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Are You a Celebrity or a Pelebrity?

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Being a celebrity isn’t the haloed ground it used to be. Once limited to specific types of professions and specific kinds of people mostly in the core (in)disciplines of showbiz, the walls around it have all but fallen, allowing in all and sundry. No thanks to the internet, social media and to a large extent our changing (if not waning) standards. Now, the cache of who we can term celebrity has stretched greatly. Some might say to the point of slackness as there isn’t anything the word ‘celebrity’ can’t be affixed to. Celebrity engineers, celebrity lawyers, celebrity students, celebrity computer repairers, celebrity bloggers, celebrity stylists, celebrity cooks (or is it chefs now?), celebrity groupies and who knows just maybe celebrity houseboys and celebrity celebrities.

Right now, it isn’t a question of whether you are good at something; rather it is a question of whether you are a celebrity at it. Note: one doesn’t generally mean the other and you would think our pre-occupation would be with the former than the latter… alas celebrity allure can’t be understood.

In an era where a high premium has been placed on face value to the detriment of other substantive qualities, celebrity has an incredible way of opening doors. With all its allure, it however isn’t an all comers ball. For to whom celebrity is given, much is expected.

Call this a crash course in navigating the frivolous. On your way to celebrity, you have to be able to pose for that red carpet picture. You also have to know when NOT to pose for that picture (repeat performances of the same apparel, wardrobe malfunctions, bad hair days etc) or face impending wrath in the comments section. A certain discernment   in picking out what passes for content  on your social media profile has to be acquired.  Sure winners are the indicators of la vida dolce .

Do away with those random pics of you in two-day stale boxers and bathroom slippers worn for full ekaete effect. Replace with pictures of you lounging in a beach chair cradling that pina colada like your life depended on it, rocking clothes  that still have payments pending . Balance that out with wise words verging on cliche and info bordering on TMI ( Too Much Information), not  forgetting the well publicized tweet fight from time to time  and you might have a winner.

The art of the shameless plug has to be mastered as well, knowing how to artfully put the name of a famous so and so in a conversation without missing a beat. Remember you are only as famous as your last name-drop.

Same with the art of the lobby otherwise known as ‘fine baara’ which also has to be perfected for times when the VIP tickets and the complementary bottles of champagne need some coaxing to get. All of these form just a minuscule part of your fake-it-till-you-make-it arsenal: a necessity in these ‘packaging’ times we live in.
If the times call for faking it, then so be it. We all have faked it and come closer to the glory, no shame in that game. But when the glitches start appearing in your matrix and our veneers can’t seem to hide the struggle it takes to keep up the appearances then there is cause for concern. Like magic the beauty of celebrity is lost when the lengths gone to cultivate an image are glaring to even the most casual observer. And here is the grouse with the Pelebrity.

For clarity let us define Pelebrity. Where celebrity is the art of being well known for being well known, Pelebrity is the struggle of being well known for being well known. Pelebrities are the bottom feeders of the fame game. They could be likened to scarlet ladies but that would be doing whores a disservice: at least they get paid. Of no easily discernible talents or gifts, Pelebrities make up for that shortcoming in appearances- loads of appearances, their hustle and their inability to do anything without a tinge of strain. Their presence although not welcome is always felt as they bring a sad comic effect to all situations . No event is complete without them (or so they would like to think and before you can say venue they are there in all their tacky clothes, loud make up glory.

Their hustle, however misdirected is unparalleled and they get around. They also have an occupational flexibility that is awe-inspiring to say the least. One day they are stylists the next day they are photographers the day after that back up dancers. One road doesn’t lead to the market but splitting yourself down three paths will run your internal GPS crazy.

The peculiarity of our times has brought celebrity within our grasps. Examples are endless about people who have attained it with little less than nothing (feel free to list out those celebs you wonder why you know their names) . But as easy as it can be built it can also be broken down with over-exposure and an unbridled clamour for the spotlight. Some good ol’ common sense and level of control are called for. Celebrity among other things calls for a careful cultivation of a public image. How well it is done is what differentiates the celebs from the pelebs.

Photo Credit: kevinmichaelreed.com
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Audu Bey wants to be a celebrity so freaking bad but sadly doesn’t know the first thing about it.

35 Comments

  1. Berry Dakara

    August 27, 2013 at 10:44 am

    LOL! My cousin and I keep laughing at the ‘celeb’ tags found everywhere.

