Being in the profession I am it’s not unusual that I get to meet people deemed as celebrities – local and international. I know that if I started listing the people I have met it will border on showing off, which it might as well be because it’s not every day that you get to meet up with a celebrity!
Last weekend I had the great pleasure of meeting the famous Bollywood singer Adnan Sami. He was in Nairobi for a private event and at the same event I got to meet Bally Sagoo who is an artiste and top notch DJ from the UK. In my experience I have learned that the bigger the star, the bigger the super-star status, the smaller the ego of this person. They have a lot of humility in them and genuinely make time for their adoring fans. Even if they are having a fabulously horrible day they smile through it all and don’t forget their manners and are ever so polite. I have noticed that the best way to suss out a polite celebrity is to see how they treat children.
Kids are usually the biggest fans and while some are shy, many are outspoken and because they see their favourite stars on TV or hear their songs or whatever, they relate to these people and when they meet in real life it is like meeting a relative. I just loved the way Bally kept going down on his knees to hug his little fans and take pictures with them not caring one bit about his soiled Armani jeans.
Then we come to our local celebrities. Most are nice because they know the media will hound them and tell it like it is. Some are downright snobbish. My goodness…. where do they get off with such attitude? No wonder many of these local artistes end up as ‘has-beens’ because fans forget about them really fast. Who wants to remember a drunken git refusing to take a picture with you or shake your hand or sign an autograph for you?
My daughter met two local celebrities whom I, too, admire a lot. Her school had a Media Day not too long ago and the school had invited some media personalities to come and meet the kids. Jeff Koinange and Smriti Vidyarthi were there and my daughter simply adores Smriti. If she could, she’d watch news at school when Smriti’s on air she would most definitely do it. My daughter got autographs from them and when she came home she couldn’t stop talking about her fabulous day at school. I got in touch with Smriti and she offered to spend time with my daughter too! I was so touched at that.
Around a fortnight ago Jeff Koinange was on the 3rd floor of Lion Place and I went up to him to say thank you for being lovely to my daughter. He is such a pleasant man. I have had a crush on him since I was 19 and every time I have met Jeff, even when just walking past him at the Sarit Centre or wherever, he always nods in acknowledgement and this is just not to me. It’s with everyone. No wonder I still swoon over him. Good manners are so hard to find these days in celebrities.
My most favourite stars I have met are Salman Khan who I adore tremendously and the awesome Maxi Priest who highly admired my black 16 valve Golf Gti and stood with me a good five minutes checking out my car and telling me stuff about Golfs. I was just too taken by his long locks that were swirling around his ankles and his mesmerising voice and eyes to match to worry how much time it took to get from 0-60.
So if you’re a celebrity, be nice to your fans. It’s your fans who take you to the heights you have attained. Without your adoring fans you ain’t nuffink!