris, Shonda Rhimes and Macklemore were at the convention.
Even at the Republican National Convention a lot of celebrities got on stage to show their support for the party's presidential candidate Donald Trump. In American politics, a lot of celebrities leave their mansions in Hollywood and help campaign for their preferred candidate.
It is common tradition for celebrities to give speeches on why they are endorsing a certain candidate over there. They bring out salient points why they are supporting a politician who is running for office. For them it is not a stunt, it is the real deal and they do it based on their beliefs and convictions.
On the Nigerian side of things, political endorsements are basically business transactions. There are no fancy speeches here or convention appearances. Celebrities in Nigeria just stand in front of the camera and read whatever is handed to them. After the commercial, they collect their cheques and bounce. There is no conviction as to why they are supporting a candidate. All that matters is money.
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During the last general elections in Nigeria there were a lot of celebrities who appeared in adverts supporting candidates but there weren't any speeches from these celebs on why they are endorsing these politicians. From the outside it looks like our Nigerian celebrities were just in it for the business. At rallies they would just perform their dance tracks that have nothing to do with political beliefs or convinctions. They didn't even talk about the policies of the candidates.
Political endorsement goes beyond singing a jingle or smiling in a TV commercial and saying you are voting for this political party or that political party. Celebs should show us a strong conviction on why on election day they would be voting for their man.
I don't think dancing about on TV will convince anyone to vote for a politician. Political celebrity endorsements here are only skin deep and a way for celebrities to cash out during the election period. It doesn't motivate or convince anyone to go out and vote.
Hopefully during the next elections some of our celebrities over here will feel motivated to endorse politicians based on their convictions and not just the money they would receive.