Over the years, I have had to ask myself the reason for the influx of celebrity charity foundations across the country and on all these occasions, very few answers come to mind.
For now, I might not be able share some of my findings but to open up for your opinions and how some of these foundations might have benefited you.
Narrating from my kind of work as an on air radio presenter, entertainment journalist, I have come across so many people in the Ghanaian showbiz industry who have in one way or the other talked about their foundations all in the name of lending a helping hand to the underprivileged in society.
Among the many reasons they give, majority of them assert these foundations serve primarily as a means of giving back to the very society that made them, a move I believe can be lauded and needs commendation but then again my doubting head asks different questions;
1. Does one need a charity foundation in order to give back to society?
2. Could there be any other medium of helping the less vulnerable in society without setting up a foundation?
3. Why do you need money from society when your intent is to give back to them because you feel they have been supportive to your career?
Pardon my ignorance if I my questions seem to suggest that but then this brings to mind whether these foundations are meant to amass wealth for the celebrities themselves as most of them are supported by donors or intended to give back to society.
It must be noted that this article is not intended to hurt any ‘celebrity’s’ feeling and goodwill to establish a foundation aimed at giving back to society but a call on them to come clear on the intents of these foundations that keep springing up like mushrooms each and everyday.
Recent times have seen the likes of Juliet Ibrahim, Yvonne Nelson, Nana Ama McBrown, John Dumelo, Emelia Brobbey and so many others establish foundations but how beneficial have these outfits been to the society as they claim?
Perhaps, just a means to remain in the press.
With that said, it is also worth noting that John Dumelo’s Foundation recently opened up to brilliant but needy students, Emelia Brobbey donated to a couple of Children’s Homes and has commenced a School building project, Nana Ama McBrown donated wheel chairs to some physically challenged, Nadia Buari commissioned a water project for one village, Juliet Ibrahim on the other hand has been fort coming with her charity programmes and all must be commended.
I however believe to whom much is given, much is expected.
Once, as I hosted beautiful Ghanaian actress, television talk show host and philanthropist Ama K. Abebrese on my radio show where she shared her opinion on the celebrity foundations.
She explained she has always given back to society in her own small way and helped in one way or the other even without an “Ama K. Foundation” and believed giving back to society did not really necessitate the establishment of a foundation although she will not begrudge any celebrity who had or intends having one.
As I already stated, most of these foundations are run with the support of normal individuals and not from the coffers of these celebrities and therefore the need to make certain things known to the public.
Unlike more advanced and developed where systems are put in place to monitor the works of these foundations, Ghanaian NGOs and celebrity charity foundations seem to have a field day.
In 2012, one time Haitian presidential aspirant, Wyclef Jean was accused of misappropriating Haitian Relief Funds that were linked to his Yele.
The charity came under fire because his group was said to have lavished rich contracts on friends and family, ignored bills and spent $30,763 to fly Lindsay Lohan to a charity event.
Many others from around the world can be mentioned but the question that lingers is whether the Ghanaian celebrity charity foundations are a new wealth amassing venture.
Could the right authorities also put a check on these institutions?