Introducing Shata Wale Music Awards by Shata Wale for Shata Wale at Korle Gonno

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Now wouldn’t that be an absolute banger to honour the Dancehall King’ inna de hole Ghana’? I bet it would be.

And it would be quite simple too. The criteria will include the following:

1. Shata Movement 4 Lyf  (SM4LYF) fans will constitute the electoral college 
2. The only artist in the competition will be Shata Wale himself – the one and only 
3. Fans will vote for;
– Shata song of the year
– Shata video of the year
– Shata slow track of the year
– Shata fast track of the year
– Shata colloboration of the year
– Shata fan of the year
4. On the event night, the only artist to perform will be, that’s right, Shata Wale
5. The event will be free because Shata ‘lov dem fans to da bone’

Snap out of it guys!

There will be no such awards – at least not just yet. But what will be happening in the next couple of weeks or so will be a determination by the Board of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards to either accept the submissions of Shata Wale for the 2016 VGMA  and go on to nominate him or not. This should ideally not be an issue. However the young man has been reckless over the past few years. Let me attempt to narrate his sins:

1. Insulted Kakie, denigrated the awards when he was side stepped a few years ago. He then apologized and was considered subsequently

2. Then he refused to show up even though he won, then wrote another song to diss the awards, and everyone involved

3. On the day of the last awards in 2015 he organized his own show just to spite the VGMA

4. Then he and his manager put the awards he had won previously on auction…at ghc5 or so. He said the awards meant nothing to him

5. Now he is back claiming that “his fans” want him to take part. The awards mean nothing to him, it means everything to his fans.

See how naughty Shata Wale has been? The awards that don’t mean absolutely anything to him, is what he now wants to be recognised with. In fact, even when he was talking nonsense about the VGMA, he had ‘VGMA Artiste of the Year’ on one of his social media bios. Yes I am told Shata has a new management and that’s supposed to change somethings around the eccentric artiste but we all know Shata likes to be in control. He feels invincible and loves the idea that he is lord over his Movement and all those young men and women who will do whatever he tells them.

If I had a vote like the way Francis Doku and Nii Ayi Tagoe and Mark Okraku-Mantey and the other members of the VGMA Board do, I will say dump Shata Wale’s submission forms into a bin. He has not done enough to deserve the respect of that award to his craft. He says  it is his fans who want it. Absolute balderdash. His fans have no say in what he does. He does what he wants and the fans support regardless. We read from the fans when he was fooling. Those fans will support him even if he strips naked on a stage. Until he truly shows remorse, ignore him.

The Ghana Music Awards have grown and become bigger than any act. Yes, I said so. You can get your top ten acts of the year and if they all decide to withdraw from the awards, it won’t kill it. Folks like Kanye West have tried to rubbish the Grammy before but they always go home and punch their wall why they have not been recognised. See, every human being appreciates recognition and the VGMA represents the only credible scheme to reward our musicians.

Or perhaps we will indeed see the introduction of the Shata Wale Music Awards by Shata Wale for Shata Wale at Korle Gonno?

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Kwame Gyan’s Top Ghana Music Acts for 2015

2015 was something else, wasn’t it? A lot of drama in the music space and plenty entertainment for us too. The industry is so full if talent I bet we may never have a dull music year ever again. There are new acts coming through on the regular including Atom who dropped Ye wo krom with Jhunea (although he sampled a trending song at the time), then there is Wisa who has shown as that he has just a little wisdom, Kofi Kinaata who I think has a very bright future in the game. Other old acts kept their relevance going. Kontihene, Kwaw Kesse, Tiny, Bradez, Samini and so on.

So I am not a music connoisseur or some big producer or anything like that. I just love me some good music and like most of you, I copied some tracks, listened to joints on the radio, and also saw a few shows over the last year. Just as I did last year, below are my top 10 Ghanaian music acts for last year starting from number 10.

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#10 - Edem

10. Edem

To be honest I love the consistency with which Edem has kept since Hammer unleashed him on us years ago. His style of rap has improved and he is not afraid to try new things. He launched Books and Rhymes last year and I must say it was a good album that covered styles that revealed his unique self. I saw Edem perform at Repu last year and it was amazing. I think he is in for the long haul and his career is just taking off.

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#9 - Mz Vee

9. Mzz Vee

Mz Vee’s management seemed to have resolved early 2015 to make it the year where her brand steps up, gets a couple of endorsement deals, feature in important shows and then rake in the bucks. She’s on with a deal with Accra Brewery for Beta Malt and does some work for the World Bank.

In 2015 as well she was on a few key shows and they have made her a better act. Most of her competition have slacked as she has risen. The success of Mz Vee and the seeming disappearance of the horde of artists that used to be under Richie and his LYNX Squad seems to tell a story, does it not?

Much as Mz Vee is on the rise, I hope her team do not overstretch her level of growth and craft by demanding outrageous performance fees and positioning her above the growth curve. It takes time to grow and when you rush it you often result in stunted growth. Yes I appreciate the value of the artist but if Drake charged me 200K for a show and Craig David came asking for even 50K I shall vex. Just saying.

8. Pappy Kojo

He may not be the dopest West Side rapper (in my books Kofi Kinaata is), but this former Italy-based pizza seller has put in work culminating in a few good releases, a good number of shows where he was pretty entertaining and some eye catching videos to sell the works.

Since bursting onto the scene a couple of years back, Pappy has began a process of building his brand and reputation and to do the kind of stuff that makes you relevant – releasing songs, being visible among others. As I said he may not be lyrically strong, except if we want to rate this in terms of profanity – but the fanti language has a way of sounding musically friendly to the ear. Much like how an English accent sounds great rolling of the tongue of a player even if he’s saying the darnest of things.

Pappy a has had a good year and his very cool human relations has also helped his growth. 

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#8 - Pappy Kojo

7. VVIP

I have said in a social media post that I like the VVIP with Reggie Rockstone but I love the VIP with Promzy. Promzy added some power and zeal to the group and his rap style was different. Perhaps I was too used to him.

Having said that however, VVIP has kept up with the pace by ensuring that they drop some very creative songs in a timeous fashion that makes it possible to have have a VVIP hit at any point in time. Skolom, OMG, Hustler, and currently, Doggo Yaro, have trended at various times.

The issue with groups like VVIP is that with every song, each member may have to get a verse even though there are times when my ears tell me this song would have been great without this person saying anything in it. Having said that, they still remain a top act despite the seeming lack of coordination that sometimes characterises their performances. 

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#7 - VVIP

6. EL

EL keeps maturing each year. I think as his repertoire increases, it boosts his confidence, his stagecraft, his fan base and indeed his talent and importance in the game. He has also made it a point to release intermittently, commercial music on one side, and artistic music on the other. He loves to rap but he knows rap won’t fetch him the shows and the commercial success so he ensures that he drops a good sing-along along the way.

