Paying Celebrities Billions to Show Up at African Events is no Crime

Just last week we heard Kim Kardashian got paid $500,000  for her Nigeria visit where majority live with under $2 dollars a day





And a story recently uncovered by Sahara Reporters  that Beyonce and Jay Z got paid a million dollars to visit Nigeria back in 2006 from a Poverty Alleviation fund...totally uncool


SaharaReporters has uncovered a document indicating that a million dollars of Bayelsa State’s poverty alleviation fund was spent by then Governor Goodluck Jonathan on bringing American entertainers Beyonce and Jay Z to Nigeria in 2006. In a letter stamped and signed by Bayelsa officials, N150 million (approximately a million dollars in 2006) was released from the state’s poverty alleviation fund for the first ThisDay Music Festival in Lagos.SaharaReporters obtained a letter from Mr. Obaigbena to the Bayelsa State government soliciting funds from the oil-producing state ahead of Nigeria’s 46th independence celebrations in 2006. The publisher wrote, “We invite you to partner with us as co-hosts of the festival.” The letter added: “With a total budget of $10 million, the co-host is expected to contribute a minimum of $2.5 million (two million five hundred thousand USD).”
At the bottom of the letter, minuted by hand and signed by then Governor Jonathan’s aides as well as the Bayelsa State accountant general are the words, “Release N150,000,000.00 (One hundred and fifty million naira) only to be drawn from the poverty alleviation subhead.”
[...] SaharaReporters could not ascertain how much of the released funds was paid directly to performers at the festival. There is no indication that Beyonce, one of the few entertainment stars internationally famous enough to only need one name, was aware that her performance was being subsidized by the poor people of Bayelsa.
But during Beyonce’s celebrated rendition of the Nigerian national anthem, pictures of Bayelsa State were projected onto the wall of the Lagos concert venue.
According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, 47% of Bayelsans live in poverty. The World Bank says that per capita gross domestic product in the Niger Delta is significantly below the country’s average. According to the state’s own 2005 development strategy, 80% of rural communities have no access to safe drinking water, a key indicator in judging poverty. In Yenagoa, the state capital and Bayelsa’s largest urban area, an estimated two out of every five residents do not have access to safe drinking water.
In 2005, as part of its UN-approved strategy to combat poverty, the state promised to make a fund of N100 million available as soft loans and micro-credit to Bayelsans. The allocated fund was N50 million less than Mr. Jonathan approved for Mr. Obaigbena’s music festival.
Can we really blame the celebrities for this? I doubt its their place to care about poverty in your state and how to end it and funds allocated for it,  I don't think so, in the end they're just business people some with morals some without and lets face it, if any one of us got offered half a million on the go to smile and wave for a couple of minutes, You'd pack your bags and quick...then why the blame? I think we're taking someone's business out of proportion,allow me to verify...I want to make a certain amount of money so I call a certain artist and agree to pay them a certain percentage of amount we will make from the artist's fan attendance of the said concert or event, I know the artist will attract enough fans to return that amount, so you see in the end, its just business, but when people start dipping into poverty alleviation funds to get this money it leaves questions, are we more worried about celebrity attendances than alleviating our poverty in our states? If this be the case then its a sad shame...on the givers and the takers.. Though I personally don't think there's anything wrong with paying a celebrity a ridiculous amount to show up somewhere even though its poverty struck area...For the same reasons we cant look down on someone who builds a good house in a country known for poverty, if you have the funds....why not? Its just business, but we're all taking it personally ...I don't see a problem, maybe I looked at the situation wrong, Maybe I don't see the bigger picture...but my from my point of view, we cant blame African business people who pay International celebrities millions for appearances....unless its government money, from our charities or funds or our taxes..in that case ....off with their heads!


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