Here is what a Nigerian Corporate Executive in Ghana who has been involved in the entertainment business across the two countries wrote to me about the Shatta Wale rant against Nigerian Artistes.
Boss, I just read your post on that outburst by Shatta Wale.
Sadly, some of those who reacted missed the point also!
Nigerian artistes don’t see Ghana as a Gateway to the world. It doesn’t happen and will never happen. How does someone from a 200m market see a 30m market as a gateway? None of the major Nigerian stars would hold a show in Nigeria today and fix the gate fee
You need to see the trajectory of Nigerian artistes, and I have to be blunt about it because it is Biblical. The liberal soul shall always be made fat. Most Nigerian artistes are always looking out for new friends, supporters and all that. They don’t restrict themselves to Nigeria or to Ghana. They go to every country where they can get local promoters who can arrange shows for them.
Two, many of them have their eyes on the American and European markets, or let me say, the global market. They want to do duets and collabo with the best of starts the world can boast of. It is the same way they want to be of assistance to other African stars who are hungry to be on the world stage. I am not sure Ghana has such people among contemporary stars, save for Samini, Stonebwoy and Sarkodie. It is killing the business in Ghana at a very terrible rate. Shatta Wale sees himself as the best Ghana has to offer, but that is not the case. He has an alter ego in Idris Abdukareem in Nigeria. His career went up and nosedived once he began to beef. Every corporate began to avoid him.
Let me share some cases. DKB was in Lagos in 2018 for a commercial for our show. We arranged for him to meet up some of the big comedians there who took him to a club. His experience made him decide never to go back again. Our plan was for him to go to Lagos regularly so he could have a wider market for his trade. Today, O.B Amponsah and some other growing comedians are regulars in Lagos. People love them there because they have upped their game and can crack fantastic jokes before any crowd anywhere. Till tomorrow, DKB still sees himself as king of comedy in Ghana.
Two, during our show in 2018 at Fantasy Dome, Wizkid called up Samini so the two of them could perform a song they once did years ago. Despite his fame, Wizkid gave Samini the needed respect and recognition that should have been accorded someone who helped to prop up his career. My respect for Samini grew to a 100% that night.
Three, same Wizkid was at O2 arena weeks ago. He got King Promise to perform at that event. As Wizkid is getting opportunities, he is never forgetting others around him. Tell me how many Ghanaian artistes would do that? In seven years, I have seen Ghanaian artistes elevating beef to a normalcy. The dictum seems to be if I cant be up there, nobody else should. How does the industry grow in such situation?
A corollary of this is the hate by some people for Nigerian music on Ghanaian airwaves. If a radio station in Ghana decides not to play music from Nigeria, who pays for its operations if advertisers don’t come to it? What music a station plays is what appeals to the listening audience of the station and it is the strength of listenership that drives advert patronage. There are countless numbers of dangerous Mexican, Phillipine etc soap operas on TV in Ghana. Nobody is shouting about the destructive nature of these alien productions. Nigeria banned them long ago and only allows African productions on our airwaves.
Today, you see a motley of Ghanaian stars, especially actors, plying their trade in Nigeria. We have Ugandans, Cameroonians etc. The only thing with Nigeria is that you have to be good and create an impression. Once you have these, they care less where you come from. Gyakie is daily becoming more popular in Nigeria. Becca had a tour of 18 biggest cities in Nigeria over a decade ago, one of the shots that propelled her fame across Nigeria. Kwami Eugene is a household name in Nigeria, same with King Promise. That didn’t happen by chance. They worked for it, built (and continue to build) bridges of friendship and are never resting on their oars.
To tell the truth, Nigerian entertainers are looking beyond Ghana or even Africa. They are looking always to compete on the world stage. But in doing that, they never forget where they are coming from, which is Africa. I am not sure any of them reckons with a Shatta Wale who thinks through his voice and hardly with his brain. He has not been able to manage the little fame God has helped him achieve. Little wonder, he does not roam beyond beefing other stars in Ghana or Nigeria just to remain “popular”.
Below are some of the collabos by Nigerian artistes in recent time:
Burna Boy/John Legend/Justin Bieber
Omah Lay/Jusitn Bieber
The Pulse/Busta Rhymes
Sound Sultan/Wyclef Jean
Come to think of it, in 1984, there was a collabo between Victor Olaiya of Nigeria & E.T. Mensah of Ghana, both revered Highlife giants. Today, we should be talking about how today’s stars are flying the flag, not beefing the way a Shatta Wale is doing. That guy is a negative for the image of Ghana in the entertainment world. But the truth is always bitter.