EL’s consistency has been awesome and he remains one of my favorites. He’s one for the now and the future and only he sits on his continuing success.

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#6 - EL

5. Gasmilla

Telemo clearly was one of 2015’s favourite hits. However a number of music lovers are unaware that it was not released in 2015. It was released in the last quarter of 2014 and as per the VGMA nomination criteria as put forth by Charterhouse, it does not qualify for the next awards. Sad.

Gasmilla has however had a fabulous year and he probably has made more money in the year under review than any other since he walked into a music booth. Remember Telemo was re-jigged for the Vodafone ye twee ko promotion. He has also being at virtually every major concert and the crowd has loved him.

Gasmilla is a very friendly and down to earth dude and this tends to draw fans to an artiste. I remember working with him on a project a year before he blew up and I must say he remains the same man I know. I hope though that he makes it a point to release songs after song and should not hang on one hit for too long. The industry is that competitive and it is easy to get lost.

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#5 - Gasmilla

4. Shata Wale

This dude loves controversy. It is as if he simply loves his name being out there. I get the feeling when he sits in the sofa in his living room, he whips his phone out and enjoys all the news and tweets and posts about his latest shenanigans – whatever it may be.

His appetite for controversy seems to be measured by his hunger to produce music. There was a whatsapp message that trended in groups (I strongly suspect it was released from the SM4LYFE fraternity) and it showed that he released not less than 102 songs in 2015. Yup, one hundred and two songs. Some with just him and others he was featured on. Of course most of these songs did not attain commercial success but those that did, did so in a very massive way. Kakai and Holit were the two that crowned the year although Zenabu and a few others were massive too earlier in the year. As a matter of experience, I notice that his fans seem to know virtually every song he’s ever done and all it takes is for a DJ to drop it and they sing along as if it were an anthem.

Shata Wale’s influence over the dance hall genre and in the industry alone cannot be overlooked especially in the last year and it surely seems will be there for a long time.

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#4 - Shata Wale

3. Sarkodie

If I am not mistaken, no rapper has chalked a continuous success in the history of rap and hip pop in Ghana like Sarkodie has. Not even Reggie Rockstone,  Obrafour, Lord Kenya have come close. VIP may have, but not quite, plus, they are a group.

Sarkodie’s influence in the game has seen him colloboration with lesser known acts just to push them up. He took his influence to the national level by playing a very leading role in the #dumsormuststop protests. He released a song about it as well as a few other songs that touched on the socio-economic situation in the country. He was bold and remained so. He also filled the Apollo Theatre in New York with his friends at what was said to be a historic concert. Same year he recorded with American hip-hop star, Acehood.

Musically he has reached the point where he decides to make commercial music when he wants, and what some have called the artistic music when he feels like. His fans love him either way and that was obvious when the conference centre got filled for another Rapperholic although barely 2 weeks was available for preparation and promotion.

For a rapper, Sarkodie showed how unique he was by performing live on his latest album, Mary. The easy way he mixed highlife with hip pop and yet maintained his lyrically heavy-laden rap was stupendous. 

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#3 - Sarkodie

2. Bisa Kdei

From jumping on to the mainstream scene through the music score for Azonto Ghost, Bisa has had the best year of his career and he rightly feels he deserves the Artiste of the Year accolade come the 2016 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards. What excites me about him is that he seems to have single handedly kept alive the highlife genre over the course of the year. Mansa, Brother Brother, Pimpinaa  (with Obrafour), Wani aba (with Manifest) have been the toast of DJs and event organisers throughout the year. In the course of the year as well he worked with Sarkodie and Becca.

Yes Bisa’s stagecraft still needs some work and we hope to see some versatility in his work but he has been awesome in 2015. Does he deserve Artist of the Year? I think having one awesome year should not necessarily merit that honour. It should be earned over time. Let’s give him a few awards to spur him on and let’s see if he keeps up with the pacesetters in 2016, then he would have arrived.

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#2 - Bisa Kdei

1. Stonebwoy

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#1 - Stonebwoy

I won’t shy away from the fact that I have a soft spot for the leader of thr BHIM Nation. He remains for me, the truest definition of a performer and the fact that he has decided and consistently performed his music live makes him a unique breed. I was telling some friends during the Decemba 2 Rememba concert that I feel Stonebwoy’s career has not even taken off yet.

He put out some exciting, thought provoking songs that became anthems to both his fans and lovers of music. He took each concert as though he had a point to prove and again as if each member of the crowd was seeing him for the first time so they had to be impressed. Coupled with this is the fact that he loves what he does and he lives to share joy and his talent.

I am not sure who else won as many local and continental/international awards like Stonebwoy did in 2015. He has become a legend of sorts even before he taxies to take off. Mightilily, Baafira, Higher and lots of others were sing-alongs throughout the year from his latest album.

There you have it folks. You may agree or disagree. That’s the beauty of opinion pieces. As always drop me an email via kwame@kwamegyan.com or follow me on social media and let’s keep the conversation going.

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Read this story carefully: You PERSONALLY know who it’s about

So my neighbour promised to sell me baby clothes, baby food and toys at bargain prices if I allowed him impregnate my wife… I agreed… Even though I had initially gone to his house to ask him for jobs for my four grown children. To that request he promised to give me some of his excess food for free to feed them, an offer that was still predicated on my allowing him impregnate my wife.

Meanwhile I had farmland as far as the eye could see, land that had rivers powerfully flowing through it, but somehow I couldn’t figure out that the land I had was a source of food, and on those rivers I could build dams to irrigate the land and generate electricity, and with electricity I could build factories, in those factories my children could work and make products which I could sell to my neighbour at prices which would not only feed my children but clothe, educate, treat, protect and entertain them.

Somehow it alluded me that I could actually help myself. So instead I allowed my neighbour impregnate my wife. And when he did it, he insisted his sister live in my house to care for my wife during the pregnancy, and she brought a helper with her, who had to come with her own three children. And I had no choice since I needed the free food offered for my four grown children.

I received just enough to feed them for a week… And when it was finished, I returned back to my neighbour to ask for more. This time he asked for some of my land in exchange. I had plenty so I quickly gave him and he gave me just enough food in return. Somehow I became inebriated by greed and without the knowledge of my wife or children, I kept some of the food for myself, an act so ironic because I actually went back to my neighbour and begged him to keep it hidden for me, to which my neighbour agreed and charged me some of my land as his fees for keeping part of the food he had initially given me, for me.

This exchange happened over and over again until one day I woke up and found out that my land, my wife and my children, directly and indirectly belonged to my neighbour. And I who was once free was now unconsciously enslaved by my neighbour…

My name is Africa and you just might have met my neighbour… He smiles a lot, perfectly mannered and always says he comes in peace with a pocketful of charity and a trailer loaded with human rights.

(Writer unknown)

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Posted in FROM MY ROOFTOP, FROM OTHERS | 1 Comment

Why are so many 20 year olds engaged in Sakawa (money rituals)?

