ON Saturday, May 13, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) will hold their presidential and parliamentary primaries to select candidates for the 2024, general elections.
For those in the creative industry, this would have, perhaps, been another gathering of political party members going about their normal business, but that appears not to be the case this time around.
What has changed is that two of its members who are also very good friends, popular actor John Dumelo and entrepreneur/founder of Ghana Movie Awards(GMA), Fred Nuamah, will compete for the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency seat.
Of course, it is no news when two players from the same industry are in a political contest, but what, perhaps, makes the case of Dumelo and Nuamah different is that the duo are ‘tight’ paddies who don’t hesitate flaunting the bond of their ‘brotherhood’ on social media and anywhere they get the chance, and for those who care to know.
But the question is, will this friendship stand the test of their political ambitions as they vie for the same seat at the upcoming primaries?
It all started on Thursday, February 9, when Fred Nuamah ‘shocked’ many with his announcement to contest the Ayawaso West Wuogon parliamentary seat on the ticket of the NDC next year.
Even though John Dumelo, who was the NDC’s parliamentary candidate for the constituency at the last elections had not made his intentions known at the time, a number of industry players questioned Fred’s motive for going for the same constituency.
Well, there was no cause for concern if John didn’t want to contest again, at least, since he had not made any declaration at the time.
However, the story took a new twist when on Sunday, February 26, 17 days after Fred’s announcement, Dumelo posted on his social media handles his intention to ‘return’ to the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency .
“After an extensive consultation with my God, my family and our party faithfuls in Ayawaso West Wuogon, this is the second coming,” he wrote on his Facebook wall.
Just like Fred, Dumelo accompanied his announcement with a flier as an ‘official stamp’ of his decision.
In addition to acting, John Dumelo has been hugely involved in farming and philanthropy. He has always asserted that one of the surest ways of creating employment is agriculture.
Fred Nuamah, also a business man, is widely known as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GMA, an awards scheme that honours creatives in the film making industry in Ghana.
For John Dumelo, this is not his first time in the contest. In the 2020 elections, he ran for the constituency seat on the ticket of the NDC, but lost to the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Lydia Seyram Alhassan during the general elections.
Lydia Seyram Alhassan won with 39,851 out of 77,604 total votes while John Dumelo of the NDC had 37,778. An independent candidate got 108 votes.
John was actively involved in party politics as he was seen seriously campaigning on various fronts in the last election year, but Fred, who said he had been quietly nurturing his political ambitions, was missing in the political limelight, perhaps a reason his announcement earlier last month surprised many people.
Celebs in Politics
Over the years, the likes of actress Ebi Bright, Kwame Dzokoto, Fritz Baffour, Abraham Kofi Davies, aka Salinko, among others have contested for parliamentary elections.
It has been argued that getting a lot of creatives in parliament will be greatly beneficial to the industry because they get to add their voice to policies that will transform the sector for the better.
However, such political events appear not to always end well for the few bold ones who take such steps, with complaints of marginalisation topping the list. It is believed marginalisation goes a long way to affect their careers.
For instance, actor Clement Bonney, popularly known as Mr Beautiful, had been voicing such ‘ills’ when he disclosed some time ago that some film producers stopped seeking his services when he publicly campaigned for former President John Dramani Mahama at the 2012 general elections.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Fred Nuamah, who says he is not a novice in the political space, said he has braced himself for any ‘storm’ ahead.
“The decision to enter any activity or space must emanate from personal conviction. When you are convinced about your actions, you don’t care what people think about it.
“We have seen showbiz people who decided to go into politics become successful, so challenges will come, but by the grace of God, I shall overcome them.
“Besides, governance is not the preserve of only some group of persons. It’s supposed to be a collective effort. We all have different skills and capacities, so we should avail them for the development of the country. I would entreat my colleagues and every other person to come together and contribute their quota to the governance of our country. Let us contribute to a positive agenda,” he said.
Friendship and Chances
In separate interviews with the Daily Graphic, both friends touted their credentials and noted that their political ambition was not a threat to their friendship.
At the moment, Dumelo’s political qualifications is not in doubt, considering his performance at the last general elections, which is likely to be his strong selling point, should he get the nod to represent the NDC next year.
But can same be said of Nuamah, whose message for the people is: “Uniting and resourcing the branches for victory 2024”?
We have seen showbiz people who decided to go into politics become successful, so challenges will come, but by the grace of God, I shall overcome them.