    Question: Is a celeb stylist a stylist who’s a celebrity, or a stylist to celebrities? :p

    • obitalk

      August 27, 2013 at 11:37 am

      a stylist to celebrities is the correct answer, thank me later. lolz

    • IHateTheTerm"ThankMeLater"

      August 27, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      what have you done or said to deserve a thank you?? msscheww!!
      next thing you will come back and say “google is your friend” after giving irrelevant information that may or may not be found on google…..
      #ParaMode

    • anonymous

      August 27, 2013 at 11:51 am

      stylist to celebs

  2. Non professional opinion

    August 27, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Yvonne Nwosu. Toyin Lawani

    • Jo!

      August 27, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      Toke makinwa, Toyin Lawani, ALex Ekubo, Uti…
      List is literally endless

  3. anonymous

    August 27, 2013 at 10:50 am

    This doesn’t make sense….

    • Sisieko

      August 27, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      Exactly! What’s the point of this post? Celeb or Peleb, its a free world! I don’t see how this affects any of us directly or otherwise.
      No! I am not Toke Makinwa neither am I what’s the other lady’s name again???? I forget.

  4. Bamzi

    August 27, 2013 at 10:50 am

    **Cough cough, Ms. Makinwa, Cough cough**

    • obitalk

      August 27, 2013 at 11:39 am

      unfortunately toke doesn’t fit this bill cos she does radio. and advertisement like she is a brand ambassador. i kno y’all love to hate her but i think the other names above fit the bill the more.

  5. D'Mamma

    August 27, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Oga writer biko chefs have never been cooks, so its not a question of now and then. #datsall

  6. bella

    August 27, 2013 at 11:08 am

    i swear dis makes no sense…….n please stop hatin on toke…..

    • Bamzi

      August 27, 2013 at 12:01 pm

      If the only reason we really know ur name is that u appear on damn near all colored carpet events in town, then u are a pelebrity. What’s so difficult to understand about that? Celebs are scarce cos theyre too busy working hard or they understand that overexposure diminishes brand appeal. If we see your face at every event or on d blogs multiple times a week then ur a peleb. I wonder why there aren’t more articles on this topic by now. And please retire the word “hatin”. Abi are you one of dem pelebs? Lmao.

  7. debutante

    August 27, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Susan Peters. Rukky Sanda. Toni Tones. Cossy. #demplenty!

    • IHateTheTerm"ThankMeLater"

      August 27, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      lmao….However Cossy aint no peleb!! Maybe she started of as a celeb and is now a peleb sha!! But her and the magnificent duo were a BIG **winkwink** deal since back in the day before blogs and red carpets. I remember my cousin would scream and call the rest of the family to come watch whenever the videos she made with Obesere (i think) came on the local t.v station….my dear, if that isn’t true celebrity ,what is?? hehehehe.
      But I do understand…she don turn into an even worse nuisance now! **cringe**

  8. Love

    August 27, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Mr writter, what is “ekaete effect”? why use that phrase? Why not or better still use a name fm ur tribe? So its only the ekaete’s that uses worn out bathroom slippers and stale boxers. It baffles me besides, your shallowness is incredible. Its nauseating!

    • ineedsomeintelligencehere!

      August 27, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      I’m guessing your name is ekaete hence the vexing…lol. pele no vex ekaete. happy now? Relax life is not that serious ok.

    • Biodun

      August 27, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      LOLLL

    • diamond

      August 28, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      it is. Its still tribal sentiments & No, my name is not Ekaette. It’s only God that knows when we would stop the rubbish.

  9. CarliforniaBawler

    August 27, 2013 at 11:54 am

    A good point the article made is that in recent times it’s not about being good at your craft, it’s all about being a celebrity at it. This is very true in Nollywood these days…. even the ‘true celebs’ like Genevieve are letting this trend get to them, I love her to death but she hasn’t had a lead role in a proper movie in a loooong time!! I’m sha hoping she has something cooking and she’s not getting content with magazine covers and blog headliners. ‘Cause any fine girl can get to be that kind of celeb these days, seeing as there’s a lot of them chicks I know by name just from following BN and have barely seen them act a lead role or even waka-pass in a movie…and trust me…I watch way to many Nigerian/Ghanian movies than anyone would dare admit to the public. First name that comes to mind….Juliet Ibrahim O.o. and when I did eventually see her in 1 singu film, it was just an horrid experience (and you have to be really terrible to outstandingly suck in a nollywood feature movie). And she now had mouth to talk down on OJB. Arrant nonsense o! I guess thats what you get with yellow skin, a marginally pretty face and massive ass.
    Anyways it’s the tv/radio presenters wey don become on-air personality that is the funniest! whatever rocks anyones boat and get them paid jere…..’cause as we know, all na packaging!!
    Lastly how do I define celebrity…would I or anyone else for that matter ‘celebrate’ on seeing you?? hehehe….or can you imagine someone screaming and asking for autographs after running into toyin lawani or yvonne nwosu at the airport!

