Are our celebs living large or living a big fat lie?

For many celebs, peer pressure and public perceptions make them live large, by – as Evangelical preachers like saying – “fire or force”

Mention the name, ‘celeb’ and what comes to the minds of many folks who are on the outside looking in are images of a chosen-few who are living large. But that is not always the case. True, there are celebs who are living large. But there are others who are living a big fat lie.

For many celebs, peer pressure and public perceptions make them live large, by – as Evangelical preachers like saying – “fire or force”. And once one has crossed this red line, they do whatever it takes to keep up appearances.

On March 4, 2011, in the ‘Main Story’, Pulse delved into this topic. The jump off point was Prezzo. Long before other celebs discovered swag, Prezzo dressed the part, walked the talk, drove the rides, lived in the leafy ‘burbs and, when occasion demanded, hired choppers for a three-minute ride.

Prezzo wrote the living large manual. And then Jaguar tore this manual to shreds.

“His showbiz rival Jaguar candidly describes him as a young man who rode on his family’s fame and finances, which he exhausted by funding his unrealistic showbiz ventures,” the article read. “With time, all the money was gone so was the flashy showbiz lifestyle, which he could hardly sustain without music concerts to keep it going.”

Granted, the sources of wealth of some celebs are suspicious. But there are those who rise from grass, by their bootstraps – not licking ass or selling their as*** for a song – and build empires from honest, blood, sweat and tears.

Good example? Homeboyz. These guys should be a must-learn case study for any celeb who wants to successfully combine show and business. From playing in weddings and clubs, now the outfit – among others – organises super shows, owns radio stations and co-runs Homeboyz Animation in partnership with a UK company.

Apart from the usual celebrity suspects – and the usual wannabes – our sports stars are also living large. When the article was written, Dennis Oliech was Kenya’s numero uno baller, on and off the pitch. He was playing the beautiful game in France, and lived the fabulous life, both at home and abroad.

Depending on whom you ask, Oliech’s game – again, both on and off the pitch – is now either down or ish-ish.

But Oliech’s plight somewhat mirrors that of, arguably, the best cricketer Kenya has ever produced: Maurice Odumbe. This brother hit the jackpot with his batting and partying prowess, but also hit rock bottom with the same damn bats.

Many celebs realise when it is too late that they wasted their gifts and opportunities. Which is why it is best for them to seize every moment and, like Abbas Kubaff sang, take their money to the bank and not piss it in their pub’s urinal.

The take-home messages from the article were four-fold. One, don’t fake it. Two, do your thing; don’t copy your peers. Three, invest in multiple sources of income. Four; ball, but do not blow away your fortune.