I have always argued that celebrity endorsement of a political party is nothing but just noise making. I do not see how fans of a musician or an actress benefit when their favourite celebrity endorses a political party.
Many people will argue that, the electorate are so obsessed with certain celebrities to the extent of doing anything they see them involved in. So when the celebrity endorses a political party, his /her fans would do same.
But I will shoot this down and label it as a fat lie. Knowing the strange ways Ghanaians vote makes me feel that, the above is baseless. If it’s happening in the US and other parts of Europe, it is certainly not in Africa and not in Ghana.
I was born in an era where celebrity endorsing a candidature of a political party was not as rampant and with a fanfare like we have it now.
Now celebrities just do not open their mouths to declare their unflinching support to a political party and its candidate, they actually organise press conferences when a great chunk of them do not even assembly the media to announce their individual projects.
Ghanaians don’t vote on issues
It is no news that political parties started outdooring their manifestos less than three months to the general elections scheduled for December 7.
It is not surprising because the typical Ghanaian doesn’t vote based on whatever information is in a political party’s manifesto. Neither do they vote on issues. Instead, they vote on trivial things.
Most often, they vote on political lines. They vote on tribal lines. They vote on family voting pattern. That is, if my parents are for a particular party, automatically I must also follow that. As to whether it’s a good choice for me or not is inconsequential.
I was particularly surprised during the last elections, when someone told me his reasons for voting for a candidate and it was because they bear the same surname. Strange, isn’t it?
And recently Ghanaians have started voting on the physical looks of presidential candidates. And some are even induced with money and material things to vote in a certain manner.
On September 13, 2016, the Electoral Commission of Ghana opened nominations for registered political parties and independent candidates to pick their nominations forms to contest in the December 7 polls.
By the close of September 29 and 30, Ghanaians will know which of the political parties will contest in the elections.
Interestingly, the political landscape has been inundated with endorsements here and there from various quarters. Leading with some appreciable number of endorsements are those in the creative arts industry. These are mostly movie and music personalities.
Not surprising enough! These endorsements are either for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) led by President John Dramani Mahama and the opposition New Patriotic Party(NPP) under the tutelage of Nana Akufo-Addo.
There are a number of political parties in Ghana but currently the love for the two main political parties is staggering. Indirectly, we are gradually shifting to a two-party state as the endorsements from the celebrities are concerned.
As the governing party with perhaps better resources at their disposal, the party can boast of quite a number of celebrities endorsing its flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama.
The list of the celebrities endorsing the NDC includes actors Selassie Ibrahim, John Dumelo, Clement Bonney popularly known as Mr. Beautiful and Kwame Dzokoto who doubles as the NDC Parliamentary Candidate for the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Constituency. He served as the Deputy Propaganda Secretary of the Tarkwa Nsuem constituency of the party in 2014.
The rest are radio personality, Abeiku Santana, Big English man Henry Harding popularly known as Pattington Papa Nii Papafio or Oesophagus, Michael Kwaku Ola, a movie producer, Highlife musicians Joel Ackah and Rex Omar.
Singer Mzbel, Kumawood actor Tracey Boakye and Gloria Kani, Sylvester Agyapong, Asare Bediako and actress Kalsoume Sinare have all declared their support for the NDC.
Just like the NDC, the biggest opposition party, NPP also has quite a number of endorsements from celebrities. They include Highlife powerhouse Daddy Lumba who has previously composed a political song for the party.
Also rooting for NPP bill are Highlife musician, Kwabena Kwabena, Wisa, Barima Sidney has always supported the NPP since 2008. and Kwame A-Plus who can described as a nemesis of the NDC.
The rest include movie maker, Socrate Safo, singer Nana Quame, Great Ampong, Nana Ampadu and recently Kwaw Kese, Agya Koo, Matilda Asante. Gospel singer Diana Asamoah is also one of them.
Will you vote because the people above said so?
All the people rooting for the NDC are preaching the ‘Transforming Ghana’ slogan whiles those supporting the NPP are being guided by the ‘Arise For Change’ slogan.
Each of them is preaching and campaigning on the messages of the two parties asking their fans to vote for their respective parties. Now name by name, we all know which of the celebrities above can pull the crowd. But does pulling the crowd translate into votes?
Will you vote for a particular political party because your favourite celebrity says so? What happens if you like Agya Koo and NDC or you like Mr Beautiful and a great fan of the NPP? How then do you voted? Do you then forget the love for your party and vote for the party of your favourite celebrity?
Well if Ghanaians really vote on issues, will all these questions have come into play? Think about it!