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29.12.2015 Feature Article

Is Shatta Wale Indeed An Eagle Or Star Fish?

Is Shatta Wale Indeed An Eagle Or Star Fish?
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I am not an entertainment fanatics and most of you who follows me knows, I write strictly on men’s health and the change in the dangme land. But, as a registered medical practitioner in alternative medicines, I do lot of advocacy on men’s prostate cancer. This Xmas, I took my time to relax with my girl! But anyway, I am a young man in my thirties, so don’t underestimate my intelligence in showbiz also. I heard of Bandana way back and even, if not, my colleagues talk about him.

Eventually, he transformed into Shatta Wale! So , when I heard his collabo with Pop Skinny et al, and finally this current one” Kaikai” I realized that the guy has made it big time! He shames all his detractors! When, I wrote the first article “An open letter to shatta wale: you are indeed a leader, to be accessed at: I realized that the article had about 3.9kshares on FB within 2 days with lots of comments. I never knew shatta had this kind of support.

Though, some think that, shatta is not a leader, because there are leaders before he came into the limelight, I have no problem!

“I’m overdose myself”
In the said article, I akin shatta to the story of the boiled frog and then, ultimately the story of the eagle and how the eagle survive longevity, because of endurance of change. I akin his success story today to a change documentary I watched some time ago about the eagle story.

The Eagle Story, Everything could be converted into Inspiration. People doubted shatta, when he came into the limelight, but he proved them wrong. He was bold enough to let them know that he even deserve award he was denied but his resilience, persistence and fight for justice was akin to shatta movement, and eventually, he won the award the following year. That story is the replica of the boiled frog I made mentioned, he didn’t become the boiled frog, because he paid attention to what was going on around him. Most of us don’t pay attention to what is going on around us and we take it for granted, until we finally perish!

Whether, he has changed the music industry or not or whether he has redefined dance hall and or made a difference is an achievement and he will; be rememba for life! Indeed, he is a leader and wl be others fada in the business!

Today, academics, scholars, medical, writers and not only entertainment pundits are writing about shatta. It tells you that, he is indeed a leader and has gain recognition in the country and the world at large.

Now, some calls him the eagle because of my first article, but in this article, I want you guys-pundits to debate on this, in your industry, whether he has caused a change in dancehall or made a difference and, I am giving you another story and you judge for yourself!

Let me explain with a famous story which you might have heard already but if not then read on.

The Starfish Story
There’s a story of a man throwing starfishes into the sea, which I’ll do my best to remember for you here:

An elderly man was walking along the beach, admiring the beautiful view. As he walked, he noticed that a large group of starfishes had been washed ashore by the receding tide, and they were struggling to get back to the water. The man was saddened by this turn of events, but accepted that there was nothing he could do to change anything.

The man walked on, continuing to notice the large numbers of helpless starfishes, until he saw another man in the distance standing at the water’s edge amongst the starfishes. Curious, the elderly man walked over to him, wandering what he was up to.

As he got closer, the elderly man could see that the younger man was picking up starfishes, one by one, and throwing them back out into the sea. Astonished, the elderly man got close enough for the other man to hear him, and then he called out.

“Hey! What on earth are you doing?”
The younger man turned to him and smiled, then turned back to the sea, still continuing his duty of picking up and throwing starfishes.

“I’m helping these starfishes get back into the ocean.”

The elderly man couldn’t believe it, why was this man wasting his time throwing starfishes back? There were thousands of them here, it would take him days! He voiced his thoughts.

“Why are you throwing them back? There’s thousands of them here, it’ll take you forever! How can you possibly hope to make a difference to these starfishes?”

Remaining calm, the younger man continued his duty without looking at the elderly man. Just as he threw another starfish back into the ocean, he replied.

“I made a difference to that one.”
The moral of the story sums up my point about wanting to make a difference in the music industry and especially in dancehall music. Most pundits doubted shatta when he rebranded! Some thought, he was wasting his time, but today, he proved them wrong because he has made a big difference, great impact and inspire the young ones who want to venture into dance hall.

You see, you can make a difference to individuals, even to groups of people. A rare few of us may even influence whole communities and societies. But probably to change the trend because other countries are the originators, probably it seems impossible and they, pundits, did not take into account other factors before saying this against shatta. To throw thousands of starfishes into the ocean single-handedly? I’m afraid this isn’t possible.

Shatta, probably knows this story on changing a society or an industry and consider lot of factors before coming into the industry after rebranding. Why isn’t this possible? Part of it is because of the nature of the people and other factors right now – probably, the so called pundits were looking at the marketability of music and the perceived mind the people have in effect today, and they have made significant and important strides towards solving the dance hall ailments and probably, it failed them. Because, as I listened to them on Adom TV, one of the entertainment program, they even made mentioned of some musicians who came into the limelight and they failed.

