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23.05.2019 Feature Article

Class 91.3 EBS Diaries: The Dancehall Rumble.

Class 91.3 EBS Diaries: The Dancehall Rumble.

Class 91.3 FM Executive Breakfast Show Diaries are a series of retrospective articles about the radio programme, authored by social activist Vincent Letsa Kobla Djokoto, a regular panellist. The Class 91.3 FM EBS is hosted by Benjamin Akakpo and produced by Robert Israel.

Retired Teetotaller.
I have hanged my boots as a teetotaller, at least for the next month or two, after almost half a year. Besides, summer is almost here, such perfect timing, right? I had a fine glass of Pinot Grigio at the climax of a relaxing weekend; the next thing I realise, it is half past 4! The Gruvie album, by Kuvie, is still playing. It is never a bad way to start the first day of the week bopping your head to some cool vibes. The tenacious, and quite frankly, workaholic producer Robert Israel has already sent a jolly long text about the programme an hour ago.

I have got more than enough time to get ready and research on the scheduled topics for discussion on Class 91.3 FM this morning. After excessively rotating between music produced by Kuvie throughout the entire weekend, it is time to give Kwesi Arthur’s new musical project, Live From Nkrumah Krom Vol. II, a thorough listen.

Today, on the Class Executive Breakfast Show, hosted by the suave Benjamin Akakpo on Class 91.3 FM, we are discussing the brawl that occurred between the camps of Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale at the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards during the past weekend. I am also excited for the launch of the Youth Employment week on the show! The road is clear, the weather is cooler than usual and I am locked in on the Class 91.3 FM en route to the Ridge-based office for another smooth few hours on the airwaves.

The Usual Suspects.
Robert is on his feet, charismatic as always, his sleeves rolled up to his elbow, as usual, pacing up and down the reception room opposite the studio prepping the team for the next set of the show. He is the only one standing and fine tuning the programme for the umpteenth time! Anyone who knows Robert understands how intensely meticulous he is with production.

Benjamin, dapper as always, is seated in his corner going through some material before the next set of the show begins. Meanwhile, Karim, the in-house socio-political analyst and an avid researcher by nature, is latched onto his mobile phone reading Lord knows what: probably some highly intellectual extra-terrestrial report on the NASA website? I say this without exaggeration. Phillip, energetic with a smile full of mischief, heads over from the newsroom. The usual suspects are all present and we’re ready to rumble!

The Dancehall Rumble between Bhim Nation & Shatta Movement.

“Men are their own enemies! You put grown men on a prestigious stage, in front of the entire world, and they cannot even compose themselves!”, there comes Felicity Nelson, a staunch Ghanaian feminist, opening the door to the studio and taking a strong jab at toxic masculinity as she joins the panel. Touché! Look: the bitter truth is that, titles for men are like toys for kids. So, I’m personally not surprised that there was tension at the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards. A little bit of controversy never hurts show business. But when guns get involved, that is where the lines are drawn.

Things got unruly when the ‘African Dancehall King’ Shatta Wale and his team made an attempt to go on stage – their intentions unknown – after Stonebwoy had been awarded the Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year. But given his street credibility and persona, I could to a limited extent, understand why Stonebwoy and his team were pissing their pants when the ‘Shatta Movement’ militants advanced towards them.

Felicity and I engaged Karim in a brief kerfuffle. We stood firmly by the indisputable fact that Stonebwoy should’ve kept the pistol in his jacket when the altercation took place. It was absolutely unnecessary! Meanwhile, Karim, never scared to debate, even with his back completely against the wall, disagrees.

He claims that the reaction of Stonebwoy and his security detail was only because the joint Ghana Police and Armed Forces personnel failed to contain the issue. Is that a reasonable excuse? I’d much rather let you, the discerning readers, deliver your verdict on the issue.

Benjamin is clearly not the least bit amused about the brawl. It’s been yonks since I’ve seen him in this mood. He is slack-jawed with brooding eyes watching a replay of the altercation. You should see his face while delivering “a piece of my mind” - his daily issue of a reality cheque to the general public. His aim: to sensitise the public about gun control laws and discourage the proliferation of arms. His solution: a comprehensive review of the Arms & Ammunition Act. The sheer eloquence of his submission - you’d think he is in Parliament arguing for the passage of a new bill.

As for ‘cosy’ Phillip, I’d spare him a thorough thrashing on his flimsy analysis today. I’d be honest: it isn’t that he said anything particularly ludicrous. But he called Biggie Smalls “Biggie Smith” while making a comparison between the rivalry of Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale and that of Biggie and Tupac. That right there, as Robert would phrase it, is a non-starter!

Data Politico
Data Politico, © 2019

This author has authored 63 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: DataPolitico

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