When it comes to the music arena, award-winning Liberian gospel artist Kanvee Adams is a powerful figure.
However, she is relatively unknown in Liberia’s political landscape.
But with such a strong and huge fan base, it’s difficult to argue that she does not stand the chance of capturing the District #6 position as representative in Montserrado County.
Adams is a celebrity that can pull crowds within seconds; but the loyalty of her supporters will be tested when she inevitably comes under tough criticism and has to explain policy in order to be taken seriously as a candidate.
Adams’ ability to survive and maintain her broad music fan base when opponents begin asking the tough questions will make her a serious contender.
Critics will, for example, question the sincerity of the scholarship fund she launched in 2010, which she claimed benefited scores of elementary and junior high school students.
“I have personally schooled, fed, and catered to 50 students in several electoral districts in Montserrado County since 2010,” Adams claimed when she announced her candidacy last month.
This will come under serious scrutiny and fact checking.
Adams’ quest for political power speaks to the level of popular anger seen on the faces of the electorate. She hopes to tap into that anger and the people’s quest for political change.
Adams said, in several interactions, she gathered from the citizens their disappointments, hopelessness and despair, and is ready to fulfill expectations when elected.
As voters are getting continuously frustrated with mainstream politicians and their failed promises, the question becomes whether they will see Adams as the right person who can deliver on election promises by virtue of her religious affiliation as a Gospel music recording artist and as a minister of the Gospel.
In the midst of the criticisms and fact checking during campaign season, Adams will most likely use the hot and cold approach where she will defend herself and her scholarship fund as being in the interest of the citizens of her district while simultaneously assuring voters that she is the right person for the job.
On the campaign trail, she will need to tap into the desires of an already angry voting populace who are seeking bold leaders that can clearly withstand criticism, but most importantly, who can articulate a winning policy platform better than other candidates.
To her advantage, the vast majority of active voters among the electorate remain women, who are currently feeling the pain of neglect. If she can speak directly and forthrightly to their issues, they will see Adams as the solution to their problems.
During election time, voters seem to be more interested in solutions to their immediate problems than long-term and future projects, which Adams seems to have tapped into when she announced her candidacy last month.
However, looking at her political qualifications for office, the gospel artist has no known experience serving in any political capacity. As such, the odds of her becoming the voting population’s favorite are 50-50, and that could be viewed as either a plus or a minus.
In the final analysis, whether or not Adams is treated as a serious candidate will depend on how well she relates to the electorate on the issues that matter from now on, quite separate and apart from her popularity as a musician.