For celebrities, they are often responsible for influencing an entire nation’s trends or their thoughts. Celebs have immense power and also money and they can help the poor and the downtrodden of their country in multiple ways. There are many foundations and charities each celebrity is associated with and they always try and give back to society in many ways. But then, not many try and actually make a difference to the world they live in. Their country might be grappling with a lot of issues but for celebrities often, they are above it all. And also, while they have so many charities, they hardly ever work on ground 0 or even when they do, unfortunately there’s more publicity than work (not always though).
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But for Usain Bolt, the mantra’s really simple. He likes giving back to his country and society in as many ways as possible and for that has just one simple norm – refuse to do any photo adverts anywhere but in his own country! Nope, we aren’t kidding you. The fastest runner in the world is well aware of Jamaica’s limitations and the issue of unemployment many people in the region face. Thus, he puts his foot down and adds that clause that if anyone wants to shoot an advertisement with him, they have to do it right there – in Jamaica. The shoots require a whole lot of people – right from managing the shoot to spotboys, photographer assistants, etc. And by bringing the shoots to Jamaica, he’s giving the locals a chance to earn some money and end their misery.
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Generally, it is the most exotic of locations that people and companies scout for for their shoot. Some of the shoots happen in the most advanced, beautiful countries. The developing countries are generally over-looked. While there are factories and the likes that crop up in such regions to give people jobs, they are near commercial hubs and the exotic far-flung locations find it difficult to make ends meet. As photographers are generally hunting for such locations, the solution works great for both parties – the locals as well as the companies. Also, in such regions, labour is at times cheap making it easier for the organisations too. The people readily work, enjoy their work and earn some money, helping tide themselves over.
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While talking on the Jamaican TV show Profile, Usain Bolt said, “When we started out people always wanted to do the shoots in Miami, Los Angeles and all over the world,” as reported by I Am A Jamaican. “They [the locals] used to say, ‘Oh, thanks for bringing the shoots here. We decided that you know what, we will be doing a lot more shoots. So any contract we sign, the shoot has to be in Jamaica. So we can give people jobs and help people. Over the weekends, we’ll have like over one hundred, two hundred people [working] depending on how big the shoot is. It [must be] in the contract that they’ll do the shoots here, unless they don’t have the equipment. But as long as they have the equipment, it has to be [done] here, so I can help the economy. I’ve helped a lot of people, and they always thank me. They would say, ‘Big up Usain, you really helped us, bringing the jobs here.’”
Really amazing, isn’t it?