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28.04.2021 Opinion

Traits of a Cartel; The Table of Men called TOM

By Enock Agyepong
Traits of a Cartel; The Table of Men called TOM
LISTEN APR 28, 2021

If it looks, moves and sounds like a duck then it is a duck.

TOM as they are popularly known is a group of young Gospel Radio Presenters who have come together to push the Agenda of the Gospel Artists in that Ministry.

Initially we had no issues with them since there is nothing wrong in people coming together to push an agenda but from our experience in this Industry we were cautious since this formidable force will obviously gain some powers because of Unity and if care is not taken they might just abuse those powers when egos set in and destroy that Ministry in the end.

Somewhere around 2005 a similar Cartel was form to push a certain Highlife Artist which I won’t mention names. This Cartel also consisted of Top Drive time Presenters and they executed the job Perfectly. Now they became a very powerful cartel and anyone who channel his or her songs through them became an instant Hit. Due to this they started getting requests from Burgas from abroad who had money with bad songs and that is where our fears emanate from.

They were now promoting bad songs that came with dollars and neglecting good talents that came without money and soon our system was flooded with thrash songs which eventually killed the Industry and rendered the Cartel bogus.

Today they’re all around but not making monies from the music but other activities after using the music to build their individual brands after killing the industry with their greed.

Now that is the reason we started raising red flags when we saw TOM exhibiting similar traits especially when that Highlife Cartel use to sabotage other Artists who did not come through their Camp and we didn’t want a repeat of 2005 in 2021 which will also lead to the complete collapse of the Gospel sector when power, Ego & greed sets in due to human nature.

We saw the Joe push to the Top by TOM and it was impressive and then we saw them push other Artists alongside then all of a sudden one of their Members OB Nartey came on radio to place their Joe above every other Gospel Artist and that is what sounded the Alarm.

Other Gospel Artists got offended and reacted to that bogus statement then we saw the Cartel ganging up against those Artist especially Patience who was not in their camp as well.

As long us the VhimCrew is concerned Bullying in the Industry is prohibited so we stepped in and defended the vulnerable Artist before the Cats could devour her.

This Tomfoolery really got us worried and we’re watching what will happen to Patience especially when some of the TOM members were part of the 3Music Awards scheme but our worries were laid to rest when Patience was Nominated and Justice Prevailed.

Fast forward to VGMAs which strangely didn’t Nominate Patience but as for them we know how Vindictive they are so let’s go back to our TOM the subject matter for now.

Just 3days ago another Artist called Carl had an interview on Hitz where the TOM members were gathered and he spoke bitterly about how they treated him especially by the same OB who refused to play his song because according to OB the song was too fast smh. You could hear in Carl’s voice that these people have been able to really frustrate him and OB AGAIN said on radio that he Carl should count himself lucky that he’s being interviewed on Hitz fm that morning which could be a breakthrough for him.

They also reiterated on the same program that if you needed their services you should approach them and pay consultancy fees and clearly such pronouncements showed the traits of that highlife Cartel that destroyed a part of the industry and we obviously don’t want a repeat like I posited earlier.

Fact is the members of TOM are firstly Radio Presenters and secondly Music Promoters and lastly their new roles as a Consultancy Cartel called TOM so it is their responsibility to Promote EVERY Gospel Artist in the industry and therefore provide that level playing field for all these artists most importantly the Talented ones without monies and that must be critically looked at because INDUSTRY is BUILT with TALENTS and not Non Talents with Money to spend on a few greedy folks.

After the back and forth with TOM we’ve observed some changes which is a bit encouraging yes we all know their bias for Urban Gospel and how their OB spoke bitterly towards Gospel Artist Cece who featured a Secular Artist Afya recently but we met 3 Members of TOM at the Video launch of Yaw Sarpong who is Not an Urban Gospel Artist but a Traditional one who also featured a Secular Artist Sarkodie recently and they were there not just to give moral support but played significant roles such us MCing and coordinating the entire event as well.

We have observed how they’ve started supporting Kofi Owusu Peprah #BigGod a new gospel sensation who is not from their camp and with such gestures we can calm down since fairness is all we ask for.

We’ve also had long conversations with some of their members who have assured us that fairness will be their hallmark.

Fact is The industry is too big to accommodate everyone so let’s make sure we don’t become stumbling blocks to others who belongs to other camps yes it is a competition BUT we can keep it healthy if we put the industry first and always remember that as long as the skies is too big to accommodate all the stars so is our industry too big to accommodate all the talents so let’s all concentrate on pushing our brands up and not be seen pushing others down whiles we try to push ours up BECAUSE it will only lead to all of us destroying ourselves just like the first Cartel did.

Like I said if it looks, moves and sounds like a duck then it is a duck BUT this TOM is not a duck but a Cat so we’ll continue to watch and hope it remains a Cat so that they can truly build their Gospel industry which foundation is based on Christ the Holy Jesus.

In conclusion we’ll like to say we’re all free to build Cartels but let’s remember to put the Industry First so that when the Industry Succeeds Every stakeholder will Partake in that success.

Before we drop the Pen we will ask them to get a leash for OB so he stops barking like a dog when actually he is a Cat called TOM.

#IndustryFirst #VhimMoveMent

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