One of the veterans in the entertainment industry, Mabel Oboh has charged entertainers to be intentional about their health by paying more attention to living healthy lifestyles.
Oboh who was the pioneer of ‘Centre for Save our Stars’ (MOCSOS) and the second female independent movie producer; lamented the way entertainers, especially the older ones ignore their health and subject the body to an unhealthy lifestyle.
She said: “It is really heartbreaking; entertainers are dying. While giving so much joy to people, we seem to forget to care for ourselves and love 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.
Entertainers must change their attitude because most ignore their health, subject the body to an 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 rainy day when times are good. The inroads drugs, smoking, and drinking that have made into Nigeria’s entertainment space are destroying lives. They are also destroying marriages and relationships.
Oboh noted that as a veteran in the industry, it is painful whenever contemporaries die or fall sick especially when it is obvious the ailment could have been avoided or, in most cases, better managed if resources were available.
“Two years ago, I came up with a health insurance scheme that was affordable and really works. Under Mabel Oboh Centre for Save our Stars (MOCSOS), an NGO for entertainers that I established, I sponsored up to 50 entertainers’ health insurance policies for one year, and some with their families.
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 policyholders were even admitted to the hospital for one ailment or the other without paying out of their pockets. 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 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.
She however appealed to the various entertainment bodies to come together and create a massive awareness programme to educate members. “The government does have a huge role to play here also. But like every other situation we have found ourselves in this country, we are not to expect anything from our rulers. They have failed us.,
As we are entering a New Year, I plead with our joy givers to make their New Year resolution to be “My health first”.
Oboh is the first lady to create a chat show (“Chat with Mabel”) on NTA Network in early 2000; she worked as NTA governor’s office correspondent; new caster in NTA Channel 7; produced the first Mr. Biggs eatery commercial; went into politics, contested 2020 Edo governorship, and now a PDP stalwart.