Internet Fraud and Sakawa are not the same!

Yes, the above may not sound like news to a lot of you but apparently to a good number of people, the two are the same.

No they are not the same.

Internet fraud is simply that act of deceiving some bored, rich white people in Europe or the States or some part of the world that you are some pretty girl who wants love, or some hunk with six packs running away from some political nonsense or that you own gold mines and can produce more gold than Obuasi has ever seen – and then they believe you and send you some money. Sometimes you make a lot, other times you make little, and sometimes you make nothing. Your success depends on how dumb the folks on the other side of the world are.

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Young boys busily scouting for victims on the internet - Photo from Google

So that’s Internet fraud. That’s what you find young men and women in cafes in 2016 doing. That’s not Sakawa.

Sakawa is a ritual. Sakawa involves spiritual matters. People that indulge in Sakawa sacrifice one thing or another to gain the limitless wealth they crave for. The sacrifices may involve you killing your parents, boyfriend or girlfriend, brother, sister, or simply a dear one.

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Other sacrifices may involve the young people foregoing the use of their manhood for the rest of their lives. Let me rephrase that – with Sakawa, the spiritualist may ask that you sacrifice your manhood so that you can either never have sex or you are unable to have children. It could also be that you get the blood of virgin or the spermatozoa of certain kinds of people. Others must have sex with fellow men or fellow women. Some must never bath. Some must sleep in coffins. Some must never eat some specific foods or meat.

Now, what’s Kwame Gyan on about?

I overheard a group of young people having a chat. I got interested in what I overheard and they politely indulged me. Now, I am in my 30s (yea don’t be deceived by the photos, I am an old man), and having a chat with 19 and 20 and 21 and 22 year olds felt refreshing and i was awed at what I learnt.

And that includes all that i have typed above.

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There are a few things I struggle to grapple my 30-something year old mind around:

What could drive a 21 year old boy to drive to Togo or Benin, sit before some fetish priest, is told to go murder his mum and dad, and then he actually does so, just so that at the age of 21, he gets so much money that he is able to buy all the things his dad and uncles and mum and aunts spent 40 or 50 years to get? I don’t get that. May be I am too old to wrap my mind around this.

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They cited one of their friends whose parents they said were rich. I asked what they meant by rich. “They bought him one of the hyundai 4X4 and what receives as weekly money is what some of us get us monthly or even money for a semester”. Yet this lad had gone in for money rituals because he wanted to be a man – at 20. Now he regrets his stupidity because keeping up with the demands of the ritualist has become too much that he can’t bear any longer.

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And to the girls that hang around these boys there are a few things I don’t understand as well:

Are they aware that these boys actually may have killed people to get their riches?  And again, are they aware that these boys are required to ‘replenish’ the sacrifices and this could mean using bodily fluids from them or some sort of thing they benefit from them?

Does it not intrigue you that a 21 or 22 year old is able to spend 3,000 cedis in in a night club when he is yet to get get a degree and does not own able my companies? Or that you ask this 20 year old boy for the latest Samsung or iPhone and he gives you cash there and then to buy it?

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Seriously think about it…
I also learned from my thirty three minute interaction that, Sakawa, also known as money ritual, is also very heavily practiced by girls. Yup, girls. Young girls.

Not every young woman driving a top of the range vehicle got it from her dad or a willing sugar daddy. Some of them got them through Sakawa. Some get all sorts of ritual stuff that they apply on their faces to confuse rich men to spend on them, what they wouldn’t spend on their ailing children or octogenarian parents.

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Others are okay to serve spiritual fathers by tattooing themselves and drinking shit you and I cannot imagine. Some in just themselves with all sorts of things and must sit on pots and collect the sperms of men to complete their ritual.

All of these so they can travel to Las Vegas and take selfies, visit Dubai and its awesome sights, shop in London and Paris and go holidaying in South Africa and the Bahamas. They want to live the life. The life of the rich and famous. They forget though that rich and famous of Hollywood that they seek to copy make their millions starring in movies, recording music, training to do a sport or doing some serious business.

The Struggle

Nothing comes for free. And for these people, sacrificing their parents and loved ones and destroying their manhood and others is just the initial pain before the superficial gain. Apparently a lot of them later realise the money is not as sweet as they thought. They start having regrets and nightmares. The reality of sleeping with animals against your will now comes home. Being a forced gay and paedophile now begins to stink. The memories of your dead boy and girlfriend and mum and  dad and dear one now hits them.

Yes, they may drive all the big cars and have the fabulously furnished apartment but sleep eludes them; peace of mind does not exist, and after all the friends they ‘spread’ have gone home they become as lonely as the dead bodies they caused to be buried. These boys and girls struggle in life. Imagine, at 22 you struggle to sleep and enjoy your ‘wealth’. Just 22. Until some powerful Man of God breaks the chain, they get lucky to live beyond a few years especially as they are unable to meet the demands of their rituals.

This is just me ranting away after spending some time with some young people. I got frightened listening to the tales. They didn’t call them tales. They know people that were in these situations. These were eye witness accounts. They are worried about their friends. Their friends are worried about themselves. They fear they may have to attend one too many funerals before they turn 30 or may ne 25 or even 23.

So why are young people chasing money at 18 and 19 and 20 and 21 and 22 and 23 years?

Why have they lost absolute interest in schooling so they can work and earn and buy what they want to?

Why has the desire to live the high live so consumed young people that whatever it takes to appear rich is what they will do?

I can simply just ask these questions. If you have answers hit me up via email at kwame@kwamegyan.com or Twitter at @KwameGyan or through Facebook.

If we can change minds and attitudes, let’s do it. Together.

Posted in FROM MY ROOFTOP | 12 Comments

The OB Dogfight is on – Starr FM vs Joy FM; Live FM vs YFM

Last time I checked there were approximately 40 radio stations operating within the Accra area – I didn’t say Greater Accra region. Just the Accra area. Yes, I will expect some of you to be surprised at that statistic. In fact, according to the National Communication Authority (NCA), the state body that gives out licenses, there are 45 of them to be exact. The reason why you do not know majority of these is that you have your favorite stations you listen to. You may go to this station for the news and there for the music and that one for the morning show and this one for the drive home and that other one for the political talk. Or just like I sometimes do, I simply scan my dial and if I hear what I want, I stay there. Sometimes I have no idea which station I am even listening to.

Even with all these run arounds you probably wouldn’t listen to more than 4 different stations in a week. So imagine who listens to the others that you don’t listen to. The greater chunk of these stations are barely breaking even financially. Advertisers won’t go to them because the research figures show that they don’t have enough ears. They are compelled to slug it out with the big boys – winning that fight makes the odds of a snowfall in Nsawkaw my hometown in the Brong-Ahafo region a lot more possible.

