They put the ‘S’ in scandal most of the time, it’s no surprise they’re fit to brave the mucky waters of politics. Cheptoek Boyo puts the spotlight on local celebs who have made their political interests clear
As the country preps for the 2017 presidential election, there’s been endless talk of frontrunners for Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) and Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP). It’s no secret that this is the time most local celebrities will cash in on big bucks.
Entertainers play a huge impact on just about every facet of our culture, politics included, thanks to the fact that money and fame are powerful tools with which to bring attention to a particular candidate.
It’s always interesting to see where the political allegiance of our country’s most recognisable stars lie. Most political parties love to adopt celebrities and celebrities love to be adopted.
In 2013 we saw the likes of philanthropic artiste Charles Njagua aka Jaguar and Ringtone endorse Jubilee, becoming headliners at the unveiling ceremony among other ceremonies, each making a minimum of Sh300,000 per show.
This election year is not different. The One Centimetre hit maker’s four minutes performance at the grand launch for JAP earned him Sh1 million, which he later donated to Kisii village slum.
Willy Paul, DJ Mo, Rufftone, Mbuvi, Size 8, Mercy Masika, Anastacia Mukabwa and Bahati also bagged Sh300,000. Main Events Company CEO Big Ted was the official MC for the Jubilee Coalition in 2013, while blogger, playwright and social media bigwig, Dennis Itumbi was involved heavily in blogging about the party.
Apart from cashing big during the campaign season, the two were both given posts when the new party came to power. TV comedian John Kiarie decamped ODM for Jubilee. Kiarie popularly known as KJ contested the Dagoretti South parliamentary seat, but lost in ODM primaries in 2013.
However, during the JAP’s delegates conference at the Indoor Arena in Kasarani, KJ officially announced his move to Jubilee for the coming elections. Spinmasters were not left behind as top gospel DJ MO declared his stand endorsing Jubilee, higlighting how the party has helped build the youth.
Artistes speak up
In previous years, political endorsements were seen as platforms for secular artistes to make money. This year, that has changed as more gospel artistes accept the call. “I don’t understand why people are making a big fuss about me participating in a political function.
It is the same as doing road shows for different companies. That does not mean I am endorsing a particular political party. My job is to entertain and spread the ministry and who I vote for is my personal choice,” stated gospel artiste Size 8.
The Mama hit maker also added his voice to ongoing debate. “I am young and I don’t want to comment about that now. There will be a time for that,” said Bahati. Hailing from the Coast celebrated artiste Susumila is not impressed with the trend entertainment circles seem to be taking.
“I was contracted by Mombasa County to perform at the celebratory procession at Mama Ngina Drive to mark the Orange party’s 10 years of existence. That, however, does not mean by performing I was endorsing the party,” said Susumila. The stage is set, and all we can do now is wait as many celebrities state their stand.