The Power of the Powerless Fans: Chris Brown Smashes Fan`s Phone in Kenya

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To many, being a celebrity is not only synonymous with being above the law, celebrities are just independent of their fans because the fans are, to a large extent, not responsible for their success, many believe. Sadly, more often than not, many celebrities either through their actions or words tend to reaffirm these watery and indeed myopic misconceptions. But the reality is that fans are the backbone of every luminary; they make celebrities what they are, as well as sustain them. Once fans withdraw their support for a celebrity, it can have very negative ““ and for that matter, financial – consequences on the said superstar. Moreover, being a popular figure does not automatically make one responsible or law abiding. With this in mind, it is sad and indeed disheartening to hear that American music star Chris Brown, who performed over the weekend in Mombasa, Kenya allegedly smashed a mobile phone of one of his devoted fans, simply because the enthusiastic fan wanted to take a selfie with him on arrival in Mombasa.

The arguably irresponsible musician, Chris Brown, is not the best friend to the law enforcement agency due to his aggressive behaviour and lawlessness, including brutally beating up his former girlfriend Rihanna, which sparked outrage worldwide. After getting a mild sentencing from the court for the brutal attack on Rihanna, one would have expected that the arrogant singer would get his act in order; but that has not been the case. The ugly incidence at the airport in Kenya seriously undermines Mr Brown`s social status and absolutely puts a big question mark on his role model expectations, responsibility and attitude towards his devoted fans worldwide. According to the victim, Brenda Sugut :

“I was with my sister and we had gone to receive a guest at the airport and that is when we saw Chris Brown and I got excited and asked him if I could take a selfie with him. He did not answer me but I went ahead and followed him while trying to get the selfie and that is when he grabbed my phone and smashed it down. My phone cost me Sh81,999, it’s an iPhone 6.”

Being a celebrity comes with responsibilities and sacrifices, amongst them, showing a high degree of responsibility and acting as a role model. More than that, as a Star, one must learn to cope with enthusiastically devoted fans who want to identify with you. They come to you, simply because they love you. Taking photos of you, including the selfie is part of the daily life of a known figure. One can imagine that taking private or intimate photos of someone (celebrity or otherwise) can be irritating, but come on, wanting the selfie of Chris Brown is not the same as taking a naked photo of him. Thus any fair thinking person must equivocally condemn Brown`s irresponsible smashing of Brenda Sugut “˜s mobile phone.

Three months ago, Koffi Olomide, a highly respected DRC-born musician, caused commotions at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, after beating up a female member of his band. That unacceptable behaviour earned him a quick deportation from the Kenyan authority. Bravo!!

I cannot help asking myself why the authorities in Kenya did not take a similar drastic action against Chris Brown. I want to believe that Chris Brown`s American nationality did not provide any undue protective umbrella for him in view of his unacceptable inglorious act in Kenya. To be blunt, Chris Brown came to Kenya to perform because he needed his fans` money (regardless how rich he claims he is!!). He did not perform in Kenya free of charge. No, he needed money from his Kenya fans ““ including the mistreated Brenda Sugut, who though decided later to shun the show due to obvious reasons.

Definitely, I had expected the authorities in Kenya to make sure Chris Brown not only express unconditional apologies for his rude and shameful behaviour. Furthermore, he must replace the damaged phone and if possible to pay some damages to his innocent victim. Having allegedly made Ksh90 Million for a 90-minute concert, Christ Brown should indeed have done more to show appreciations than smashing his fan`s mobile phone. There is no other better way to make your devoted fans happier than to show them you appreciate their love, loyalty and devotion. Sharing a photo shot with them is just one way of showing your appreciations to your loyal fans. It is high time fans learnt that the success of these artists, depends on the devotion of the fans. Christ Brown can only learn this in a hard way, if he meets an empty hall when next he performs in Kenya. Perhaps, that would be the best way for him to learn that just smashing a phone of “poor“ but devoted fan of his in “poor“ Kenya could have more repercussions for him than infamously beating up another woman in the USA, where he is more likely to get away with a lenient court verdict.

Definitely, gods and goddesses are not only feared but accorded importance, simply because of the devotion of their worshippers. Once these worshippers withdraw their devotion, the gods and goddesses ceased to exist. This is not less different with Chris Brown – and a bunch of other arrogant celebrities.