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Things I Observed From The #DumsorMustStop

Last Saturday, May 16, 2015, #DumsorMustStop, the most trending activity on social media platform, Twitter, as far as Ghana is concerned, was moved from the Internet to the streets of Accra in a form of a vigil.

It feels so good to be one of the few people who actually dared Yvonne Nelson and the rest of the people supporting the movement to take the campaign to the streets.

By this, it doesn’t mean that, yours truly is against the ruling government and aligning with the opposition. My friend, Dumsor is a canker that doesn’t know colours.

The attention the vigil got meant that, it was successful even before it was held. It had almost everyone including government officials, political parties, celebrities and even ordinary Ghanaians talking and sharing their opinions about the movement.

Ghana is a polarised country. Everything is about politics. If it’s not NPP, then it’s certainly NDC. People who belong to the two political parties see and think differently from each other.

For the sake of this piece, let’s use the power rationing currently in the country, also known as Dumsor as an example of how people in the two political parties think differently.

People who mostly align themselves with the opposition are blaming the president and his government for failing to bring to halt the power crisis that has been with the country for the past three to four years. The basis for the blame game is because; several workers are losing their jobs since companies cannot keep those workers in this face of bad power rationing.

Others who mostly associate themselves with the ruling government cannot take the blame. In fact, they have turned the table and said that, the power issues in the country did not just start. Some are even blaming the previous government for failing to arrest the situation before the current government came to power.

However, in all the face of the ‘it’s your face, not mine’ blame game, one thing is that, the power crisis is affecting everyone in the country. Where the person belongs or who he or she associates themselves with is such that, one cannot publicly voice out or otherwise pretend that everything was going on well. Even with that, he or she is also been affected.

Now we all know that the power crisis affects everyone irrespective of the political party that you align with and therefore a national issue, it’s therefore within the right of the celebrities to demonstrate and register their displeasure at the current situation.

I took an active part in the exercise and I must say that, even though the idea behind was great, it wasn’t well executed. It was like people rather preferred to walk on the streets of Accra to register their displeasure than sending a petition or something to the President through the power Minister. Regardless, I made this few observations during the whole exercise.Afia Schwarzenegger at the #DumsorMustStop Vigil GhanaGist

Confusion about who a celebrity is!

Among the things that I observed about the Dumsor Must Stop campaign is that, it resurrected the confusion about who a celebrity is in Ghana.

In Ghana, a celebrity is some who acts in movies and a musician or someone who appears on television. Very wrong! It goes beyond that description. According to Wikipedia, a celebrity is a person who is widely recognised in a given society and commands a degree of public and media attention.

The whole Dumsor Must Stop campaign was first started by actress cum producer Yvonne Nelson. She had support from rapper, Sarkodie and another actress cum producer, Lydia Forson. Soon other celebrities joined to make the campaign a celebrity movement.

Per the description given above, a politician, a comedian, an athlete, a radio presenter can all be classified as a celebrity if they are widely recognised in the Ghanaian media. So on what basis were the people attacking and labeling David Oscar as a none celebrity?

Surely, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John, the past General Secretary of the NPP is a celebrity or you do not think so?#DumsorMustStop Vigil GhanaGist (15)

Celebrities are intolerant about each other

Eventhough, it’s on record that in Ghana demonstrations do not always bring results, it is within the right of any organisation or individual to embark on any form of demo to get their messages across to the authorities.

It is also in the same right of people who want to stay away from the whole exercise. If Yvonne Nelson in just a tweet can start a whole movement to the extent of getting the support of some of her colleagues in the industry and to even get the attention of the first man of the land, why can’t people who share divergent views be tolerated?

The likes of Yvonne Nelson, DKB, Van Vicker, Confidence Haugen, Sarkodie, Lydia Forson, Efya, Nikki Samonas, Prince David Osei, Sidney, Eddie Watson, E.L, Ama K. Abebrese and others are obviously for the campaign.

Why can’t the views of others like John Dumelo, Abeiku Santana, David Oscar, Stonebwoy and the rest of the people who oppose the idea be tolerated?

Dumsor is really a national issue but must we insult others for not believing in what we believe in? They know we know that, the Dumsor is equally affecting them, so why insult them when we can actually leave them to suffer secretly?

Ghana Celebrity Protesters GhanaGistIce Bucket Challenge over Dumsor Must Stop?

Does the saying ‘Ghanaians like anything foreign’ or ‘everything Ghanaian is inferior and anything foreign is superior’ come to mind often? Yes? No?

When the disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease Ice Bucket Challenge phenomenal hit the web, many African celebrities took an active part in it.

The concept of the Ice Bucket Challenge as we saw in the many videos posted online, was a process where one pours a bucket of ice cold water on their head to promote the awareness of the disease and also seek funding to support the research of the disease as well as nominate others to participate in the campaign.

The nominated participants also do the same and nominate other people and it continues like that. A common stipulation is that nominated participants have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation.

In July 2014, when it started, many African celebrities, mostly Nigerian and Ghanaians participated without donating anything, which goes against the idea.

Fast forward to May 2015, some Ghanaian celebrities who took active part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge are demeaning the Dumsor Must Stop exercise, which affects them more than the Ice Bucket Challenge.

People are against the Dumsor Must Stop campaign, yet they fully participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and even defended themselves. How pathetic!

By Ebenezer Anangfio / Graphic Showbiz

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