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The Joy FM team at one of the Malls in Accra

It becomes understandable that stations will seek for ways to reach out to listeners and potential ones and thereby boost their ratings. In doing this, it is interesting to note that stations that are doing fairly well in the top of mind department are also those using outside broadcasts as a tool in getting noticed and getting closer to the public. I am not drawing a correlation between ratings and outside broadcasts. Having said that though, is it just me or there seem to have been some upsurge in outside broadcasts in Accra.

Outside Broadcast, most commonly referred to in the industry as OB is simply when a radio station decides to move its studios away ‘from the studio’. Often the exact set up in the studio is replicated, of course with much less aesthetics. In the past it involved the movement of heavy equipment and a ‘mast’ but these days I am told the technology has improved immensely and this is obviously good news for technicians and all.

So I have noticed that over the past few weeks Starr FM, Live FM, Joy FM and Y FM have been busiest with OBs. Just in case you didn’t know, Live FM and YFM are competitors with YFM being ahead due largely to the fact that they have been here longest and over the period delivered consistent and innovate programming with a very exciting team of DJs and presenters. Live FM has no doubt entered the market strongly, building its core team around folks that cut their teeth and grew with the YFM brand. Starr FM on the other hand is in a similar dog fight with Joy FM and CITI FM. With the kind of market we have, it makes sense to see stations scramble for listeners and playing in the innovative space.

Not too long ago the OBs were predominantly of the talk show/lecture type. These were either stations-initiated shows or airtime bought by civil society and other groups to carry one lecture or the other live. Lately however, the opening up of various malls has also served as avenues to bring presenters and stations on one side to fraternize with listeners and shoppers on the other side. The Accra Mal, A&C Shopping Mall, West Hills Mall, Junction Mall, Achimota Mall have been busy lately. The university campuses

But do these really have any effect on the competition? I think they do. For instance Live FM has been having regular OB sessions from various institutions in the past few months. They are in the midst of their target audiences whiles they celebrate their hall weeks. They are involved in the organization of artiste nights with one telco or beverage company or another. What these do is that it increases the bonding with these students and that association will certainly be seen as appealing to advertisers. Added to that is the very clear desire of listeners to ‘strike a relationship’ with the presenters. It may not be a big deal to those of us who know these presenters and hang out with them daily but to a number of listeners it is a very big deal.

If you are a radio consumer and not an owner like me, you will certainly be excited with the competition in the market. Yes we may not have seen too many innovation in the industry but that has seen some improvements lately and hopefully it will serve the interest of consumers and advertisers more.

Posted in ENTERTAINMENT, RADIO &TV | Leave a comment

Rating the Morning Shows: My Take

It has been a very interesting year for the morning shows in the capital. From Kafui Dey struggling to fit in and eventually been booted back to TV through the emergence of new stations and the general fight to not only gain the most ears in the morning, but to remain relevant. This review considers the following parameters in assessing the morning shows: interactivity, creativity, content or depth of discourse, panel or hosts and overall show compilation and production.

As captured in the heading, these ratings apply to my favourite morning shows. There are over 35 stations in the capital and anyone that succeeds in doing an assessment of all of them would be lying. It is simply impossible to listen to all of them. The stations here are those I have spent time in the morning to listen to this year.

KOKROKOO ON PEACE 104.3 FM

Kwame Sefa Kaye has carried the show on his back for years and it gets difficult to listen  when he is away. This happens to be the number one show according to the ratings. It is positioned in a way that makes it attractive to both the mass market and the so-called elite or English speaking audience.

Kokrokoo’s reliance on what’s in the newspapers to inform it’s discussions is what I don’t personally like too much. Indeed Kwame occasionally picks other topics that interest him and does interviews on them. But generally the topics for discussion is wholly based on what other newspapers have published and with same guests coming through on designated days.

Again, the deliberate attempt at always getting political party representatives does not quite do it for me. We always know what these political people will say.

I rate Kokrokoo 7/10.

Kwame Sefa Kayi hosts Peace FM's Kokrokoo                                 Kwame Sefa Kayi hosts Peace FM’s Kokrokoo

MORNING STARR ON STARR 103.5FM

So Kafui Dey was moved from the morning show. I have heard someone joke that he was kicked out after I wrote about him when Starr FM turned one. Truth was that the sort of competition the morning show faced was very stiff and Kafui Dey could simply not match them. Then entered Robert Nii Arday Clegg.

Nii has had an off and on affair with broadcasting. So EIB brought him in to seek to win back some of the following they lost through Kafui. Truth, Nii is trying. But he is up against competition that is solid and improving daily. Starr FM has specialised in hyping shows and personalities and also in getting in some big interviews. But I’m afraid they have not yet taken enough listeners away from their very known competition, CITI FM and  Joy FM.

The modelling of the show is very typical and has very little innovation in terms of style, I think. One therefore does not have that special reason to tune in except if they get an exclusive interview. It seems management knows this and as part of their entry strategy, they have outdoored new billboards with Nii’s face on it. I think Starr FM should push more on content and innovation and then they can use hype and publicity to come in for support. Nii is an intelligent chap, but that’s not all that is required to win the morning war.

I rate Morning Starr on Starr FM 5.5/10

Robert Nii Arday Clegg, host of Morning Starr                                Robert Nii Arday Clegg, host of Morning Starr

DWASO NSEM ON ADOM 106.3FM

Captain Smart has turned himself into the Don of the Twi -speaking stations. He spends time on issues and buttresses his frequent interviews with newsmakers on research. He commands the show and dictates it’s rhythm like a true Captain does.

Dwaso Nsem has positioned itself as a hard hitting, facts-oriented morning show. There is a segment of the show where Captain Smart is allowed to ‘rave and rant” in pushing the hard questions and laying bare some of the things government blatantly fails to do vis a vis it’s social contract with the citizenry.

I rate it 7.5/10.

Captain Smart, host of Dwaso Nsem                                      Captain Smart, host of Dwaso Nsem

RYSE AND SHYNE ON Y107.9FM

So Mz Naa was there, and then she left to chase some of the EIB money. Things didn’t go as planned and so she left and was somewhat accepted back at YFM. Whilst she was away, Akosua ‘Kozie’ Hanson was brought in and she did pretty well. But MzNaa came back for her show and Akosua had to do the weekend version.

Now, you’d notice that quite a number of things have changed at YFM. I understand there’s some involvement of some external partners and this is what is pushing for some of the change. I usually tune in for the music and sometimes the tweets. I detest the folks at YFM for that annoying habit where presenters speak to DJS who are not heard on air. I had a banter of sort with Akosua on this and her reasons for dragging Vision DJ into the mix was at best laughable. I have been reminded time again by Francis Doku that o am not the target for Y FM so I should not try too hard to fit in all the time. I have taken that wise counsel.

Y FM has maintained its leadership of the youth market. The emergence of Live FM and their poaching of staff has not dimmed their shine and that’s worth noting.

