Well, I know most of you will be infuriated by what you will read in the paragraphs below but then, my editor just reminded me that I own all the copyrights of this column and whatever I write is my opinion. I don’t need to do consultation here and there to write what I write here.
Let’s go….So my question is; what is this whole Hullabaloo about Alpha?
Not because I don’t know anything going on; let me inform you that I really know who Alpha Rwirangira is- the young man who did us proud by winning the Tusker Project Fame 3 at the first attempt by Rwanda.
First of all, I don’t want to sound a pessimist or a sadist of sorts. Am really happy for him and I was one of his ardent fans. Save for the name Alpha-which means number 1 in Greek, I could not imagine this baby faced boy winning the top prize.
I knew he would at least make it to the final stages of the competition but by winning, he did not only surprise me and you but also himself.
Every time I would see the likes of Patricia and Leah sing, I would hold my breath and be like “God help Alpha be number one.”
I painfully held on from the start to the end of the show to see this guy. Every time it would clock 6pm on Saturday and Sunday, I would be glued on TV hoping to see ‘our’ boy through and every moment Ian would pick the microphone, we would hold our breath and wait for Gods mercy to reign on our last standing contestant.
Thank God our prayers (and his singing) paid off, he pulled it off and he was the winner. As we were still ecstatic about our boys triumph, somebody showed up with T-shirts emblazoned with a smiling Alpha-which people bought freely (thank God I never bought one).
The proud owners of the T-shirts donned them and smiled all the way to the Airport and later to the Stadium to welcome our hero and poof!!! He was not amused, he felt like undressing all of them, for they were using his ‘copyrighted’ image without his authority.
It didn’t stop there, he took a walk around Kigali after a long time away (about 8 weeks) and happened to pass by Nakumatt, probably to buy an energy drink and he happened to see his “T-shirts” on sale.
A riled Alpha immediately ordered for the T-shirts to be brought down and the people who were so creative to do the T-shirts, to immediately be summoned for they were ‘literally eating him alive’, I suppose this means using his copyrighted name without his consent.
Well, Alpha my Boy, this kind of ego will not take you anywhere and I think you have started on the wrong foot. These are the same people who really did all they could to vote you all the way, to keep you in the competition much as you sung your way to the top.
People sacrificed their resources to vote you and give you moral support and the last thing you would do to pay them back was to scream at them ‘hey get the damn T-shirts with my picture off’, unless of course you really wanted to see them (most of them were women) walk back home half naked.
And for starters, I think it is still too early to consider yourself a ‘big star’ whose image is copyrighted-but rather a budding musician, who still needs to amass a huge fan base, to support him all the way.
Loosing a single fan at this moment is an abominable thing to do and I am sure with this attitude, you will lose hundreds, if not thousands of admirers.
I am sure if we were to go by your standards; thousands of us would be in jail for wearing Jay-Z, 50-Cents and those ‘I love Jennifer Lopez” T-shirts. It’s ironical that when we choose to swap these T-shirts of western artists (they are of high quality by the way) for those of our very own, they are not impressed at all.
To say the least, you should actually be thankful for this gesture, much as in the time to come you will have to guard your name and image jealously, if you make it to a bigger stage.
But as for now, relax and let the people take the message of ALPHA countrywide…and of course a few will make some bucks in the process but this won’t hurt you in anyway.