The Hook Up With AM Kudita
Aspiring for a career in showbiz is perhaps tantamount to signing for a life under public scrutiny. The higher you climb up the ladder, the more the number of people that grow interest in knowing what you eat and where you shop worse still, who you love or fight.
Trending this past week was local rhythms and blues artiste Trevor Dongo (notice Zimbabwean reader that there is no such thing called urban grooves; that collage of musical genres popularised by Zimbo artists from the 90s to date).
Trevor Dongo trended on social media for the video of him fighting a vendor who according to the singer’s press statement, had insulted his wife.
So chivalry is not dead it seems.
Trevor went physical with the vendor and soon as the video hit social media, cyberspace was buzzing with sanctimonious condemnation of those that feel that their celebs should behave themselves in an exemplary fashion at all times.
Some held that Trevor should not fight in public and some maintained that celebs are required to be some kind of role models.
It turns out that Trevor apologised to fans in the aftermath of the fracas.
What got my attention naturally, are the shrill voices of the ones who were developing memes to mock the singer.
Some cited past events wherein our alleged karate black belt singer has been caught in similar spates.
I can’t vouch for those because I never witnessed them.
The point that all this made me realise is the showbiz rule.
This famous rule simply says when a man is down, you kick him.
It originated somewhere in Hollywood.
Attribution is kind of fuzzy in my head right now.
There was an orgy, a binge on how Trevor set a bad public example.
I felt sorry for him because he hadn’t had an opportunity to respond and yet there they were the vultures pontificating.
I live by a law that I learnt in my law studies: Audi alteram partem.
The presumption of innocence till one is proven guilty is cardinal in modern society.
It is one of the pillars upon which a civilised society is founded upon.
The alternative to this principle is chaos.
Anarchy precipitated by vigilante justice.
I hate the guts of those who judge a man before they walk in his shoes.
This applies to whether one is a celeb or not.
Celebrities are persons renowned for some exploit or vocation.
They are humans.
But fame can be dehumanising hence I mentioned the microscope of public attention.
Granted, if the publicity is removed then an artiste is listless.
The artiste is not necessarily a fame whore nonetheless.
And when they become such, it is a risky game.
One can then not cry foul if people begin to pry too much into one’s life and ask questions that reach into the vault of long hidden hairy secrets.
The balance is what I feel is important and how is that to be achieved?
I suppose it comes down to an artist’s public image.
If for example, you are a Shingisayi Suluma, public want you to be prim and proper person.
Your brand is devoid of scandal ideally or you will be crucified.
Especially if one is resident in Zimbabwe.
Local artistes such as Maskiri were punished for churning out music with saucy lyrical content.
The music was no longer play listed because the powers that be deemed the material unworthy all this while the standard American fare of debauched content continues to be spewed on all national radio.
It was and still is mind boggling and befuddling the level of hypocrisy in Zim society.
The double standards are glaringly obvious.
Thus it was on the social media chats.
It was frenzied like a feast of piranhas tearing away at a person’s dignity without an opportunity to respond.
I mind that s***.
Needless to say that Trevor later responded.
We are yet to hear the vendor’s story.
What is established is that Trevor did make a police report.
The other details as the case proceeds are no longer of interest to me.
I will say that if someone ever insulted my woman, I would not mind that I am not a celebrity!
When one looks at the video tape, you here the lecherous voice of a bystander who is egging on the two “gladiators” to fight. Are we in ancient Rome now ?
There is something sadistic and malevolent about this video. It is the baying for blood..the primal thirsting for blood to spill. You hear another onlooker suggesting that the “show” is recorded for the social media platform of WhatsApp.
Such is the nature of my people. They love it when a man is publicly humiliated it seems especially one who is a celebrity. Why didn’t anyone think to intervene and break up the fight ?
You already have the answer.
Celebrities should not be foisted with some role model baggage.
Fame does not elevate or transform persons into demigods.
Your disappointment at their foibles and lapses in judgement should not reduce their life work to smithereens.
I advocate that we live and let live.
You follow them at your own risk.
This does not mean that celebrities have carte blanche to do as they fancy.
It just means that all society’s members should manage their expectations of each other without regard to perceived status.