Veteran actor, Psalm Adjeteyfio , has cautioned artistes who jump onto the political bandwagon and openly declare their political preferences that, they could be putting their careers at risk because of the potential to divide their audience or worse suffer rejection by a section of their followers.
The arts and creative industry is replete with sad stories of artistes whose careers nosedived or virtually collapsed as a result of their open involvement in partisan politics.
And with Ghanaians set for the polls in yet another fierce contest to elect a President and parliamentarians in November, many artistes are expected to join the political gravy train either to contest for positions or to campaign for particular parties or candidates.
Notable artistes such as Kwame Dzokoto of Edziban fame, John Dumelo, Diamond Appiah, Eric Don Arthur, Kwabena Kwabena, Abraham Kofi Davies (Salinko), Mr Beautiful, among others, are already in the thick of events in the political season.
However, Adjeteyfio, famously known as TT for his lead role in the popular Taxi Driver series on TV, told Showbiz in an interview that such political moves are very delicate, imprudent and a lot of thought must first go into such decisions because partisan politics tend to divide Ghanaians down the middle and, therefore, exposes the careers of such artistes to all manner of risks.
“This is a very delicate issue. Any artist who mounts the stage to campaign for a political party or publicly declare his or her support for a political party is doing so at his or her own risk.
“This is because, you are an entertainer and you should be for the whole nation and not for one particular group or creed.
“Declaring your stand for one political party therefore means that you are dividing your audience and saying who should watch or listen to you and who should not”, he said.
The 1997 ACRAG Award winner explained that, some artistes had lost their fans and hence, their means of livelihood because they declared their stands for a political party in a country where partisan politics is the only point of division among its citizens.
‘‘There are some of our brothers and sisters who openly campaigned for some political parties and up till date, they are no more being patronised like before. “This was what happened to some musicians and actors when they campaigned for some parties in the previous elections and now they are not selling anymore.
“What they did not realise was that, you don’t know the number of your fans who are for party A or party B, so as you declare that you are for party A, what you have done is to tell all your listeners or viewers who are for party B to go away from you.
“You may never know whether your audience in party B are more than those in party A or vice versa, and you stand to lose a whole lot of your admirers at the end of the day, in which ever way you look at it.
“This is why I think it is not a wise thing to identify yourself with a particular candidate; you lose those who love you from the side you are openly campaigning against, and therefore lose your market value”, the actor who has featured in over 300 movies added.