Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Nigerian Celebrities & The Media On The Red Carpet By Yinka Ayinla

I lie on my couch watching the Red Carpet moment of the Screen Guild Awards (SAG) on E. The paparazzi that filled the atmosphere was out of this world. So many celebrities from different walks of life in attendance and moving round the carpet to talk to different media houses granting them interviews, showing their outfits and giving the cameras those drop-dead-smiles for their fans back home. While watching on, something struck my mind and I went into a trance-like mode replacing all the Hollywood celebs on screen with our own Nigerian celebrities on the Red Carpet and behold I was awakened with the shock of a lightening. In reality and in dreams, the difference is super clear like 7UP.

What am I saying, you’re wondering right? I’ve attended shows and in fact I’ve been in the biggest events in the country and I always gaze in awe about things I see on the Red Carpet from our celebrities. Only in this country will you see celebrities take their time to dress up for hours on end in their hotel room with all the special effects they can apply on their faces and bodies just to look glam on the carpet for the cameras but eventually coming out to move into the hall, then they start avoiding the cameras or their bouncers or PAs or whoever is with them shoving off media personalities who are trying to get them interviewed and perhaps give them the cool connectivity with their fans. Truth is a manager in his right frame of mind will never barricade his client from the media because a real manager knows the worth of the media. Well, gone are those days where managers are always behind the scene and put their clients in the fore. What we see now is a manager fighting positions with his/her client trying to hit the spotlight too.

It is even worse these days that some celebrities (lemme keep their names off) go in via the back door just to avoid the cameras and media guys, why? I don’t know. Then why did you spend so much time to bake your face and spend thousands on styling only to go in to the event via the back door. As a friend of mine said, “they do all that just to post those beautiful pictures on Instagram and Snapchat and also to show off to their fellow friends wey dey beef them for the industry, lol”.

Funny thing, when these celebs were still struggling to hit limelight, we all know how most of them crawl to different media houses seeking interview and feigning friendship with them all in the name of them promoting whatever they bring but as them big finish media guys aren’t relevant no more. Meet some celebs on the carpet and the next thing they’d tell you or the PA will say “sorry we can’t talk to you”, lol.

Going back to the SAG award, I found out many important A List celebs were actually waiting in line to talk to the media. Moving from one media to the other with no discrimination,showing off the gorgeous and beautiful dresses and answering questions, even the most outrageous questions. But here, it’s a different story.

Let’s use this medium to school our presenters and their producers a little. Red Carpet appearance is way more than you just coming to show off as well and asking the usual stereotyped questions of “What are you wearing, how long did it take you to look good and bla bla bla, abeg make una chill for my side abeg”. As a media personality/broadcaster, it is your duty to do proper research about the event that is why many events have a press release before their events. Also, take your time to study and research about our celebrities to know about them and what to ask them on the carpet. Truth be told, many celebs grant you interviews to talk about their projects and what they have for their fans and they feel disappointed with the level of mediocrity of some presenters on the carpet. What’s the essence of looking all glammed up as a presenter/broadcaster with airhead and having no ideas of the rhythm and flow of questions to ask?

On a final note, our celebs should take the pains of spending time on the carpet to talk to the media before going in for the event and that is why it is called a Red Carpet (a special place carved out for celebs to meet and greet with the media and fans) NO CELEB IS BIGGER THAN THE MEDIA and also the media guys should also do proper research before holding the mic and take a position on the carpet. ADI-OS.

Yinka Ayinla is a media personality. Entertainment writer. A brand/celeb PR expert. The convener of Basketball Meets Music."

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