Historians cannot write 2016 elections without acknowledging the massive support and endorsements of celebrities’. Even though this is not new to Ghana politics, the number of celebrity endorsements in 2016 elections is unprecedented.
One celebrity whose endorsement could not be undermined is Kwame A-Plus, an unwavering supporter of President-elect of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. In the annals of New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) history, A-Plus would be best described as a ‘brick’ (like Nana Addo better describes him).
The most important lesson that A-Plus has taught the world is the power of social media. If there is anyone who has wondered whether social media has any effect, A-Plus’ massive social media campaign is your answer. From the release of his most played election song ‘Aben b3 bon’ to his countless interviews on the song and his support for Nana Addo, he took advantage of Facebook’s latest invention ‘Facebook live’ to bring his fans and non-fans alike closer to all his endeavours and NPP’s election messages.
Following his posts and live videos, A-Plus presented himself as a counter-propaganda machinery of the NPP. His quick reactions to National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) scads of incessant propaganda attacks on the Nana Addo brand clarified the thoughts of many about the yet-to-be inaugurated president. Pairing him with NDC activists in interviews also made many witness how in-depth he is politically. All of these were done via the social media.
No one would be wrong to mention that, A-Plus’ Facebook page was active in responding to NDC’s attacks and propaganda than any of the NPP’s social media account and even pro-NPP print media. Even those who did not agree with some of his assertions often visited his page to get updates about the NPP’s activities.
To many, Mzbel was used by the NDC as a counter celebrity to A-Plus but what Mzbel could not do well was that, she could not address issues; hers was to post pictures of tarred roads in the Central region, take selfies with the President, shower ‘My father praises’ on the outgoing president and spew ‘Nana Addo is not a presidential material’ mantras in most interviews she granted. Notwithstanding her near-shallow political campaign strategies, as far as social media politics is concerned, Mzbel ‘vuvuzeled’ the issue of the amount spent on Ghana at 50 celebrations and the amount spent on the Kwame Nkrumah interchange. With that, she was on point to drew the attention of her 150,354 ‘likers’. Even though A-Plus also constantly mentioned that President Mahama has failed and Ghanaians need to vote him out, some of his reactions were based on growth of economy, unemployment rates and other politically correct issues. On the other hand, A-Plus’ campaigns were too biased and always painted the NPP as the angelic politicians Ghana has ever had. Some of the issues that the NPP did not do right were cleverly covered and overlooked by him, making his stance extremely subjective.
Not only did he use his Facebook for political updates and counter-propaganda avenue, he also used it as an avenue to advertise a new products and inventions of some successful offices and banks and other organisations. Many have wondered how much the real estate agent, Kwame A-Plus charge per advertisement on his influential page.
One of the displeasing updates on his page that many silently complain is his posts on sex which some argue that knowing the number of followers that he has which cut across different age categories, he should be chary on what he posts especially knowing that most youth take seriously what their role models post on social media.
He is currently running free promo on his page and the amount of messages that he receives from people to help advertise their product is enviable. Kofi Kinaata is a beneficiary of the A-Plus free promotions on his social media and it would not be wrong to mention that, Kinaata owes the success of his ‘Confession’ to Kwame A-Plus.
Build a very credible social media page, build the numbers, make the social media page interactive, be unpredictable in your posts and this would make the page a very effective one, a lesson Kwame A-Plus has taught the world.
Author: Nana Kwesi Coomson (www.233times.com) @nkcoomson on Twitter