I have an article on the Modernghana.com website, and I suppose on other media websites as well, captioned “Adomako Baafi Must Go on the Defensive” that ought to have, instead, read “Adomako Baafi Must Go on the Offensive.” I thought I had corrected it, but it turns out that I hadn’t done so prior to dispatching the same to the media, though the corrected version appears to have been saved on my laptop.
Anyway, the original title of this column was to have read “There Were More Talented Musicians in Ghana Before Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy.” And, of course, it goes without saying that these two popular musicians are not, absolutely in any way, as indispensable as they seem to envisage themselves, as to be capable of ending it all for Ghanaians once they eventually pass off the scene and out of this world, which they eventually will do, regardless of however long their careers last.
Indeed, these two badly behaved, coiffed and dressed dancehall and hip-life artists, whatever these terms mean, must be well aware of the fact that the untimely passing of Ebony, unarguably one of the most generously gifted Ghanaian musical acts in recent years, in a motor accident, did not stop the proverbial show. The show still went on and is still going on, even as I write. What is more, pulling a gun in a crowded entertainment space, such as was recently reported at the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA), by the musical act by the name of Stonebwoy, ought not be tolerated under any circumstances, whatsoever.
Whoever pulled the gun, for there were conflicting reports earlier on, must face the full-brunt of the law without any intervention, whatsoever, on the part of President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as the CEO of the BullHaus Entertainment Company, Mr. Lawrence Asiamah Hanson – aka Bulldog – has reportedly suggested (See “Akufo-Addo Must Resolve Stonebwoy-Shatta Wale Feud – Bulldog” 3News.com 5/24/19). It is reckless and tantamount to criminally corrupting the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces.
Already, Nana Akufo-Addo has been virulently accused of unsavory laxity in the uphill battle against social disorder and the rising spate of lawlessness in the country. So the last thing that any responsible and/or well-meaning Ghanaian citizen would want to do is to either pressure or force Nana Akufo-Addo to further complicate matters for both himself and the millions of Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians, alike, across the globe who look up to the Ghanaian leader for visionary, progressive and constructive leadership. There is absolutely no Dagbon-type of emergency crisis here.
Instead, the avenues that local entertainment moguls like Bulldog or Mr. Asiamah Hanson ought to be looking towards to finding an amicable and lasting solution to the clearly ego-related feud between Messrs. Shatta wale and Stonebwoy, include the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), founded and for quite a while nurtured by the Ghanaian-born national of Lebanese descent, to wit, the legendary Mr. Faisal Helwani, and definitely not the President of the Democratic Republic of Ghana. Nana Akufo-Addo has his plate more than full, with the diet of abject neglect and gross administrative incompetence bequeathed the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice by the previous Mahama regime, and well before the latter, to deal with.
I also don’t the least bit buy into the rather vacuous argument that both Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale are much too young to be indefinitely banned from actively participating in future Vodafone-sponsored music awards ceremonies. These two thuggish hip-life artists ought to have thought twice about their youthfulness before criminally presuming to let their personality squabbles get the best of them and dangerously spill into the public entertainment arena. Personally, I don’t listen to most of the hip-life Ghanaian artists who, by the way, are mostly embarrassingly poor imitators of their African-American counterparts; so I am not in a legitimate position to gauge or effectively size up the cultural significance of both rambunctious musical acts on the Ghanaian popular entertainment scene.
Pulling a gun at Shatta Wale in the inexcusably dumb manner in which Stonebwoy was reported to have done, both artists are widely known to move around with platoons of bodyguards, eerily reminded me of the deadly wave of violence that catastrophically rocked the hip-hop scene here in the United States in the mid-1990s and tragically took the lives of such gifted and globally renowned talents as Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls. Indeed, there is something scandalously nauseating about the characteristic and the invariable imitativeness of Ghanaian hip-life artists of their Diaspora African esthetic role models and/or subjects of esthetic inspiration and admiration.
You see, in the wake of the Stonebwoy-Shatta Wale’s crass display of low self-esteem and extremely poorly choreographed orchestration of such wanton stupidity, as has been widely reported about them, I tuned in to the almighty You-Tube to take a consolatory listen to such perennially classic hi-life acts as the legendary and immortalized CK Mann, Paapa Yankson, Jerry Hansen and his Ramblers International Band and, of course, the redoubtable and ever-relevant Paa Steele (Nana PSK) Ampadu, the Okwawu-born native of Akyem-Kukurantumi, and could not believe why any progressive and well-meaning Ghanaian citizen would waste his/her precious time feeding unhealthily fat on such hip-life junk as is being repulsively served by the sophomoric likes of Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale on a daily basis.
And, oh, I almost flagrantly forgot to add the names of such spicy and inimitably felicitous golden voices as Kofi Ani Johnson, Pat Thomas and Jewel Ackah; and such resonant proto-dancehall maestros as Smart Nkansah, yours truly’s homeboy, AB Crentsil and George Darko, among a plethora of others; and the list of the giants of Ghanaian hi-life goes on and on and on and on without cease.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
May 25, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]
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