In Hollywood, nothing says you have made it more than having a star with your name on it on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Unlike a statuette which might remain hidden in your cupboard, the star is a permanent and public reminder of your work in the entertainment industry. But getting a star is not easy. Despite being one of the most famous and apparently influential people in the world, Kim Kardashian still can’t get herself a star among the likes of Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney and Whoopi Goldberg.
When the African version of Walk Of Fame is launched in Rosebank in September, it’s going to be just as strict, explains Phineas Tichana from the Africa Global Heritage Foundation (AGHF), which is initiating the project.
“We won’t be giving stars to just anybody in the industry,” says Tichana. “We want to celebrate people whose contribution to Africa cannot be questioned.” Stars will be awarded to achievers in the sports, film, television, theatre, radio, recording and meritorious categories. A list of the inaugural inductees include Nelson Mandela, musicians Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Johnny Clegg and Lerato “Lira” Molapo, as well as television personalities Connie Ferguson and Bonang Matheba.
After the initial unveiling, the next list of names will be determined by public nomination. The final decision will be made by a committee made up of people in the entertainment industry. “It’s time for us as Africans to start celebrating our achievements,” says Tichana. “This is something which will unite us as a continent.”
Tichana is quick to point out he wants the African Walk of Fame to be distinctly African.
“It may be an American concept, but I know that we can make it our own. When we launch in September, the theme will be “Africa” because the walk isn’t just about celebrating stars, its about celebrating Africa. We are not trying to imitate Hollywood culture.”