hen I was a little girl, I’d flip through magazine pages, listen to the radio, and watch television in admiration. As a child, my vision was limited because I admired things like a stylish outfit, a famous dance move, or a resonant voice (these are not bad either), but as I got older, those things became secondary. Beyond charisma, unselfish celebrities who think about others and how to use their platform to promote worthy causes are my favorite humans right now. Staring at these celebrities and wish to be like them when I grow up.
It’s one thing to be a celebrity, and it’s another thing to be impactful. This shouldn’t be mistaken for entitled fans who bully celebrities on social media, demanding giveaways as their birthright.
During this coronavirus pandemic, many have been downsized and are currently unemployed. Depression and anxiety rates are rising, and there’s no better time to spread love and remain united.
It’s also safe to note that to be your brother’s keeper, one must strictly adhere to these;
- ● Always wash your hands with soap under running water.
- ● Use a hand sanitizer sometimes when there’s no access to soap and water.
- ● Wear a protective face mask.
- ● Avoid crowded places.
- ● Sneeze in between your elbows.
- ● Stay at home as much as possible.
- ● Give. Give. Give!
Considering the challenges that 2020 brought, and how we need to maintain a united front to fight this virus, many Nigerian celebrities are taking the lead by providing aid to help individuals stay afloat in these uncertain days. Hopefully, we all follow suit according to our pockets.
Nigerian celebrities are giving back to society, especially during the pandemic. There’s no greater beauty than looking beyond oneself. This further shows that love is a universal language that breaks barriers and unites everyone irrespective of social status, religion, and ethnicity.
Unarguably, with great power comes great responsibility. It’s almost hypocritical to behold the glitz, glamour, stardom and ignore the hard work behind the scene. These stars are letting it all out without restraint from medical supplies, job opportunities, and cash gifts. Some would rather have giveaways on social media, credit random fans’ bank accounts, while others undergo the stressful and satisfying process of physically sharing food items with the needy.
Nigerian celebrities are giving back to society; check out a few of them…
#1. Chika Ike
Beautiful Actress, Chika Ike, visited some orphanages during the lockdown, giving out bags of rice, noodles, and other food items. She obviously made their day and would remain in their hearts. Ike began her film career in 2005 when she played a minor character in the movie Sweet Love.
She got her first major role that same year in a movie titled Bless the Child and has since played major roles in over a hundred movies, such as Paradise, Mirror of Beauty, To Love a Stranger, Girls Got Reloaded, Happy Ending, Yes We Will, Anointed Queen and The Prince and the Princess. She founded her production company, Chika Ike Production, in 2014, and produced her first movie Miss Teacher and her reality TV game show African Diva Reality TV Show of which she is the executive producer, host and a member of the judging panel. The first season aired on DStv and the second season aired on AIT. In 2015, she collaborated with Rok Studios to produce movies like Happy Ending and Stuck on You.
Runtown (Douglas Jack Agu), the sensational afrobeat singer who is ever ready to lend his voice, resources, and presence to transform society and his generation, has always been an example and source of admiration to many. He pledged to donate the sum of 10 million Naira to his fans, to which he kept his words.
Elated fans took to Twitter to share transaction screenshots and a vote of thanks. In 2014 he released “Gallardo”, a song that features vocals from Davido, and was released as the first single off his debut studio album Ghetto University. Gallardo went on to win “Best Collaboration of the Year” at the 2014 edition of the Nigeria Entertainment Awards. On 23 November 2015, Runtown released his debut studio album titled Ghetto University via MTN Music Plus through Eric Many Entertainment. The album generated over ₦35million on the music portal thus earning him a spot in the list of “Top 5 Most Streamed Artist”.
#3. Folorunsho Alakija
Alakija might not be your regular ‘celebrity’, but she’s one of Africa’s most influential and wealthiest women. This is one businesswoman who isn’t solely driven by profit maximization, as she donated 250 million Naira to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Lagos State Government each. To date, she’s still involved in philanthropy and worthy of emulation.
She is involved in the fashion, oil, real estate, and printing industries.[She is the Group Managing Director of The Rose of Sharon Group which consists of The Rose of Sharon Prints & Promotions Limited, Digital Reality Prints Limited, and the executive vice-chairman of Famfa Oil Limited. She is also has a majority stake in DaySpring Property Development Company. Folorunsho Alakija is ranked by Forbes as the richest woman in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $1 billion as of 2020. As of 2015, Folorunsho Alakija is listed as the second most powerful woman in Africa after Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the 87th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
#4. Banky W
Entertainer and Politician Bankole Wellington chose to head out into the streets, interacting and sharing food items with the poor and needy.
His real name is Olubankole Wellington and he is known for motivational speaking on is an interview with the TVC news he debunked the rumor of being a pastor but said, he is just a Child of God in progress.
He also said “I can share from the experiences I have had, from the lessons that I am learning and from what God is teaching me. If I can help young people kind of draw closer to God and make it through this difficult time and have the kind of backbone that you need and the kind of strategies that you need for success and just the wisdom that I have been fortunate enough to be blessed with.”
