ACCORDING to Wikipedia, celebrities are found across a spectrum of activities and communities including acting, politics, fashion, sports and music. The “culture” is created when it is common knowledge within a society that people are interested in celebrities and are willing to alter their own lives to take part in celebrities’ lives.
Now in Namibia although such a culture exists it is practiced quite differently. For example Dillish Mathews is famous and is celebrated so much on social media, sometimes even dominating social conversations, especially now that she is reportedly dating Togolese footballer Emmanuel Adebayor. But she is not hounded by paparazzi or followed by stalkers all the days of her life.
She is someone who can easily be spotted at any fancy restaurant or even at a local supermarket without people around her going crazy.
Now in other parts of the world, even in neighboring South Africa, it is the total opposite. Someone with her celebrity status would not go anywhere without a bodyguard or an entourage of at least seven to 10 people. This just shows that Namibians are not that vested in their celebrities as much, the youth for one are obsessed with social media and celebrate international acts more than their own.
This begs the question, do our celebrities have any real influence among the youth? And if they do, is it positive or negative and does celebrity culture really matter?
Commentary surrounding such questions are centered on how celebrity culture may impact the health and wellbeing of the youth. By this I mean, Instagram models or ‘Slay Queens’ who have thousands of followers for example portray a certain lifestyle that most young girls only dream of having.
Most of these young ladies probably come from poor backgrounds and do not have money to buy fancy wigs or the latest iPhone.
This then leads to some of them to transactional sex which is a superset of prostitution in that the exchange of gifts for sex includes a broader set of obligations that do not necessarily involve a predetermined payment or gift, but where there is a definite motivation to benefit materially from the sexual exchange.
That is just one example of how immorally social media celebrities can influence the youth. This clearly shows that the concept of being a celebrity is and has been redefined and thus by default this new age celebrity is now more accessible and can either be very destructive or sometimes very positive.
Most of us are no different from the list of famous celebrities we follow and one reason why we are so tightly associated with celebrities is because they are reflections of what we want to or wish to be and that can be very dangerous.
But the fancy lifestyles, perfect hair days, stylish clothing, late-night parties, dates with paparazzi, and the glitz and glamour of it all is probably not that big of a deal in Namibia. I’m just saying.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015