I rate Ryse and Shyne on Y107.9FM 7/10.

MzNaa hosts Ryse and Shyne                                               MzNaa hosts Ryse and Shyne

LIVE BREAKFAST CLUB ON LIVE 91.9FM

I call Live FM the other Y. I’m sure the folks there don’t like that at all but truly how else can one describe them? They have a lot of staff poached from Y and they began their programming with an exact replica like YFM. That’s one big problem I have with them. If I were Bola or EIB I would have sought to create my own stars, my own image.

What I have come to realise is that regardless of how important personalities in radio stations are, their clout in dragging audiences away from station to station is limited. Abeik Santana leaving Adom FM didn’t cripple it, and same applies to Bola Ray leaving Drive Time on Joy FM. So create your own stars and have them form their own galaxies. Live FM has Sammy Forson, Giovani, Jay Foley, Jeremie, all from Y.

So MzNaa was there and then she left for Jay Foley and Jeremie to pair up to host it.  Well the two are not exactly ‘murdering’ Mz Naa at the other side of town. They have also not, I think, succeeded in poaching Y FM’S listeners as they did their staff.

I will rate the Live Breakfast Club 6/10.

Jay Foley and Jeremie host Live Breakfast Club on Live FM                      Jay Foley and Jeremie host Live Breakfast Club on Live FM

SUPER MORNING SHOW ON JOY 99.7FM

This is no doubt the oldest morning show in the country. It has over the years set the standard and blazed the trail for others to follow. The SMS has had its fair share of criticism over the years as well. It has been labeled an NDC biased show or station when NPP is in power, and an NPP biased station when NDC is in power. But throughout all of that time it has remained relevant.

Kojo Yankson is doing a fine job. He may not have been the sharpest chap in the history of the SMS but he has held down his own and has done his bit to keep the show up there. Indeed over the years the folks at Joy FM had tried all sorts of things to make the SMS appear refreshing . I must say that sometimes I feel the relevance of the SMS may be more as as a result of loyalty for the show stemming from a 20 or so year history than what the current team necessarily churns out. Nhyira Addo’s involvement has spiced the show up a notch but to be honest he comes across as a tad unprepared as a long term host. I noticed a lot more interaction between the two and that’s healthy for the show.

Joy FM may be the masters of outside broadcasting and they did take the morning show outside the studios as well and that made for a good rapport with the audience too.

I rate the Super Morning Show on Joy 99.7FM 7.5/10.

Kojo Yankson hosts Joy FM's Super Morning Show                             Kojo Yankson hosts Joy FM’s Super Morning Show

CITI BREAKFAST SHOW ON CITI 97.3 FM

What the guys at Citi fm have done is to put together a group of young people with a burning desire to improve journalistic standards and raise issues of national concerns in the very same way you and I discuss it in our cars and offices and homes. In Bernard Avle, they have an Economics degree holder who is very widely read and puts in a lot of work into research to remain top of his game. It is virtually impossible to bully Avle in an interview.

In this crisis ridden era, Kojo Akoto Boateng has positioned himself as an energy biased journalist with a knack for research and with deep throat sources within the energy sector. His expertise comes to play daily, even through the “What’s Trending” segment. Nana Ama Agyemang Asante remains a fiercely critical voice on governance whose thoughts are as independent and strong as it can possibly be. She does not hide her feminist stance and  does not also hide her belief that government ought to do what it ought to do.

The Citi Breakfast Show crew                                              The Citi Breakfast Show crew

Godfred Akoto Boafo spent a few years in China after studying International Diplomacy. But put away his degrees, and the hitherto sports presenter has come to represent a bold voice with very forceful views on issues of state including the widespread abuse of resources and the political party play. Then there is Richard Sky, the expert in governance who spends most of his time in parliament and having chit chats with MPS and ministers of state. He has become the go-to guy on issues of the legislature and how government works.

So put these lot together and back them up with a production crew led by Omaru  Sanda and #citicbs leads the trends and takes the lead in the morning.

I rate them 8.5/10.

Posted in ENTERTAINMENT, RADIO &TV, REVIEWS - MOVIES, BOOKS, EVERYTHING | 2 Comments

Bibiara wo Accra, aden? Why!

I originally posted this in my Facebook Notes on December 17, 2010. Yes, 5 years ago. See if anything has changed since:

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Accra has become Ghana. I mean all the important things we do governance-wise is located in Accra. The legislature, executive, headquarters of the judiciary, ministries, just name them. The same situation runs through Corporate Ghana. A friend who lives in Tamale in the Northern Region received a phone call for a job interview which will be based in Tamale. He was told to travel more than 12 hours down to Accra for that interview. Can you imagine?

It is not surprising but nonetheless very disheartening to note that our entertainment ‘industry’ has towed a similar line. Every major entertainment event this yuletide for example is in Accra. It has always been but my observation is that it has become more pronounced this season. Let us run through the events past and those coming up which are all based in Accra. Just gone by we’ve had CITI FM’s MOGO Concert at the National Theatre; JOY FM’s Hilife Party took place the same day at the Alisa Hotel. Then there was JOY FM’s Nite with the Stars on December 10 at the Conference Centre.

Still to come, we have Y FM’s Loud in GH concert at the Dome on December 18; CITI FM’s December to Remember (D2R) on Friday December 24; the maestro Kojo Antwi continues with his traditional 24th nite concert same night before KSM mounts the stage on Christmas day. Sunday December 26 seems the busiest; another episode of the thousand laughs concert comes on; Joyful Way Incorporated are in no mood to break their usual boxing day concert; JOY FM’s Keteke Fever also comes on the same day. Then on Monday December 27 which has been declared a public holiday, Charterhouse will organize their GH Rocks concert at the same time that Abrantie Amakye Dede celebrates his 25th anniversary in the industry with a concert; JOY FM’s Christmas Party in the Park is also on the 27th. Big bearded American hip-hop star Rick Ross is on stage in GH on December 28th. Uncle Ebo Whyte’s Festival of Plays starts from December 27th and runs through to January 3.

Now, these are just the MAJOR shows I know of. There are lots of other ‘smaller events’ still spread along our beaches, nite clubs and streets of Accra in particular. Now somebody tell me that this is not a packed yuletide for GH, sorry, for Accra! There’s very little happening elsewhere. I have always known Kumasi to be a lively place where its people like to have fun. But I know lots of Oseikrom brethren and sistren who have come down to Accra and others who have chosen shows to come see down here. So what exactly is preventing event organizers from going outside Accra? I will love to look into that in another piece after I’ve done some asking around. A cursory look at the events though tells us that there are three main categories;

A) Musical concerts

B) Plays and

C) Comedies.

