Do You Think Sarkodie Is A Bad Role Model?

Civil society watchdogs label Sarkodie a terrible role model for smoking cigars in his most recent photo shoots as entertainment pundits defend the ‘useless’ accusations

Do You Think Sarkodie Is A Bad Role Model?

Sarkodie has been accused of being a bad role model to the Ghanaian youths for recently releasing a photo shoot of himself smoking a cigar on camera.

This accusation came from the civil society watchdogs who have made it their mission to target celebrities and 'bring them to order'.

It will be recalled that Akuapem Poloo suffered a similar fate last year when she was dragged in public, and eventually to the court, for releasing a nude photoshoot of herself and her son.

Akuapem Poloo was forced to take a jail sentence and apologise to the general public for her indecent actions.

Since then there has been a Hugh alert to curb the excesses of celebrities.

An unnecessary alert that has been making celebrities become hypocrites, pretending to turn to the Lord just to escape public scrutiny.

Akuapem Poloo, Nana Agradaa, Moesha Bodoung and most recently Wendy Shay have all turned to the Lord in hopes that their actions will no longer be condemned and their 'past sins' will be forgiven.

The same set of critics have now come for Sarkodie.

According to the Ghana Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Sarkodie was 'making the smoking of cigarettes attractive' by doing a photoshoot on his own Instagram page.

This, they argued, is bound to have a negative impact on the youths because most people look up to Sarkodie as the foremost rap artist in the country.

A statement was issued by Mr Labram Musah, the Director of Programmes of VALD, and National Coordinator of Ghana NCD Alliance asking Sarkodie to therefore apologise for his 'unruly' behaviour.

The statement read:

"We are very disappointed in Sarkodie for circulating pictures of himself smoking a cigar on social media without considering the negative influence this singular act stands to have on the public, especially the youth, most of whom consider him as their role model."

“We are also by this statement calling on the singer to render an apology to all Ghanaians, especially the youth, for such a distasteful act that has the propensity of changing the behaviour of our youth from good to bad and pledge to support and promote the health and well-being of all."

Using Ghana’s Public Health Act (Act 851) under part Six, which prohibits tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship as a background they maintained that Ghana is battling an increased rate of shisha smoking among the youth in second-cycle and tertiary institutions and therefore Sarkodie is in the wrong to promote it.

In truth, Tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of death in the world. An estimated eight million lives are lost annually due to tobacco use, and 600,000 people are killed by exposure to tobacco smoke worldwide and some countries have even banned its use.

Smoking also increases the risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis and many more. The cost of treatment for these effects is very high, which sends the majority to their early graves and leads families into abject poverty. It is important to note that smokers have a high risk of contracting COVID-19 due to weak immune system as a result of smoking.” as a matter of fact.

This however is not grounds enough to label Sarkodie as a bad role model.

The rapper has been inspiring and will still continue inspiring youths in Ghana to stand up from the throes of poverty and make something out of themselves.

His story remains a light of hope to youths who don't think they can make something out of their own lives.

The witch-hunt for celebrities needs to stop or it might set Ghana on a slippery slope where there will be no international representation in terms of celebrities.

Or do you think they are right and Sarkodie is just a bad role model?