Nigeria: Health and Welfare in Entertainment Industry – Are We Deaf, Blind, Stupid or Just Lax?

This is really heart breaking; entertainers are dying. While giving so much joy to people, we seem to forget about ourselves — caring for and loving our health. The end result is ill-health and death. Some things are beyond our control. But a conscious attempt at maintaining good health is in our hands.

This is why entertainers must change their attitude. Most ignore their health, subject the body to unhealthy lifestyle and then beg for money for treatment — usually when it’s too late.

We are too valuable and pivotal in the society to be degrading ourselves with the constant need to seek charity. We must put ourselves first and save for the raining day when times are good. The inroads drugs, smoking and drinking have made into Nigeria’s entertainment space are destroying lives. They also destroy marriages and relationships. Overindulgence is an all round bomb.

As a veteran of the industry, it is painful on a personal level whenever my contemporaries die or are sick. This is especially so when it is obvious the ailment could have been avoided or, in most cases, better managed if resources were available.

What I have done

I did not just sit and moan. Two years ago, I came up with a health insurance scheme that was affordable and really works. Under MOCSOS (Mabel Oboh Centre for Save our Stars), an NGO for entertainers that I established, I sponsored up to 50 entertainers’ health insurance policies for one year, and some with their families.

Believe it or not, after the year ended none of them was interested in paying for the renewal of their health insurance, which was very beneficial to them. Some of the policy holders were even admitted in the hospital for one ailment or the other without paying out of their pockets.

I know what I had to go through to negotiate such a good deal. Interestingly, the non-entertainers that took out the insurance were eager to renew theirs.

We all know that our health system in Nigeria is a joke. But, believe me, prevention is better than cure. We can, at least, help save ourselves if the government is not doing it. The whole idea is if we have unlimited access to medical care, the chances of dying unnecessarily will be limited. We can actually have regular checkups as needed. If for nothing, but for peace of mind. The earlier a disease is diagnosed, the better are the chances of survival.

I’m so angry I’m truly asking why entertainers are doing this to themselves. I know that we will all pass on someday. But not this way.

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