OPINION: Naira Marley and Zlatan’s Clout-Chasing Becoming Irritating


Yesterday, the 23rd of March, I was busy thinking about how my life would be without going to the office during this quarantine period. While at it, I decided to check Twitter for trending topics, especially those around the COVID-19 pandemic. Behold, I stumbled upon Naira Marley’s tweets and thought I was going to ignore them. But again, I had a rethink and said to myself, ‘we cannot keep throwing a blind eye whenever these guys post something insensitive.’

Before Naira Marley’s tweet, I had seen Zlatan’s tweet where he said, “O LORD my Father, let all (my) enemies die of corona (virus). Somebody shout amen.” I shook off thoughts of replying or even reacting to the statement and said to myself, again, ‘this guy doesn’t understand the implication of his statement, or he’s just an ignoramus.’

When I eventually stumbled upon Naira Marley’s tweet, it then dawned on me that these guys were being inconsiderate, and it doesn’t seem to bother them at all.

Now for those wondering which of Naira Marley’s tweet got under my skin, here it is ‘5000 cases confirmed in Lekki. I’m talking about unwanted pregnancies.’ I found this tweet quite derogatory, especially coming at a time when the nation is currently battling to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He had earlier tweeted saying, ‘retweet if you do not believe in coronavirus.’ The last tweet is open for interpretation, so if he had probably stopped there, it wouldn’t have been a problem (I believe).

He went further to share a video defending his actions. And in his typical manner, rained insults on those who criticized him.

If a regular Joe had tweeted what Naira Marley said, it probably wouldn’t have been an issue, but coming from an A-list celebrity with a cult-following, it sends the wrong message.

They say Marlians have ‘zero manners’ but that doesn’t excuse insensitive and shallow statements. Yes, celebrities are entitled to their opinions, they can say whatever they like and whenever but they must also be held accountable when they make careless statements.

If doing what he did yesterday was to draw attention to his recently released video “Aye,” then it is rather unfortunate. Naira Marley has grown so big, so much so that he doesn’t need useless attention whenever he needs to drop content.

No one can deny the fact that controversy made him who he is today (we do not even need to buttress on that point anymore). Even Kim Kardashian did not have to make another sex tape to sustain her career. The name Naira Marley, the movement is so big that it chases clout on its own (on autopilot).

No one, no matter how big or celebrated you are, should trivialize sensitive issues that affect the world in the name of clout-chasing. It goes a long way to show how uncaring the person is.

In times like this, as celebrities, if you have nothing profound to say or support to offer, it’s only wise to keep quiet.

I saw a tweet by a Nigerian rapper, Ycee probably trying to make a case for his colleagues. Ycee said and I quote “Y’all always want celebs to speak and “lend their voice” to every situation Then wanna act surprised when some of them say nonsense.” And I quoted his tweet saying “No, on the contrary, we do not expect celebrities to lend their voices to every situation. A few Nigerian celebrities have shown (just recently) that they’re not bright enough to contribute to intellectual discussions.”

Do we expect more from our favorite celebrities? Yes. Do they usually represent our high expectations? Unfortunately, no.

Now back to Zlatan. I’ll rather not waste so much time on him. Zlatan decided to defend his friend with another callous tweet saying, “You borrow hotspot yab Nairamarley now no food to eat this night !! Data wey u suppose Dey use monitor giveaway online.” Do we need to talk about Zlatan’s background before he became a celebrity? I guess not.

These guys have a platform to do better and empathize when people are going through tough times but they decide to be unruly and proud.

As much as I’ll advise celebrities to do better, fans should also learn to understand that being a celebrity doesn’t mean they come with ‘sense’ as part of their package. So don’t be too surprised when they disgrace themselves in public.



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