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Does celebrity endorsement of politicians make a difference?

Dr Kobby Mensah - January 6, 2014 - 0 comments

It has become part of our political culture in Ghana. The practice where every election year so called celebrities and people in the entertainment industry queue up to endorse Presidential candidates.

This week, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was endorsed by the embattled hip-life artiste who is still in court in a public nudity case.

So does celebrity endorsement of Presidential candidates in an election year make any real difference for voters?

That was the question for discussion as Ghana connected with Lawrence Nana Asiamah Hanson popularly known as BullDog, the former manager of Shatta Wale. He recently declared his public support for John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). He was of the view that President John Mahama has done well to earn the votes of Ghanaians for a second term.

However, another panelist connecting with Ghanaians was Kwame A Plus who is probably the most notorious of all the celebrities when it comes to political endorsements, disagreed with BullDog. Although A Plus has over the last two elections endorsed Nana Akufo Addo and even composed songs to back his preferred candidate, he said he chats regularly with President Mahama on WhatsApp.

According to him, despite the fact that he is good friends with the President, he will still endorse Nana Akufo-Addo because he finds no problem with him

Dr. Kobby Mensah, a lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School who has written a lot about political marketing and communications was also in the studio to connect with listeners.

He said it is a good thing that celebrities are using what they have to connect with the target audience who would otherwise not engage with politicians or politics. Dr. Mensah said it is a transfer of goodwill from the celebrities brand to whoever is willing to pay for their services.


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