News of alcoholic herbal drink brand Adonko Bitters unveiling Nigerian celebrities as brand ambassadors of their product has awakened the monster and humor in Shatta Wale.
The Ghanaian dancehall artiste in series of tweets criticized his colleagues for refusing to fight the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) after the body enforced a ban on them from endorsing and advertising alcoholic beverages in the country.
While describing the ban as “nonsense”, Shatta Wale stated that it has become effective because Ghanaian celebrities are childish and lack the balls to confront the FDA.
“Ghanaian musicians only think about awards and not business and more over they behave like children no wonder FDA sees us a great influence to minors! Poor industry poor mentality!” his tweet Wednesday read.
“Small time dem go ban alcohol for parties and then after they will Ban water too then we will drink urine and our sweat! Nonsense!”
He pooh-poohed the ban and challenged colleagues to wake up and fight the FDA or be ready to face stiffer bans. For him, he has an alternative – prostitution – should the worst happen.
“Small time dem go ban promoters from doing shows in Ghana cuz dem go talk say celebs deh spoil the youths in Ghana… there norrrr ago start do ashawo for quick cash,” he said.
On Thursday February 13, 2020, a ceremony held at The Oriental Hotel, in Lekki saw the unveiling of Nigerian celebrities INi Edo, Jim Iyke, Uti Nwavhukwu, Teddy A, Charles Okocha, Victor AD and Melvin Oduah as ambassadors of Adonko Bitters – a product by a Ghanaian company.
The event was hosted by Ghanaian actress and TV presenter Selly Gelly.
In a congratulatory message to the Nigerians, a humorous Shatta Wale asked the company to sign him as well because he is a Nigerian.
“Congrats to all my Naija brothers and celebs on their Adonko deal… In fact Adonko please come and sign me because I’m also a Nigerian, my name is Shatta Ike chwuku Wale… Thank you.”
Ban on celebrities
About five years ago, the FDA made it known that celebrities could not advertise alcoholic products. It explained that the ban is an adherence to a World Health Organization (WHO) policy and efforts to ensure that minors are protected from being lured into alcoholism.
Kofi Essel, Head of Industry Support Services Department of the FDA in an interview said his outfit cannot lift the ban on popular figures endorsing alcoholic beverages.
He told Graphic Showbiz the FDA would not allow any popular figure to negatively influence the youth. He rather asked that celebrities should support the move instead of calling on the authority to rescind its decision on the basis that their incomes had reduced as a result of the ban.
“Can you imagine someone like Shatta Wale or John Dumelo endorsing alcoholic beverages for their fans who are probably below 18? What will they be telling them? The use of alcohol is as serious as guns, and I would rather plead that celebrities support the cause,” he said.
“Well known persons have the potential to influence their followers who are not legally permitted to possess alcohol or use alcohol. In view of that guidelines have been set to guide operations of alcoholic beverage companies, including advertisement of their products and this is the reason well known persons are not allowed to endorse the products.”
Ban pointless – Edem
In October last year, rapper Edem described as “pointless” the decision to ban on celebrities from advertising alcoholic products.
“Nothing is working in the entertainment field and the main problem is because the government has banned alcoholic beverage producers from sponsoring events and also stopped celebrities from endorsing alcoholic beverages which is so wrong.
“It is pointless to say that because we are celebrities, we should not endorse an alcoholic product. The companies have stated that the drink is for people above 18 years so how is the celebrity influencing underage people? They should kindly allow us to stay in business because the shows are not a lot,” he told Graphic Showbiz.