Same Acts

4X4, 5 Five, Castro, Praye, VIP, Richie and his LYNX Squad (Asem, Eazzy, Zigi, OJ Black), R2Bees, Sarkodie, Trigmatic, Kwabena Kwabena, Amakye Dede, Tinny, Samini…..same names. These are the same guys showing up on one stage after another. I mean seriously, why will I wanna watch any of these guys more than once in a week? Let’s face it, we do not have artistes in Ghana who are so infectious to be able to attract patrons to their concerts days apart. I have read stories of people who have followed say Jay Z, R.Kelly, Alicia Keys, etc from state to state. But it is because these guys simply make you love the way they do their music and one will just want to have more and more of them.

What is my problem?

My problem is that why will I wanna watch any of these guys when all they do is to mime? I think I will be better of playing their CDs from my home theatre. I doubt if I am the only thinking along these lines. Seriously, it gets funny sometimes when I respond to artistes from my seat. I have seen videos of Jay Z performing with a whole orchestra, not  a band oo. An orchestra. I have seen TI do same too at one of these awards ceremonies. And he does pure, unadulterated hip-pop. So when I find our boys only turn their mics on when they wanna give shout-outs and mute them when they ought to be singing, then aaaargggghhhh I wanna scream and kick them where the sun don’t shine.

Secondly, I think organizers have just become sturbborn, unrealistic, and bad planners. May be it is my mind but I think they should be losing financially and perhaps reputation-wise too. Do they have the numbers at their shows? I don’t know. The artistes will of cause accept their two to six thousand cedi cheques and show up anyway. Perhaps if there was some order in the system event organizers will be able to find a middle way to maximize their own profits so we do not have 4X4, 5 Five, Castro, Praye, VIP, Richie and his LYNX Squad (Asem, Eazzy, Zigi, OJ Black), R2Bees, Sarkodie, Trigmatic, Kwabena Kwabena, Amakye Dede, Tinny, Samini…..showing up at one show and the other the next day.

Thirdly is it out of place for some body, be it the city’s authorities or some other overseer of the ‘industry’ to streamline events not only in Accra but in GH in general? There ought to be some order folks!!!

I personally will not want to watch any of these chaps more than once in a month…except perhaps Kwabena Kwabena.

Venues

With the exception of the party in the park and other club-based events, the lot will all be held at the Dome, Conference Centre or National Theatre. I think as a country we have not done a good job developing places for events like concerts, conferences, etc. I was in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso almost four years ago to attend FESPACO, the Pan African Film and Television Festival. I was awed at the number of cinemas that country has. It was not just about the numbers, but the types, designs, and state of the art nature of most of them. Clearly, they have developed these because of FESPACO which they have been hosting every two years for several years now. In GH, after all our too-known and our claims to have been the first in this and that, we have just 2 (I wont even add the Dome) places to boast of. Worse still, they are not quite state of the art too, and we wouldn’t dare try host and serious world class entertainment gig. We can do better.

Way out?

I do not foresee any government either now or anytime soon in the future investing in a world-class entertainment venue. It obviously would be a worthwhile investment but I reckon the private sector combining their strengths may do a better job. It will be expensive, but the returns too would be great. I hear it cost $12, 000 to rent the Dome for just a night! That is huge, ei? I am not sure how much the Theatre and the Conference cost though. So that gives us an idea of how the returns to such an investment would be. By the way, has anybody bothered to check on the physical well-being of these venues? Looking at the frequency of their use, its life span and safety condition may need to be assessed. I mean I know my car gets tired a lot and the tires wear faster if I travel between Accra and Sunyani too many times within a given period. Abi?

Where will I be?

Personally, Kwame Gyan will want to see Ebo Whyte’s Unhappy Wives Confused Husbands. Then I will be at D2R. I hear 5 Five’s new track is cool and I am waiting to hear them mime to me, and hopefully to see Apietus on stage. So is it true he started singing because of Richie? Just asking ooooo!!! Then I will wanna be at JOY FM’s Christmas in the Park. I will also wanna see KSM. I like him. At least he makes current jokes about people I know. All of this kraaaa I will need to check my pocket. If I do not get a couple of free tickets then I may as well go for just one bi pe.

Merry Christmas and Happy Oily New Year to you all.

Posted in ENTERTAINMENT | 1 Comment

How Do You Sleep?

I mean those that continue to defend the incompetent way this crisis is managed. How do you sleep? How do you go to bed knowing you are defending a lie?

When you shut your eyes in the darkness of your room how do you feel? What goes through your mind?

When sweat drips from your forehead and armpit and soaks your bedsheets and pillows, how does that make you feel?

The small boys doing propaganda here please help me understand how you manage to marry your predicament with that of the President and his Ministers who have power 24 hours a day and sleep with their AC turned on, homes lighted and on top of it, armed police at the gates. How do you feel?

You are ok with the occasional 10k cedis contract you get when others make the 300 million dollars? You are happy when your coordinator texts you your 50 cedis monthly airtime and the 500 cedis pay you get a month? That’s all it takes?

Seriously I want to understand because there are boys I was in school with whom I knew were smart but somehow they manage to say things that make me wonder if they are the same guys I thought I knew. So tell me, how do you feel?

I want to understand. Because I know some of you are very smart but somehow you don’t seem to consult your brains on this matter. What’s the party done for you that makes you feel such a strong sense of loyalty to it at the neglect of your country.  I want to understand.

Honestly I want to understand. I want to understand so that I may even join you to do some. But first, I want to understand. Or I don’t need to understand before I join you?

****where is my papa…back to fanning myself

Posted in INTIMATELY PERSONAL, Politics | 2 Comments

Innitfoɔ no rɛba ooo

Last year I compiled a piece and titled it “Note to Our Christmas Burgers”. Judging from how it went viral, it is fair to say people liked it. We are in December, again, and our friends and relatives will seek to run away from the biting winter in New York and Dusseldorf and London and head home. We know they will be landing any time prior to December 25 and most of them will be long gone before January 30.

Let’s give them yet another guide as they get ready to invade our space and spoil our ears. My name is Kwame Gyan. Share this with anyone you know who is out there in the diaspora – it doesn’t matter if they will come over this Christmas or not. Let us call this our little warning disguised as a guide for them ahead of their visits to Sikaman (Ghana).

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1. Please we still have dumsor just like we did when you last visited us. It has not changed much. In fact, ayɛ serious mpo. If you will be staying in an area where a big government person stays, then you will most likely get more sɔr than dum. But if you will be staying in a hood where there is no big man, ɛnɛye ɛyɛ dum nkoaaa. Please don’t remind us that in Yankee and in Lenden you don’t have dumsor.

We already know (in Sarkodie’s voice).

2. Please we have revised the Dumsorlogy terminologies as well. Dumsor and load shedding don’t mean the same thing. Please contact some man called Dr. Kwabena Donkor. He is the Power Minister and only he knows. Yes, since you have been gone we have created a Ministry of Power. Though his head is not as big as Bola Ray Empire, he has all the figures to tell us why we will have light in future.

