The Other Side of Fame and Wealth

Adenugba Blessing
5 min readJun 30, 2021

The grey areas fans aren’t wired to see…

stop-making-stupid-people famous
Photo by Brandi Ibrao on Unsplash

The paradox of being rich and famous is that the more you get, the more you want.

What does it feels like to be at the center of everyone’s attention? I always wonder. Will I ever have time for myself? Will I live my life based on people’s expectations? Will I be able to do the things normal people do again? What does it feels like to be wealthy and famous? Have you ever had thoughts like these that props you to know what is really going on in the mind of celebrities? Truth is, we all as humans wish for good things. Being Rich and famous isn’t just good, it’s admirable. We admire that NBA star, Musician, actor/actress and Politician. We wish to be just like them even if it is for a few hours. We want the attention; the money that follows the attention too. However, we unconsciously while in our fantasy, ignore grey areas which place our favorites in vulnerable positions. The grey areas are the bags and luggages, the challenges that accompany wealth and fame.

What Goes On In The Mind Of Your Favorite Celebrities?

You cannot walk; you cannot talk just the way you like. To everybody and their kids, you are a superstar. And some think that you are lucky, maybe you don’t grind. And how much you racking in, some niggas don dey count (Rich and Famous).

Well, I am no mind reader. However, one thing I know for sure is that, they are humans like you too. And just like you know, we all aren’t perfect even the picture perfect famous and wealthy celebrity we wish to sometimes incarnate. Just as you have your shortcomings, they have theirs too. This may sound gross: Your celebrity shits like you. They have their fantasies. And just like everyone, they have their phobias. These fears are conditioned by how high up they are. They are concerned about securing their fame and wealth so they don’t hit rock bottom. They don’t know who to trust. Everyone loves them for what they’ve become and hardly for who they really are based on interaction and relationship with them. Who can they share their secrets with? Won’t they be blackmailed? And when they are depressed and going through shit, their fans often don’t care. They want them to be camera-ready everyday, anywhere and anytime even if they have finance issues. Yes, your favourite celebrities go broke too. You don’t know because they aren’t allowed to show that side of them to the world.

The difference between you and your favourite celeb

The difference between you and your favourite celebrity is that, they have a lot to lose than you do. They set trends. Their words are golden-they can talk their way into poverty or go from grace to grass- so they pick them carefully. As trend setters who, when they fart, the media talks about, they put on their best look all the time. These may vary depending on the field your celeb is in. For example, a college Professor might be the celeb. In this case, he will be very meticulous about what he says and which political party he aligns with. If a politician, he won’t attend just anyhow function. Paparazzis can be just anywhere.

It’s about Perception

One thing you will notice from all this is that rich and famous people care more about PERCEPTION. Perception is what all the buzz revolves around. That’s why they spend more on PR as well as on security. This brings to memory the conversation I had with a colleague during my undergraduate years. I was befuddled by the simple fact that leaders don’t do things like normal people. I saw it as pretense. I feel they should be able to lead and as well live and do things like normal people(in this case their followers) do. I was wrong. Solomon, my colleague, sat me down and schooled me on the essence of leadership. He said, “Leadership is sacrifice. There are some boundaries you need to draw which some activities you indulge in might not afford you. You can’t be like everybody. You can’t be seen with everybody. You need to choose those you interact with…”

One of the ways celebrities set boundaries like my colleague mentioned in relation to leadership is through perception.

Security and Black taxes

What about personal safety? Any regular Joe can walk into a Cafeteria, eat and leave without drawing attention to him/herself. Celebs don’t enjoy this luxury. There mere presence draws attention especially here in Nigeria. Who in the crowd hates them and want to get rid of them? They don’t know. This is a major reason why they spend much on security. Michael Jordan at the height of his basketball career was asked an interesting question in an interview: “What is the best thing about being you and the worst?”, his reply shows the other side of being famous and wealthy. Jordan’s head of security wouldn’t allow him to take his young kids to amusement parks. His reason for this? He, the head of security, can’t guarantee their safety. Jordan himself doesn’t travel without security. Do you know how much the richest men in the world spend on security? I am talking about the 1% of the 1%. There are levels to this celebrity of a thing.

In Nigeria, it is even worse. If a Celebrity is spotted outside, he/she is likely going to part away with some money before leaving that particular location. Your fans will ask you to “drop ‘bar’(money)”. Yes, you must be ready to share money. They don’t wanna know if you are having a bad day, broke or going through law suits. It’s just that bad.

Wrapping it all up

The grey areas fan aren’t wired to see are so much that if celebrities start talking about them, you wouldn’t dream to be in their position. Everyone is allowed to dream. So, dream. Just have it at the back of your mind that as you climb the fame and wealth ladder, their are grey areas fans wouldn’t care to see. Live. Impact. Set boundaries. You occupy a position some people long for and will never attain. Jaiye o ri e.