    • Bamzi

      August 27, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      Angelina Jolie n Julia Roberts ain’t been in movies now for years yet they are still A-list celebs. You know ur eager to see Genny in a movie. That’s one way to know celebs – their absence is felt/noticed. It’s about quality not quantity so leave Genny out of this.

    • CarliforniaBawler

      August 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      Yoooo!!! I did say genevieve is a celebrity right?? typical comprehension issues!!!

  10. krimmyk

    August 27, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Rubbish write up, I couldn’t even pick out one sensible line. *celeb/peleb* nonsense. Very dull. Mtchewwwwwwwwwwwwww

  11. Ready

    August 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    The irony. Bella Naija just posted about Dr Sid & the Osomo girl’s life o, then y’all gonna do a post about pelebrities. It is freaking hilarious…even Stella Dimoko doesn’t pander to these “socialites” like BN does. I understand though…I may not want to, but some people like to know who bought a car, and who was working out, and who went on a shopping spree in England, and whose sugar daddy built her a closet, etc.
    The koko is BN is largely responsible for making these people “celebrities”. Y’all start posting severally about Wizkid’s gf, Teju Babyface’s wife, Dr Sid’s fiance, thus making their attachments into celebs. Also, you guys actually tag pictures with names of people that are only on their family and friends’ radars, because they may or may not have abstract job titles like “designer”,(but you aint never seen a full collection from them), “fashion agent”, “fashion consultant”, “entrepreneur”. Then y’all gon’ approve a post talking about celebrities and pelebrities. LOL! E joo, I dey office, I no fit laugh.

    • Bee

      August 27, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      GBAMMEST! BN you are responsible

    • mee

      August 27, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      Ur answer was very well thought of and very correct!..!BN u are soo responsible for this ‘pelebrity’ status on ‘non celebrities’

    • Non professional opinion

      August 27, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      I have to agree. The whole dr Sid thing felt forced and calculated and lo and behold his girlfriend is now a pelebrity. Also, I don’t know how much that South African escort Babalwa is paying you guys, but I’m prepared to double it if it means never having to see her faux-lesbian display on this site again. I also blame you for the Yvonne Nwosu/lawani situation.

    • Que

      August 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      My exact thots once I started reading….I actually hastened my reading of the article cos I could see d end frm the beginning, but then I slowed down and read thru hoping it would disappoint me by actually making some sense…Alas it didn’t!!…BN has MUCH guts publishing this article here when they are KEY perpetrators of the syndromes described….BN’s catch phrase these days shld be ‘All C/Peleb everything!!!’……. Pls if u’re going to promote a certain culture, just don’t come and philosophize about it publicly hoping we’ll give it a tot! #THAT’SALL!

    • xavier

      August 27, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      How didn’t it make some sense? You could see the end from the beginning but you didn’t write it? lool

    • Que

      August 27, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      @ Xavier- Na me send u no get prophetic insight?? leave me o..

  12. sh

    August 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Noble igwe, Ebuka Obi uchendu, uti Nwachukwu, Alex Ekubo, Toke Makinwa,

  13. towloo

    August 27, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    How does ds pic relate 2 ur mumbo jumbo?

  14. kokoqueen

    August 27, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Toyin Lawani, yvonne nwosu, Toolz, Noble Igwe, Toke, uti and alex, karen, cossy, rukky sanda, susan peters, juilet ibrahim, eku edewor, segun demerun, Ebuka, Ik ogbonna, beverly Naya, Uru eke, ey….d list is endless….shebi una know wetin una be now-PELEBRITY…and no thanks to Blogs for tormenting us with your faces….celebrity my foot

  15. Ayomipo

    August 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    That is it. A lot of people are overrated. People should be celbs buy how their achievements have touched lives and not just wat we see nowadays like expensive clothes jewellery etc

  16. A-z

    August 28, 2013 at 3:11 am

    Undoubtedly No 1 pelebrity, none other than the Headmaster himself, Noble Igwe. Lwkmd

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