You can’t we (say that in Twi).

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3. The last time you were here when we said dumsor and light you probably heard of words like Akosombo, Dam, Plant, Generator, and candle. Well, there is a new word – BARGE. Use Google if you haven’t heard it before but I will help you. It is a huge ship which is rented from Turkey and produces small power (like the type that can light a bulb) but drinks 35,000 gallons of fuel per month and costs 9 million USD per month as well…..or something like that.

Naniɛma. You have opened your mouth. Close it.

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4. Please the prices of kyinkyinga have changed now. It has gone up by one cedi. The stick they use too has become thick paaa like Sammy Forson’s neck. It is still healthier than the fries and things you eat at McDonald’s and the other one.

If you don’t believe me stop.

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5. Please we we know we have lots of potholes on almost every road in Ghana. Stop complaining when your taxi or ride bumps into some. It won’t break the bones in your bortos.

Or you can use Okada. They know how to dodge potholes paaa. Ask Kojo Akoto Boateng of CITI FM.

6. Please the way you mention an area to a taxi driver determines how much he charges you. If you say Osu in italic, the price is different from saying it in regular font.

If you think I’m lying, try it.

7. Please last time you came, $1 was getting you GHS3 and £1 was getting you GHS5 and coins. Now it is 4 and change and

and change respectively. It does not mean you should come and do too known.

After all what…

8. Please we know that most of you can speak English like we do without the ‘arishishrish kontonmire’ nonsense. Don’t disturb our already tired ears. Speak Ghana English. We won’t be impressed.

We have people on Live FM and YFM who talk like you pepeepe so we are used to it.

9. Please, Accra has also developed some. Don’t come here expressing surprise like you are some British villager from somewhere around Brixton visiting ‘the motherland’. Since the last time you came Airport City is changing paaaa. Last year we had Marina Mall, Junction Mall, West Hills Mall, Osu Mall. Now we have Achimota Mall as well and plenty tall tall and big buildings like Francis Doku’s head.

We know we can’t afford to buy them but and so what? After all they are in Ghana.

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10. Please the boys, don’t come and take our girls. They naaaa they are not enough for us. The girls too….no the girls you can come and perch with some of the boys. We no bore.

My phone number is 0266XXX419

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11. Please, virtually every car on Queens Road in London and downtown in Manhattan can also be found here so please spare us that surprise too. Yes we know that some of the flashy cars are driven by sakawa boys but we no bore.

If you didn’t know, Asamoah Gyan’s cars alone is not small wai.

12. Please if you are bringing gifts bring proper gifts and stop the chocolates that you have been bringing. Why, have you forgotten that Ghana is the global home for cocoa?

We want things that we can use aaaaa na chocolate dieer why!

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13. Please the Ghana Police of yesterday is the same as today and will be the same as tomorrow.

Just give them $1 pe. The mere fact that the note has Benjamin’s portrait on it means they will salute you more than JM.

14. Please, you all have apps on your phone that tells you the temperature in Ghana and it was same before you left so stop it already with the ‘Damn Ghana is hot’ nonsense. Get used to it. There is something called global warming. If your London is colder, our Accra is warmer.

Don’t bring winter shoes and coats here and nag.

15. Please do bear in mind that here we like to dress up even if we don’t have money! We ‘spote’ even to funerals. So check yourself and bring some decent clothes so you don’t look odd at special events.

If you wear ‘moke’ to every place, we will laugh at you paa.

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16. Please don’t ask us with a frown a hundred times about how it is like to live in Ghana and how you could never do that. You asked us last year and the year before. It has gotten old.

If you didn’t know, we are all managers in Ghana.

17. Please if your flight has not notified you and you also don’t follow Ghana news, let me tell you Kumasi airport has gone international, so those from Ashanti, Bono and Ahafo can now fly straight from Pearson, JFK, Schipol, Heathrow or Gatwick to Oseikrom.

Very soon we will have an aerodrome too in Ho. Oseeeeey Ghana!

18. Please, and yes, we already know you may not be able to account for the GHS after melting your €£$; don’t keep asking us how we survive; kpakpakpa movement is allowed here.

Everybody knows kpakpakpa.

19. Please don’t forget your malaria prophylaxis else your gluteus muscle will have to bear the pain of artemether in a G25 needle without an analgesic; your only consolation will be ”sorry 3y3 wo ya? Kafra.. Kafra.. 3b3 k) wai”.

The mosquitos know us. They don’t know you.

20. Please we have a new, old word in Ghana. It is OPANA. Opana can be anyone you want but if you know you are not competent in whatever, don’t address anyone as Opana.

Opana is Opana.

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21. The word INCOMPETENT too has been banned from Ghana for national security reasons.

You haven’t been President before how dare you think of using that word.

22. Please we beg, you guys must not go around buying 1p panties I mean G-strings for our girls when there are sales. There are shops with quality “dross” here or better still they will go manage with the Togolese ones.

GH girls abre ne sales nne3ma

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23. Hey the word is HELLO not HELEYI. Don’t be walking around holding bottled water. We all drink some.

“Sha_i_zeh”, Init and Yah must be left in Germany, London and America before you get here.

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24. The boys don’t come here flexing your 6 packs. We have all kinds of packs here too. Lexis Bill of Joy FM and Giovani of Starr FM will show you the 6 packs Made in Ghana. Nii Ayi Tagoe and Ruddy Kwakye will show you the 1 pack made over pork and beer. Kwame Gyan and Pasino Man will show you the two packs.

Why you think we too we are not persons anaaa.

25. Please if you are coming to marry ask yourself this question; am I sure he or she is not married already? Some of you people are bad. You want to marry here and marry there so you can eat here and eat there.

Check on your spouse before you say “I do” otherwise….gbozaaa

26. Please when you come and you attend shows and you see us Snapping and things and you act suprise, walahi we will slap you.

Why is our Play Store and Apple Store different from yours?

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27. In case you haven’t heard, after years of trying, we’ve finally beaten corruption powerhouses Nigeria and Cameroon in the “Africa’s most corrupt” contest. God willing, next year by this time, we’ll bring the title home and declare a national holiday to celebrate it.

Y3 wo form k3k3

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28. You have winter, we have harmattan. You have snow, we have dust. You have poor visibility, so do we.

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Massa, the December weather you were born into before you left is still the same. Stop the paa paa no.

My name is Kwame Gyan. Don’t steal without acknowledging. Hope you enjoyed reading.

Posted in FROM MY ROOFTOP, Societal Wits | 9 Comments

Opana vs the Good Doctor

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Aloha!

So myself and the Honourable MP for Facebook South, Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng took to play scripting soon after Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia had delivered what my NPP friends say is a succinct response to the budget as presented by the Finance Minister, Seth Tekper.

Enjoy!