#5. I Go, Dye
An A-List Nigerian comedian, Frank Agoda, decided to take a different but well-meaning route as he donates his newly built mansion to the Benin state government as an isolation center for coronavirus patients. This was one move that got me teary and hopeful for humanity.
He came up with the name I Go dye from the similarity of the sound of his is surname Agoda, I GO DYE translated to mean initiative guide on developing youth endowment. His mother took him out of United College of Commerce to Essi College, Warri, so that his uncle who was a teacher in that school could monitor his activities.
While in Essi College, he joined SVC where he meet his best friend of today Otagware Onodjeyeke (Ltas) now known as Igosave, together they started presenting mock news on Delta Broadcasting Service 1994, where they addressed several issues affecting the society. Later on, he got a contract as a stand-up comedian at Prest Motel in Benin City where he was paid one thousand Naira per show. While he also expanded his profile across different events in Nigeria after years of exploring his creativity, he featured in Africa’s biggest comedy show Night of A Thousand Laughs (2000 year edition) and he became the most salable comedian according to the marketer, Mr. Obino Music.
Amiable musician David Adeleke has always been known for his positive vibe and energy. The singer took an applaudable step by channeling every penny made from his song—D&G to support the international fashion house Dolce & Gabbana’s Coronavirus Research Fund. His personal experience also inspired this step with the virus.
Davido rose to fame after releasing “Dami Duro”, the second single from his debut studio album Omo Baba Olowo (2012). In 2012, Davido won the Next Rated award at The Headies. Between 2013 and 2015, he also released a number of hit singles and in January 2016 he signed a record deal with Sony Music. He then founded the record label Davido Music Worldwide (DMW), to which acts Dremo, Mayorkun, Peruzzi and Liya have been signed. In July 2016, Davido signed a record deal with Sony’s RCA Records. In October 2016, he released the 5-track EP Son of Mercy, which was supported by the singles “Gbagbe Oshi”, “How Long” and “Coolest Kid in Africa”. In April 2017, Davido re-negotiated his contract with Sony due to creative control issues and later that year he released five singles including “If” and “Fall
#7. Williams Uchemba
Before the pandemic, child actor and social media comedian Williams always took to the streets to hand out cash gifts, foodstuff, and other essential items to the needy. He continued his charitable works during the pandemic, and it didn’t surprise all, as he fed about 5,000 Nigerians during the pandemic. He hails from Abia State and started acting in movies as a kid. He earned his first school leaving certificate and Senior Secondary School certificate in Abia State, before proceeding to study International relations at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He was married to Oscar Brunella[4
#8. Tonto DIkeh
The controversial Actress Tonto Dikeh might have been in the news for different reasons, but one thing she has consistently done is feeding beggars and paying random students’ school fees. This pandemic was no different, as she donated sanitizers and food materials to thousands of Nigerians. She is a Nigerian actress, singer, songwriter, and humanitarian. On 27 August 2000, Tonto Dikeh set up her foundation, the Tonto Dikeh Foundation. The Foundation was established with a clear vision and passion of making life better for all displaced and underprivileged women, girls, youth, and children in Africa, regardless of their Politically, Religious, and Cultural differences. It also aims at organizing regular sensitization programs and symposium discussions that will bring sanity and civility to the black race; by taking issues that affect women, gender issues, rape, empowerment, climate change, and child right.
#9. Toyin Abraham
The actress revealed she has funded a supplier with N100,000 to give hand sanitizers to 100 people. As well as other donations to help support citizens during these challenging times. She started acting in 2003, when Nigerian actress Bukky Wright came to Ibadan to film a film Toyin Abraham has made, directed, and starred in several Nigerian films over the years, including Alani Baba Labake and Ebimi ni. During the 2013 Best of Nollywood Awards, Toyin Abraham was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Yoruba film titled Ebimi ni, alongside Joke Muyiwa, who was nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Yoruba film titled Ayitale. Based on her acting career, Toyin has also been called upon by politicians to campaign for them.
#10. DJ Cuppy
Dj Cuppy, daughter of Nigerian billionaire—Mr.… Florence Otedola (Dj Cuppy) took to Instagram to announce a donation of 50 million Naira to the COVID-19 response. Femi Otedola is the opposite of people’s expectations, typically because rich kids are usually snobs or perfect patties. She is professionally known as DJ Cuppy, or simply Cuppy is a Nigerian disc jockey and producer. In July 2014, she released House of Cuppy as her first compilation mix in London and Lagos, before launching it in New York on September 2, 2014. With House of Cuppy, she produced EDM-esque remixes of songs by leading Afropop artists. That same year, Cuppy also launched the London-based music management and content production business, Red Velvet Music Group.
These are just a few that I handpicked from the sea of empathetic Nigerian celebrities giving back to society.
A wise woman once said, “It’s not only the rich who gives, but also the type.” In other words, as the second wave of the coronavirus hits globally, we can choose to look out for one another in the simplest ways. Share a meal with someone, give out what you can according to your capacity, call a loved one who might be going through challenges. Sometimes we look at celebrities and their significant donations and merely wish to have that much to give. This is the time to spread love, no matter how small.
A giver gives according to their capacity. It’s better to save and touch a life today than to wait for tomorrow, as uncertain as it is.