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Take action against celebrities who break the law

By The Standard | July 24th 2016

The assault by Congolese musician Koffi Olomide on a woman at the Jomo Kenyatta international Airport is an outrage.

The popular Lingala musician was caught on tape as he kicked a member of his band in a despicable act that was committed in the presence of police officers.

Demands for his arrest on social media are probably what led to his subsequent arrest and deportation with a good number of his fans promising that they would boycott his future shows. The musician probably took their cue and posted an apology on Facebook, but the damage had been done.

Those who have described this assault as an infraction miss the point. We must do everything to curb the growing number of cases of gender violence.

Musicians serve as role models and when they break the law, the youths who look up to them are let down by their actions.

The excesses of celebrities are often excused because of their high profile , and this is why deterrent action in a case such a Mr Olomide’s sends the right message.

There are those have argued that the punishment meted out to the musician was too light because the offence he committed was criminal in nature. Perhaps they do have a point – the law should not be overlooked because of the high profile of the perpetrator.

Therefore, there must not be double standards about how celebrities are treated.

The question that is bound to arise in the coming weeks is just how much do we expose impressionable youths to celebrities who have little regard to social norms and the law.

We must start having conversations about exposing the youth to the right role models. This should start with the type of movies we allow our children to watch, or the type of music they are allowed to listen to.

Let the Omide incident be a reminder that those who break the law – no matter how famous – will be made to account.

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