THE SCRIPT: AS DR. MAHMOUD BAWUMIA DELIVERS YET ANOTHER LECTURE (by Kwame Gyan)

Setting:
The offices of Opana. Wide, brown leather seats surround a glass centre table supported by thick mahogany wood shaped in an adinkra symbol.

The Samsung radio set is tuned to a radio station booming the confident voice of a certain academic cum politician cum professional economist known as Mahmoud Bawumia.

The People:
Standing in one corner of the office is the Chief of Staff. Looking pensive and pretending to be taking notes on his Samsung 10.0 tablet.

Crouched in one of the sofas is the unassuming Finance Minister. He has a large Office of the President diary and he is scribbling away ferociously.

Leaning against the wall close to the door is the Deputy Finance Minister. He has folded 6 A4 sheets and is writing away in a hand writing only a pharmacist can read.

The party General Secretary is seated in one corner of the 3 in one sofa as though there wasn’t enough space left to sit – he is alone on the seat. He is simply nodding ‘no, no, no’ and murmuring to himself as though rehearsing what he will say to the first station that will call him.

The rest of the people are simply pretending to be working hard just so they keep their jobs and may be gain a promotion.

Opana:
Opana is perched at the edge of his huge, magnificent desk. He is pensive. In the past few minutes that the good doctor had begun talking, 12 more grey hair strands had grown from his scalp. The burrows on his forehead had been there and remained there for a minute too long.

He lifts himself from his desk and takes 5 paces to his left. He pauses as Bawumia delivers a sucker punch. Just as Opana takes that and takes a step toward his right, Bawumia throws a right hook backed with data. Opana pauses again and takes a wicked look in the direction of his Finance Minister who avoids his stare by writing even more ferociously.

As the punches and left hooks and right hooks and near head butt come in a flurry, Opana slowly finds his seat and slumps into it. The only voice that  can be heard is the authoritative voice of the man who had been warned not to call Opana incompetent because he has not been President before.

Bawumia ends his lecture.
Opana’s office remains quiet.
So quiet the only sound seemed to come from the AC
After 1 minute, silence
After 3 minutes, still silence
After 5 minutes, more silence

Then a phone rings.
Luckily, it is Opana’s wife.

….to be  continued

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Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

AND THE DOCTOR SPOKE….AS OPANA SWEATED (by Rodney Nkrumah-Boateng)

The Scene: Deep beneath FSH in a bunker. A sparse, cheap conference table sits in the middle of the room, illuminated by a single bulb and surrounded by plastic chairs. The walls are bare and unpainted.
The bunker’s sparse and basic furnishing is deliberate. It is reserved for only the most grave of meetings, when there is a serious crisis. The only sound in the room, aside the humming of the air-conditioning, is a radio carrying the confident, smooth, silky voice of Mahmoud Bawumia PhD,economist and politician extraordinaire.

Seated around the table are Opana , his Attorney General, Chief of Staff, Finance Minister, Party General Secretary and a couple of presidential staffers. The despair in the room is evident. You could cut through the tension with a blunt cutlass.
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Opana: (as soon as the word ‘incompetent’ escapes from Bawumia’s lips) Alright, this nonsense must stop, and must stop now! Turn the damn machine off!! I say turn it off!!

A presidential staffer scurries like a rabbit to turn the radio off. The room is plunged into silence. Opana slumps in his chair, buries his head in his hands and moans softly. Sweat beads form on his forehead as he lifts his head up.

Opana: Why does he do this to me? Have I not told the whole world I don’t like that word? How inhumane can man be towards his fellow man? (His eyes begin to well up).

Gen Sec: Well, Mr. President, I remember warning you not to tell him you don’t like the word. You see, even in school, once you rebel against an uncomplimentary nickname, it gets..

Opana: Oh shut up, for crying out loud! Who needs advice from a mosquito? Now, Seth, tell me, is what he is saying true?

Finance: Mr. President, I am afraid it is. He is right on all points.

Opana: You will not of course repeat this outside this room, will you?
Finance: (rolling his eyes) As you wish, Mr. President.

Opana: OK, now how do we limit this damage? But before then, look, this man pops up everytime we read a budget, and then he shreds it. Could we not find a permanent preventive solution to this nonsense? Is prevention not better than cure?

Ch of Staff: Well, you’re right. I have been thinking. Could we not for instance deport him from this country?

Opana: Ah, interesting idea. Attorney-General?

AG: Well, there are constitutional provisions. As a citizen of this country…

Opana: Look, Marietta, cut me some slack. Was Nana Prempeh I not a citizen of this country when he was deported to Seychelles? So there is what you lawyers call precedent, right? I have the Seychelles PM’s number on speed dial.

AG: I would strongly advise against that, Your Excellency.

Opana: Well, whatever. You lawyers. Any other ideas?

Gen Sec: We could charge him with terrorism and have him jailed for life.

Ch of Staff: Is he a terrorist?

Gen Sec: Who cares? If we say he is, then he is.

AG: Gentlemen, it would not fly. No evidence. The courts will exonerate him.

Gen Sec: Bloody judges…

Opana: Alright, alright. So we can’t stop him from reacting to our budget. But hold on. What if we decided not to read the budget in the first place? Surely there would be nothing to react to, anaa?

AG: Your Excellency, per Article 179 of the constitution…

Opana: Marietta, you and your law law. Look, the constitution was made for us, not the other way round. Anyway, looks like we are stuck with this guy. What do we do to rubbish him?

Finance: Your Excellency, we have tried it before. Rubbishing his analysis is pointless because he is on point.

Ch of Staff: Personal attacks?

Opana: Won’t fly. We tried it before. What is wrong with you? No original thinking?

Ch of Staff: My apologies, Excellency

The room is quiet for a few minutes. Then suddenly…

Gen Sec: Look, I have an idea!!. (All perk up brightly and lean forward expectantly). Let’s create a smokescreen.

Opana: How?

Gen Sec: We can rely on the usual internal dissidents to say something diabolical about the flagbearer. Let’s keep cool. They will deliver without prompting. Then we attack the flagbearer and say how divisive he is. If we are lucky, there could be a physical fight between a party chairman and his secretary in one of the constituencies. A stabbing would be brilliant. Blood and all that.terrifies the voters.  If nothing happens we can make a story up. Then we can sing the ‘NPP is violent and not ready for power’ song.

CH of Staff: Internal ISIS…

Gen Sec: Exactly!

Heads nod slowly and slow smiles break out.
At that moment, Opana’s phone rings. His face breaks into a thousand smiles as he notes that it is Mrs. Opana. After speaking to her for a minute he addresses his people.

Opana: Well, well, well. My lovely wife tells me dinner is ready. Bole yam and rabbit stew. She wants you all to join us. I think we can end this meeting on the happy note of our brilliant General Secretary’s magnificent suggestion.
Let’s get to work, guys.

They all rise and clap and cheer loudly as Opana exits the room first, his tears completely dried up.

THE END

Posted in Politics, Societal Wits | 2 Comments