NIGERIAN CELEBRITIES MUST TAKE CHARGE OF THEIR OWN HEALTH.
A while back it was Ngozi Nwosu and now it's OJB Jezreel, God knows (and God forbid) the next Nigerian celebrity that will be plagued with another health condition?
Nigeria, regardless of our ills as a nation is still a very compassionate society- we love to help and we love to be seen while helping. For as long as I can remember, it has never been unusual to find less privileged Nigerians using the media space to ask for help and raise funds for their respective health challenges with support from celebrities. Unfortunately, I’m beginning to get worried at the growing sight of Nigerian celebrities using the media space to solicit for funds to treat their own health conditions. Such scenarios depress me, not just because I lack the resources to help out but also a strong feeling that this should not be happening.
Over the last decade, the Nigerian entertainment industry has grown to become one of the most financially rewarding in Africa. Some of our entertainers are touted to be earning six digit figures-or so they say. Many of them use the social media to flaunt their latest expensive toys, drinks or gadgets; they post pictures and promote songs with lyrics suggesting that ‘money is everywhere.’
So, how come this buoyant industry is now producing well known celebrities that cannot cater for their own health needs? The truth is that a lot of our celebrities live reckless lives and do not have future health plans or health insurance. They are like the rest of an ignorant ‘high earning’ bunch that never see the need to save for a rainy day. The rest of us can be forgiven but for celebrities that are constantly in the public eye and require a good dose of health to keep entertaining fans, ignoring their own health is criminal.
This is probably a Nigerian problem; the poor truly don’t have the resources to subscribe to a comprehensive health plan but the middle to higher class have no excuse. Where do Nigerian celebrities fit in as it relates to our social stratum?
Nigeria has a variety of formidable Health Management Organisations (HMO), Health insurance outfits and the likes but for some reason their services has not taken root. Maybe these HMOs are not creating enough awareness; with the way our celebrities are succumbing to health issues, shouldn’t this be a huge marketing opportunity for health service providers? If a star like Tuface Idibia endorses any HMO, can you imagine the amount of fans and potential clients that HMO will attract? ***these people should be paying me***
Anyone can fall sick at any time and we pray for God's mercies but I’d rather have these “donate generously, passionate pleas and help xyz" campaigns restricted to less-privileged and ordinary poor Nigerians.
Our Nigerian celebrities (and the rest of us) must as a matter of urgency take their health very seriously, especially when they are on top of their game. When our entertainers earn their millions from concerts, endorsements, album sales etc, they must endeavour to divert part of their profit to a comprehensive Health insurance or ‘Health and wellness’ trust fund-they exist in Nigeria. Such that years down the line when probably they are no longer 'big stars’, any sudden health challenge will be nipped in the bud and ‘privately’ taken care of.
My good Ghanaian friend Juliet Ibrahim was recently criticized for an alleged demeaning comment she made regarding OJB Jezreel's health. I read her comment and all she was trying to say was that instead of focusing on raising a whopping $100k for OJB's kidney transplant, there are several other cost-effective options which his managers can explore-she proposed a few. Juliet Ibrahim runs a foundation that is focused on Kidney ailments, she should know better.
I wish OJB Jezreel and every other ailing Nigerian (celebrity or not) a smooth journey to full recovery.
Health is NOT wealth, Health is EVERYTHING!