Nigerian Celebs Endorse Jonathan Goodluck: Real Conviction, Integrity, Honesty or Just Role Playing?

In International Law: Africa, Asia by FASHIONENTLAW™

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Nigerian politics remains well and alive and boy is it murky and crazy! Can you believe the national election was postponed? The national elections will now be held as late as April 9th, 2011 with later dates anticipated. Anyway, two issues have been raised during the country’s ongoing election campaign(s). One is a legal issue of the rights of publicity where a celebrity never permitted a use of his image or likeness but that happened. Exhibit 1 is Eldee the Don, an artist who was the recipient of this political/commercial appropriation without his consent. Exhibit 2 is Wole Soyinka a Nobel Prize Writer, Poet and Playright. His name was allegedly used to send texts to Nigerians stating he endorsed political candidates he never endorsed. I won’t get into the above legal issue today. I am more concerned with the issue of celebrity endorsements of political candidates; a non-legal issue raised on a popular Nigerian fashion & lifestyle blog called Bella Naija. The site owner raised some points worth revisiting for me here.

Let’s be clear. First, as I indicated in defending Nigerian popular star D’Banj when he interviewed President Goodluck Jonathan, celebrities have a right to endorse whatever political candidates they deem fit; and interview them if they feel it appropriate. Obviously saying this does not mean they escape the public backlash should the public resist the endorsement. Certainly D’Banj can attest to the insults, threats and boycott among other things that have been hurled against him since his interview of President Goodluck.

What I address are my points and some of the points also raised by the BellaNaija article. How do we guage the authenticity of the celebrities who endorse political candidates? Do their endorsements immediately show a lack of integrity and honesty? Where is the conviction? What is the logical and rational basis for soliciting the votes of their fans for their preferred political candidate(s)? Have these celebs, beyond a short video campaign or nice soundtrack, articulated their positions in their campaigns? Do they understand the issues? Do they have a clear idea how their political candidates plan to execute on their vision(s) for their country so that young Nigerian boys and girls will truly have a chance at the “Nigerian dream,” whatever that may be. Where exactly have they articulated these understandings? On their fan page? Press releases? Campaign trail for their chosen candidates?

Have they been clear and transparent on the consideration i.e. money or other fringe benefits they may or may not have received in exchange for their endorsements? Do they feel a responsibility to both their fans and the public given their clout to provide their rationale for endorsing a candidate? If no, why not?

Bella Naija raises some of these issues and I think the article and comments are worth taking a look at.

Before you do, I must say nothing irritated me as much as the line by Desmond Elliot in the campaign below that said, “we are not as divided as our politics suggest.” Really?

Bella Naija echoed my sentiments with the following statement, “We encourage our celebrities to use the power of their position to help drive our country forward. However, without positive values such as integrity and transparency, the power and relevance of these campaigns is negated.” #Cosign

Full story on BellaNaija.com

Photocredit: Bella Naija

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WHAT IS Fashionentlaw™: It is a law blog discussing hot topics in pop culture that arise primarily out of the fashion industry and intersects/ collides with the law. WHAT I DO: My name is Uduak Oduok and I am a California licensed attorney who helps creatives and business owners sleep better at night by protecting their creativity and reputation, securing their rights, and helping them with the monetization of their intellectual assets. WHO I WORK WITH: I have counseled a range of clients from musicians, models, actors, actresses, and designers, to diverse business owners in numerous areas of the law including contracts, business law, fashion and entertainment law, copyright, trademark, and intellectual property law. I bring over two decades of first-hand knowledge and experiences that are as diverse as they are deep in the fashion and entertainment industries (modeling, retail, production, public relations, journalism, and publishing). I am an attorney who “gets it” when it comes to resolving legal issues for the fashion and entertainment industries. INTERESTED IN TALKING TO ME ABOUT LEGAL REPRESENTATION? To arrange a consultation to discuss your case, contact me today at 916-361-6506 or email me directly at (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). Full bio: Ms. Uduak Bio/ Twitter @uduaklaw

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