Celebrity influence, also referred to as “political star power,” is the act of a popular person using their fame as a platform to influence others on political and societal issues.
Celebrities in this case refers to anyone who has been recognized for their major following or celebrated in their sphere. This includes professional athletes, actors/actresses, television personalities, or musicians.
What most people don’t realize is the power that celebrities hold, as their influence, social media presence, acting or musical projects have the power to change minds. It’s only normal for celebrity activists to use this impeccable power to advocate for the country’s growth and development.
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Celebrity and activism
Over the last couple of years, Nigeria has been going through a series of problems one after the other, from the insurgence of Boko Haram in 2009 to the EndSars protests in 2020. Throughout these turbulent times and events, Nigerian celebrities have not failed to lend their voice, either by pushing a change of action, educating the public or standing against the government.
Social media is one of the most common areas for celebrities to discuss specific issues or current events that are being politicized. They also have the privilege to speak out in public forums such as television talk shows, events, or during their own widely attended performances.
One thing about Nigerian celebrities is that they take advantage of wide-reaching mediums and exert influence in the society.
Celebrity activists who have lent their voices to societal matters
Asa’s “Fire on the mountain” perfectly captures the Nigerian situation. With a lot not working well in the country, it is as if everyone is okay with the mediocrity in the nation. Even the music video suggested that Nigeria was going through a difficult time.
Never mind that the song was written in 2007.
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Musician Femi Kuti is the son of Fela Kuti, who was the pioneer of using his music to challenge the government. Hence, it only makes sense that Femi inherited his father’s passion for both music and activism. His music speaks out against political corruption, poverty and the living conditions suffered by Nigerians.
For a very long time, Femi has been using music to inspire, change and motivate African people, especially with his album, Africa for Africa.
Believe it or not, Falz is the Fela of our generation. The son of the lawmaker Femi Falana, he is so politically conscious that not only does he use his fanbase to push for change, but also his music.
You may remember his hit controversial 2018 song “This Is Nigeria”. This song is a criticism of corrupt politicians, places of worship and the security forces. Falz was also helpful during the EndSars protest, as well as during the 2023 election.
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African giant “Burna boy” also uses his music to speak against the government. His hit song “Monsters You Made” off his “Twice As Tall” album are protests about Nigeria’s problems.
He speaks about the lack of facilities in the government and also embezzlement by the political class and police brutality.
Nigeria’s favorite! Davido’s songs aren’t the only reason why people love him; OBO also has a beautiful heart and always uses his influence to target change.
During the EndSars protest, he moved from online campaign to join the nationwide protest in Abuja. He was teargassed along with peaceful protesters.
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Popular Instagram sensation and digital creator, Mr Macaroni is one of the most active celebrity activists recently. He proved his mettle when he led many comedians and other celebrities to front the all-night #EndSARSProtest at the Lagos State Government House.
In a video, Mr Macaroni was seen demanding the presence of the Lagos State governor or his deputy to speak to him about the situation. So much that he was arrested along with the other protesters, but later released.
He is passionate about change and always wants to use his influence for good. He may seem very hilarious in his skits, but don’t joke with him when it comes to politics and change in the country.
SEE: Mr Macaroni Biography: Net worth, End SARS, Freaky Freaky, and Dauda
Douglas Agu also known as Runtown was one of the people who led the EndSars protest in Nigeria. He drew attention to some of the horrors the squad committed.
He was also at the forefront of the protest along with Falz.
This Nollywood queen not only used her voice during the toughest period in Nigeria history, but also went as far as writing a letter to the President of the nation concerning what was going on.
Big brother’s Tacha proved to everyone that she is not just on social media to post some of the happiest moments of her life. Tacha proved to the world that Nigeria matters to her.
During the election perioud, she not only encouraged people to vote but also to get their PVC.
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Dj Switch’s Instagram live video filming the Nigerian Army shooting at unarmed protesters during the Lekki Toll Gate massacre not only reached Nigerians, but also the world at large.
Big brother’s host for many years is very passionate about the country and its civilians. Ebuka tweeted about the need to get the voter’s cards for months. He went as far as to disperse information about the collection of PVS deadline.
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Nigeria’s top influencer, Enioluwa was a great assistance during the election period and always prompted for people to vote. Enioluwa may be part of the youngsters but we know of his influencer and his ability to reach many.
The list could go on and on and on, as there are other celebrity activists like Phyno, Peter okoye, Chioma Chuwkuka, WizKid, Jemima Osunade, Adesua Etomi and much more!
We love our celebrities who care about the state of the nation and do their best to educate people and mostly, challenge the government to do better.