Read part 1 here
And so I ask: what is it in these celebrities that their managers guard so jealously and why do managers block people from getting access to their artists even if it was a matter of life and death.
I know this is a common practice all over the world. I know it is part of that razz that comes with being a celebrity. I know that there is understandable need to create a myth around that celebrity in order to give him or her that aura of a serious showman or woman who has little or no time to spare for frivolities. I know that if everyone begins to meet a celebrity all the time without restrictions, that celebrity is bound to lose his or her respect and dignity in the eyes of people and I also know that many people have misused their opportunities when they were given and that the celebrity’s manager is trying to rescue him or her from such boring or harrowing experience, as the case may be. I know all these and I think they’re flimsy and nonsensical, I mean, you’re singing or acting and we are your buyers, your audience and your sustainers, one must be readily accessible to his or her consumers, especially for some serious reason as the one for which I wanted to meet 2face. Without these fans the managers and bouncers are scaring away, the artists would be walking dead.
I understand that some fans are erratic, some may be violent and excessively dramatic, but that is all there is to it; that is the extent of love being demonstrated as the fan deems fit and anyone who wants to go into the entertainment industry must prepare for moments like these and take them in good faith, for what is the beauty of being a celebrity if there’s no admirer to celebrate you? So if the busy-body managers begin to hound people away from seeing their artist, they are simply destroying the art of that artist because conversations between fans and artists helps them to know, firsthand, their reception level among the competitive audience and how best to keep up with music or movie productions. On the other hand, if they think that the number of people trying to have an audience with their artists for flimsy things is much, they should open a discreet channel through which people with serious businesses can pass through, after a thorough scrutiny to ascertain the veracity of the business. But hell no, they would prefer to treat you like Efe treated me. They would prefer to belittle you, rubbish you and make you look stupid for wanting to have access to their god.
Most Nigerian celebrities’ managers are rude, arrogant, feeble minded and insecure. Most of them think they have scored the biggest points there is to score in life by being managers of reckonable people. They see it that they have done what others cannot do. To them, it is not a privilege, but an opportunity to pepper fans and admirers of that artist. They stay in that office and turn to iron walls that separates their artists from human reach. Sometimes, insecurity makes them block those with reasonable things to say to their artists; they fear that they might lose their jobs to that person or that the person might convince their artist to sign him or her without passing through the manager.
Many Nigerian managers are pretty petty handlers. They think that the only calls they should receive are calls about shows and other bookings that would yield money, that is why sometimes when an artist stops singing in Nigeria, he dies a natural death in the consciousness of the people because the only source through which we hear of him or her is no more.
Not many people know that the reason why Fela is still very much alive today is not just that he played conscious music, but by the very fact that his managers allowed writers and sundry image makers free access to Fela. Through these frequent meetings, most of them studied Fela, they heard him speak, they heard and learnt things he doesn’t say in his music, they saw the man behind the stage and breathed the same air with him in the same environment and as such became acquainted with the man’s lifestyle so much so that as there are many books on Fela, there are many accounts of his lifestyle and reasons for his ways that are different from what the other writer has written. This is because there are sides to every story and no two writers write the same thing in the same way. So Fela became a deity, not through music, but through image making, through documentaries and sustainable literatures now that have informed the teachings of Fela’s music and personality as a course in schools in the US and many other countries.
American celebrities and their handlers, as well as celebrities of other nations with progressive inclinations are accessible to their fans and consumers, and I’m sure that it is from such meetings and conversations that many of them get inspired to sing more, act more and even write a book about their lives and times as entertainers for future references. Some get the books written by writers on their behalf. The most recent now is Rick Ross’s Hurricane, which has amassed money, readership and healthy reviews so much so that even if he stops doing rap tomorrow, future generations can go to a library, pick his book, read and understand who he was without listening to all his songs.
But here, “if you ain’t talking money” don’t call the manager of a Nigerian celebrity. Swallow whatever rubbish you want to say, or do you want to teach them their work?
This article was written by Ifesinachi Nwadike