It is incumbent for celebrities to speak on behalf of netizens when things do not turn out right in the country since they are mostly admired, idolized, and worshipped by people and they are also considered important, powerful, or famous because they possess a great level of influence.
They help serve as gatekeepers in raising awareness about important issues and speak out against the ideals of happenings in the country.
The Occupy Jubilee House protest represents the latest in a series of demonstrations against the government in recent months. The event is important in the context of recent uprisings in West Africa and for everyone in those cases, the tipping point was a result of consistent government attempts to play dumb to the cries of its people.
In order for peace and stability to be maintained for the next generation of Ghana, the government needs to ensure that the needs of citizens are met to improve the cost of living which will reduce hardships and grievances about the current state of the economy, and an end to corruption among others.
Also, the government is urged to take safety measures to put the needs of citizens first, so that youths in the country can be employed after graduating from school in order to make ends meet to cater for themselves and their immediate family members.
The Julorbi protest was penned down by a civil rights group called Democracy Hub and they protested the high cost of living, rampant abuse of power, state capture, throttling of press freedom, and callous governance.
The organizers believe that their choice of date was significant because it commemorates “the spirit of resilience and resistance that characterized the struggle against oppression and dispossession” since it coincided with Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s Memorial Day.
Julorbi protest was a three-day exercise that happened with Ghanaian youths and some celebrities voicing out what they think the government should do for its citizens. Celebrities who joined the exercise were Efya Odo, Kelvynboy, Pappy Kojo, M.anifest, Strongman, E.L., and Ghanaian sensational dancehall artist Stonebwoy who was spotted leading a candlelight vigil at the protest which went on into the night during the third day of protest.
Some popular celebrities who were expected to have been there were nowhere to be found, hence others did not add their voice to the protest at all.
Trolls from fans to celebrities
Twitter users lambasted their favorite celebrities who failed to add their voices to the Occupy Julorbi House protest.
While some popular figures extended their voices to the issues on the ground, some notable ones stayed silent on the matter, hence causing their fans to express their displeasure.
Fans called out some celebrities and backlashed them for being cowards and incompetent, adding that they can’t be seen as role models to the youth since they are unable to show up at an event that was meant to speak on the grievances of citizens.
Some fans also disclosed that these same celebrities would be the ones expecting citizens to patronize tickets to attend their shows but were unable to join them in achieving the aim of putting an end to the hardships in the country, hence, asking them [Celebrities] how they would buy those tickets if things are not going well in the country.
“Watch the Ghanaian celebrities during this period. They would rather do tap-in for other countries during their protests. They will voice out for #endsars protests but will shut up on Ghanaian’s peaceful #Occupy Julorbi protest”, @abena_mooley.
“You’re a problem if after all this you pay for tickets in December for these artists who were yapping their mouths here during the End Sars protest and yet their own country is going through practically the same and they’ve all turned a blind??!!! #Occupy Julorbi House”, @the_6ft_badass.
“We’re imploring you as a celeb/artist to exert your influence but you’re making generic tweets, ‘What the Ghana police is doing is not good #Occupy Julorbi House”, @welbie_.
“The musicians are acting like they haven’t seen #Occupy Julorbi House, Edo a, come and tell us to buy tickets for your shows this December. The way the country make ibi entertainment industry sef for lead cos if citizens are cutting down expenses, entertainment will go first”, @KayPoissonOne.