Ghanaian veteran actor Psalm Adjetefio, aka T.T of Taxi Driver fame, has recently been pleading for assistance.
Despite his meteoric rise to fame in the early 2000’s as a taxi driver on popular television, Sam is unable to pay his rent or cover his daily living expenses.
In a viral video, the star reveals that life has been dealing him blow after blow. With poverty eroding any remaining sense of pride or dignity, Sam is begging for 3000 cedis to cover his rent, failing which he will be evicted from his apartment in September.
While some Ghanaians initially sympathized with him and contributed, his pleas for assistance have become one too many. The willingness of good Samaritans to assist has dwindled, and trolls have taken over. Some have joked that he should surrender to prison in exchange for free food and lodging.
This is not a unique occurrence for Sam. Numerous celebrities have experienced this. This is because it is frequently assumed that those who work in the creative industry earn a lot of money, enough to ensure a lifetime of comfortable living. Regrettably, this is seldom the case.
We have reported on numerous occasions how the fortunes of the famous vanished into thin air.
One of the primary reasons celebrities fail is their extravagant lifestyles and frugal spending habits. While celebrity can be exhilarating, many overlook the fact that younger and fresher talent is constantly being churned out. As such, one cannot remain famous in perpetuity. Even if fame endures, fortunes dwindle as a result of competition.
Once a celebrity has passed their prime, their poor spending habits, lack of budgeting, and insufficient investment all catch up with them.
Rex Omar, president of Ghana’s Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO), attributes this unfortunate series of events to creatives’ lack of financial literacy.
“When your moment arrives, you earn a lot of money. The hype infiltrates your mind. You are deluded if you believe it will last indefinitely. This causes them to make errors. Financial planning errors, spending errors on items they do not require, and investment errors such as purchasing luxury cars instead of appreciating asset classes such as real estate.”
Omar also refutes the widely held belief that all celebrities are wealthy. According to Omar, 80 percent of artists cannot survive solely on royalties from entertainment. Additionally, Omar refutes the one hit wonder myth, stating that while a single hit can establish an artist’s popularity, it cannot transform their fortunes overnight and make them wealthy.
Diversification of revenue streams is critical in show business, as it is in any other industry. An artist should be able to earn money from their music through streaming platforms such as YouTube, performance, copy rights, and intellectual property, as well as through social media partnerships with relevant brands for influence and advertising.
“Establish a credible brand. Allow your music to speak for you on the stereo as an artist. Utilize social media platforms to expand on this. If your brand is well-known and your work is successful, brands will come rushing to partner with you. Consider Sarkodie’s relationship with Standard Chartered Bank, Joselyn Dumas’ relationship with DSTV, and Eugene Kumai’s and Stone Boy’s deals as mobile phone brand ambassadors.”
The question is, how do you invest wisely to ensure longevity when fame results in fortunes? Victor Tandoh, Head of Corporate at Ecobank Development Corporation (EDC) Investments, believes that prudent investing is the only way to stay afloat financially.
“The only way to correct financial irresponsibility is through financial literacy. Recognize money, how to earn it, how to spend it, how to save it, and where and how to invest it. Many people work for money but have no idea how to make their money work for them. Some are unfamiliar with inflationary principles; they lack an understanding of how money is invested. Because some people are unaware of the distinction between saving and investing, the best way to prevent financial indiscipline is to educate yourself.”
According to Tandor, one critical aspect of financial control is budgeting and having a savings plan. This is because celebrity lasts for only 15 seconds.
“The financial management strategy for individuals in the arts industry should be straightforward. Priority should be given to yourself. Second, eliminate wasteful spending. Thirdly, develop a savings and investment strategy. Fourth, avoid becoming an income distribution center and, at the very least, live within your means.”
According to PWC, Ghana’s Entertainment and Media (E&M) industry has more than tripled in value since 2013, reaching $752 million in total revenue in 2017.
Ghana’s arts, entertainment, and recreation industries employed over 11,000 people in 2018. The majority worked in gambling and betting, while approximately 25% worked in creative, arts, and entertainment activities.
Music accounted for 6.4 million dollars, while cinema accounted for 1.4 million dollars, according to Statista. The Internet accounts for the lion’s share, totaling 957 million dollars.
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