Filed in Entertainment by on December 3, 2010

The truth about these celebrities
By Adeshina Oyetayo
Friday, 3 Dec 2010

L-R: Don Jazzy, Rita Dominic and Wale Gates

Who doesn’t know about twitter? In case you didn’t, twitter is a social networking, micro-blogging service which allows you keep friends and family abreast of happenings in your life, real time. It is especially a less gated method of communication where you share information, using 140-character long blurbs called tweets, with people that you wouldn’t normally exchange email or instant messages with. Established in 2006 by three American technologists, it has evolved from being just a social networking site where you also keep up with the latest news updates around the world and see what people are thinking and talking about every other second, to an event coordinator, a business tool, news reporting service and marketing utility. Twitter started becoming popular in Nigeria in 2007. Now, some celebrities have a twitter handle. Even Mallam Nasir El Rufai, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State and Nuhu Ribadu do. So do Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade, D’banj and Banky W among others. At the risk of being accused of celebrity voyeurism, passive ‘twitterer,’ E-Punch, decided to analyse the character traits of some celebrities using their tweets as the major, and only, criterion. Don Jazzy – If you thought the Mo-Hits boss and respected songwriter-producer was as reticent as he pretends to be in public, then you are not among his almost 30, 000 followers on twitter – one of the highest by a Nigerian celebrity. And he follows nearly as much. Chatty and generous, Don Jazzy never misses a chance to wish his legion of followers a happy birthday.

Arguably though, he pioneered the giving out of recharge cards of all networks to followers, an act that some other celebrities are emulating. Don Jazzy enjoys the accolades showered on him by all and sundry but he remains eternally humble and unassuming, at least on twitter. Sometimes, however, puerile exuberance comes in, like some months back when he used manhood as his avatar.

Banky W – Compared to his colleagues, Banky W engages his about 28, 000 followers in intellectual, social, political and football discourses. Whenever he pops up, his timeline, he confesses, is over flooded with requests as mundane as just tweeting hello back at attention-seeking bores. Witty and cerebral, he employs the dichotomy of his good looks and star appeal to make valid observations about life and politics and entertainment, “We must register to vote. I’m sick of us sitting by while they take the power from us. We may not win right now, but we will win.” Banky does not suffer fools gladly and his followers, especially those that have been blocked, know this.

Wale Gates – Are you looking for daily laughs on twitter, then, it does not get more profound than following this London-based comedian with about 1500 followers. First, this is how he describes himself. “Comedian and showbiz ranter with a passion for politics and Naija music: WARNING: I’m not for the easily offended.” Indeed, he is not.

Unpretentiously irreverent and sometimes raunchy, check out a few of his tweets, “White people say you are as young as who you are ‘shagging’…I think that‘s what got Gary Gilter and Michael Jackson into trouble.” And this, taken from one of his trend topics – random sick, dumb tweets, he asks, “After using the loo, how many times are you supposed to shake ‘it’ before people start thinking you are wanking? Two, three, four or five shakes.” How about, “Apparently, Viagra is now available in eye drops, it won’t give you an erection, but it will make you look hard.” An unalloyed fan of Chelsea Football Club, a family man and a realist, Wale tweeted in ‘Things we can all agree on,’ “At the end of the day, hell would have more souls than heaven.”

Chidi Mokeme – Gangling actor and star of many home videos, GQ as he is fondly called brought forth a talent on – twitter that many never thought he had; motivational speaking. Before the death of his father weeks back, Chidi was an active twitterer and would wake ‘twitterverse‘ up with motivational cum inspirational tweets like “Awesome morning tweethearts, thank God it‘s Tuesday! TGIT! You are more powerful than you think you are. It’s all in your head! Let’s Go! GQ has about 4, 000 followers and he constantly keeps them motivated.

