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On stage, they are loved, applauded and mobbed when they hold the mic to thrill their fans. They are so energetic that you can’t but wonder what keeps them going. Indeed, what really gives them the drive?
A medical doctor, in 1967, asked a group of competitive runners assembled for a Washington DC road race: “If I could give you a pill that would make you an Olympic champion — and also kill you in a year — would you take it?”
Of the approximately 100 athletes who returned Mirkin’s questionnaire, more than half responded that they would take the pill.
Celebrities give joy, smiles and fulfillment to their fans and lovers of their works; some of them entertain in styles. They walk with heads held-up high wherever they go. They dine and wine with the crème de la creme of the society.
They command attention wherever they go and many of them are accorded tremendous respect for their contributions to the society. But there is the worrisome aspect of the lives of the majority of them- they are hooked on drugs and alcohol. This is the simple reason why many of them are no more around. Truth is that a life dependent on these agents of death is a wasted life.
While some indulge in this lifestyle with reckless abandon, others are a bit careful and call it ‘swag’. Every now and then, lives continue to be cut short and dreams shattered by constant alcohol and drug abuse. It’s no news that cocaine contributed to Whitney Houston’s death. The official report was that she drowned in her bathtub in a Beverly Hills hotel. The world number one pop star, Michael Jackson, died not far from the same location in 2009 after his doctor administered a lethal dose of the sedative Propofol. Also, British singer Amy Winehouse was troubled by addiction and died of alcohol poisoning.
In recent years, there has been excessive use of drugs and alcohol among Nigerian entertainers with many of them still struggling to manage the damaging effects. Experts say alcohol and drug abuse is a problem in the general population but entertainers are especially vulnerable because of the long hours on the road and the intense demands of keeping up with performances. There’s a lot of down time, a lot of traveling, a lot of boredom, a lot of sitting, a lot of doing nothing and more.
Drug and alcohol abuse is a special risk for those who find fame and fortune as performers.
Music is one of the most influential art forms of today’s society, and drugs, especially to today’s youth, just add to the attractiveness of it all.
Some young musicians think drug use is part of being creative so they delve into it without thinking twice.
According to MORALMORE, an upcoming artiste based in Abuja, music is life and what it takes a man to do music is passion ‘those who do drugs are just influenced by it. We know a lot of people who sing songs today and can’t do without getting tipsy before getting on stage. Sometime you see them drinking carelessly that they even misbehave. What I urge them to do is to disassociate themselves from drugs and works with their natural skills to enable them become greater.” he advised.
In sport, the desire to win is, naturally, ever present while, at the same time, new research and technologies have expanded the number of options for cheating onto the podium. For example, today’s performance-enhancing drugs come in many forms other than a pill (“the cream and the clear,” a testosterone-based ointment described by accused athletes in court testimony, comes to mind), but the results they produce are still highly sought after.
Some athletes get away with using drugs; others wind up suspended from their sport or even in jail, and still others die prematurely.
In Nigeria, no entertainer has ever been prosecuted for drug related offenses just like in the USA where they are either charged for DUI (driving under the influence.)
It’s a risky and complex game within a game that plays itself out on a public stage. When entertainers want to impress their fans and be among the ‘A’ list on the world stage they indulge themselves in these atrocious attitudes.
Many celebrities today are suffering from one disorder to another. Take Majek Fashek for instance he once said in an interview that ‘I don’t do drugs. I use spiritualism. I’m spiritually filled. I smoke Igbo and I drink.’ What that means is he makes himself happy by indulging in such and he is looking better than ever.
Drugs might help in boosting the moral of an artiste or entertainer when on stage or screen, but nonetheless, it’s lasting effect it’s obvious.
Many of Nigerian celebrities want to be like their European counterparts, copying everything they do, even the bad ones like drugs. America mega starts like Lindsay Lohan, Snoop Lion, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and others are obvious example of people that would be difficult to be separated from drugs eventhough they are the role models of majority of Nigeria’s’ entertainers.
Music today is hyped with the use of alcohol, drugs which boost eroticism. While people watch, they tend to misbehave in the negative which put them in limbo.
Entertainer should set an example by championing the dream of drug-free performance because if they don’t fight it, it would one day fight them.
Written by Anthony Ada Abraham