This is the defining element of change – change begins within.

We Can Only Change Ourselves
Do you remember the Mother Teresa quote? It goes something like this:

“If everyone only cleaned their own doorstep, the whole world would be clean.”

What does this say to you? To me, it says that we can only change ourselves, and our first priority should be changing our ways and beliefs, cleaning our own doorsteps. If you believe the industry is an orphan one, you will remain an orphan industry, but not Shatta Wale. Change your mindset simple and the people will follow and shatta did it and it work!

How can I lead others if I can’t lead myself? How can others trust me, or I trust others, if I first can’t trust myself? How can I love others if I can’t love myself? All these require change within to achieve.

The Starfish metaphor and story is important because it established clarity to stories such as the authors share about the Quakers. The Quakers were a starfish (De-Centralized) community and at a certain point specific members decided that the slavery that existed was wrong and decided to support the abolitionist movement. They joined forces with other activist’s and used the Sugar Production industry as the campaign platform to gain public sentiment.

This emergence of a “Catalyst” to move the struggle further is illustrated as an effective way to help create change and open up dialog. One of the most important clarifications the book makes is in the role of an organizational “Catalyst” versus a Champion or a CEO. Catalysts inspire and naturally connect people by creating relationships that are based on Appreciative Inquiry, Trust and Understanding.

They are considered “influencers” and every time they have a conversation with someone they are thinking about “How can I help this person” by introducing them to someone else to help this person or make them better. This is what the pundits, who, if they really love the industry should be considering now, because shatta has proven what can be gotten from the dance hall industry if taken seriously.

Shatta, you are a change catalyst, you are an inspiration and very influential, you made me take to my dancing shoe to dance your song “Kai Kai”

This is accomplished by sharing inspirational stories and some of the Catalyst’s tools are a genuine interest in others, a desire to help, meet people where they are, emotional intelligence, a tolerance for ambiguity and a hands off approach which leads to receding (they leave!!).

Finally shatta defied all odds and left those who didn’t believed in him and, after, he proved them wrong, he responded back to them in “Kaikai”

Shatta did something right here and drew my attention to another story.

The shaolin Temple story
You see, in an ancient Shaolin Temple, a novice monk was thinking about quitting. He was tired of his fellow monks laughing at his Kung-Fu skills. Every time he made a mistake, they would take great pride in pointing it out and reminding him that he was not good enough. He packed his bag and went in search of his Master to bid him farewell. When he got to the Master's chamber, there was a cup of water and two small bags of salt on the table. The old man emptied one bag of salt into the cup of water and asked the novice to drink it. The boy took one sip and spat it out. The old man smiled and stroked his beard. "How does it taste?" he asked.

The boy wiped his mouth and replied, "Very bitter, Shifu"

The master then took the boy down to the edge of the lake. He emptied the second bag of salt into the lake and asked the boy to drink from the lake. "How does it taste?" he queried for the second time.

"It tastes fine, Shifu", was the boy's response.

Master patted him on the shoulder and said, "When people doubt you, it is like pouring salt into water. How it affects you depends on whether you are a cup or a lake.

Another Chinese film I watch and the guys presume to be the killer said” life is about 100% , 10% is about what happen to you in life and 90% is how you react to it and therefore challenged people to leave life to the 90% and not 10%

So my friends, if we define our capabilities based on other people's expectations, then we will never be bigger than cups. But if we set our own expectations higher than what the world sets for us, then we will always prove our critics wrong. Cup or lake, it's all up to you and shatta you have proved this.

To me, as I listen to your song and your personality, I describe you as “ a revolutionalist.... of dancehall in Ghana. In fact, you are a catalyst for change in the dance hall industry.

So, My dear shatta, I leave this to you because you have more a heard and it is very important, “I am always guided by this personal philosophy, which goes like this “the future you picture is the future you will feature, the ‘YOU’ you see is the ‘YOU’ you will become. Therefore picture a great future to feature and desire a great ‘YOU’ to become and the almighty God will see to it that you have featured in the future you have pictured and have become the YOU, you have desired”

Thank you readers and start your own debate on whether he is indeed a leader, eagle, boiled frog , shaolin temple or star fish. Bye!

Personal appeal to shatta
But one thing, I appeal from you and your team is to consider a social corporate work and our prostate cancer charity will be happy if you can do a song on prostate cancer to help raise awareness on the disease and this will be credited to you and in fact you will also stand tall. We are ready to help you and your team. You guys can contact us if you want to help the men in the country on: 0541234556.or [email protected]

Stay bless! Until then, Shatta Waleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu:ND,MSc, PhD candidate, Is a prostate cancer policy maker , researcher and alternative medical practitioner with Men’s Health Foundation Ghana.

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