Tee A – Not every micro-blogger can leverage 140-character blurbs to grow a business but comedian, Tee A can and is doing so. Even when you are not resident in Lagos, Tee A‘s constant tweets about his bar cum restaurant, Tymeout Lounge in Ikeja, would make you feel like you are nowhere even when you are somewhere equally exotic. “Tonight will be banging at the lounge!

Going by the response I‘m getting oooo, let‘s go and buy more yam sharp sharp,” that’s typical Tee A. If you overlooked daily tweets about his exotic meals with pictures to match, Arsenal Football Club and his mission six-pack (you need to follow him to understand this mission), Tee A is a devout Christian as he sometimes tweets the lyrics of popular English and Yoruba praise songs. And he also keeps his followers updated on his movement and activities and why his wife, Kehinde is the best wife anyone could wish for.

El Dee – Rapper, producer, singer and songwriter, El Dee is not into mundane tweets and does not mix business with pleasure; “Upcoming artistes, big name acts, friends, foes, wannabes, dreamers, please, (the) new rule at Trybe Records is everybody pays, no exceptions…Stop hitting up my manager for free sh*t. we are running a business here.” His no nonsense posturing is not just for those who want a chunk of his creativity for free, it is also targeted at politicians especially public office holders. “A couple millions to endorse your campaign, sorry sir, my soul is not that cheap. I‘ll do it for free if I believed in your candidacy.” No wonder he has over 17, 000 followers and rapidly increasing too.

Peter Okoye – One half of famous pop twins, P-Square epitomises the saying that you can lead a celeb to twitter but your can‘t always make them tweet because many of them have discovered that their tweets are being made fun of, or blow up in their faces.

On many occasions when the English Language fails him, Peter was wont to say that some other person tweeted the error. It happened on a number of occasions and he always came up with the same excuse. In recent time, Peter has been less active on twitter. However, he is an unabashed believer in the role of God in the fame and fortune that he and his twin brother enjoy today. And he tweets as much.

MI – One of the most popular usages of celebrity twitter accounts is as a public relations tool; using it to get the word out about new albums, videos, tour dates et al. According to a professor of Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, USA, Robert Thompson, “The blessing of tweeting for celebrities was this idea that you could bypass sending out a press release and go directly to those who are following you.”

Rapper, Jude Abaga or MI as he is known, is one celebrity who understands this and employs twitter to maximum benefits. Some days back, his sophomore album, MI2 was released and courtesy of his friends and over 25, 000 followers, made MI2 a trending topic worldwide. MI however detests derogatory remarks about his height and art. A follower who crossed the line recently found out the hard way. He got a piece of the rapper’s lyrical venom and was subsequently blocked.

Rita Dominic – Nollywood actress, Rita, employs twitter as nothing but a micro-blog where she updates her 12, 372 fans (as at Tuesday) all over the world about her day-to-day activities like “I am having a me-time at a spa.” Sometimes also, she tweets her resentments about goings-on in the country, especially the 2011 elections. “The economy; that is what should win the election right now and the economy is terrible right now.”

Rita has a profound aversion for Lagos’ traffic: “It just dawned on me this minute that I cannot shoot my first feature film as a producer in Lagos. It was maddening to even think of it….How can you leave your house and fours hours later, you are still not at your destination. A place that should take you at most, 30 minutes.”

Patrick Obahiagbon – Shouldn‘t verbal contortionist and member of the House of Representatives, just restrict his grandiose grammar to the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly? Apparently, he needed a bigger template to show off his gradiloquence and found it in twitter. Though a passive twitterer with just 940 followers, the Igodomidodo as he is also known, became a twitter sensation, literally when he took on singer, Banky W for impeding his follow: “Is it me or Banky W has a voluminous oversize cranium? He has to be grammatically vicious with a medulla oblongata like that.” Interestingly, the University of Benin graduate takes immense pleasure and pride in his grammatical flamboyance: “I haven‘t only been told I have a grammatical swagger by the youth, but also that I am a fashion trendsetter. Hope you like my new picture.”


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