The cost of life in the fast lane
Posted Saturday, March 3 2012 at 13:02
“When you become famous, you must change certain things – like how you talk or dress. I cannot make some comments since people might think those are direct comments from my employer. How I dress also reflects how the company I work for takes care of its employees.”
But he says where he lives or what he drives have never bothered him.
“Before I bought a car, I used matatus like everybody else. My parents live in Kitale and I have never driven there. I always take a bus like everybody else. It’s cheaper that way,” he said.
Many young celebrities live from hand to mouth, but there are some, like Jaguar, who have invested their earnings in business.
Jaguar says that when he released his first song, he thought he would make lots of money, but it didn’t happen.
“I had to do more songs before even getting performances. That’s when I decided to invest in different businesses,” said the artiste who owns a garage, a fleet of taxis and a security firm.
Sociology lecturer at Pwani University Dr Halimu Shauri advises celebrities to structure their success path in a way that they can handle the pressure that comes with the status.
“That’s where our celebrities go wrong. They lack the education on how to handle the pressure of being a celebrity, and it’s not just about going to class to study but also life education,” Dr Shauri said. Since success itself is not structured, it’s the individual that needs to manage it, he said.
He said many celebrities buy things that don’t matter, forgetting the basic needs. He says society does not pressure anyone to act in a certain way.
“What celebrities have created is what I call false consciousness – a situation where they must do certain things to be regarded as celebs, like buying expensive cars, living in big houses, buying the most expensive clothes,” Dr Shauri said.
“A celebrity is a role model who has an impact on those who look up to him. The moment you create a barrier between you and your fans, you start losing them,” he said, adding that celebrities should use public transport like their fans and eat in the same restaurants.
“Soccer star McDonald Mariga’s fans would feel more connected to him when they get close to him by even shaking his hand or use the same means of transport.
“This is different from him driving fast past them in a Hummer with the tinted windows rolled up. Let that fan see and feel that you are a human being like them and they will be inspired,” Dr Shauri added.
He gave the examples of Mother Teresa and Martin Luther Jnr, who mingled with and inspired many people despite their celebrity status.
As police continue investigating the death of Careen Chepchumba and allegations that it could have been related to debts incurred to finance a lavish lifestyle, many are wondering if such living is worth dying for.