I consider all the Ghanaian actors/actresses and musicians or artists who keep disclosing in public, their unquenchable desire to win or get nomination into the Oscars and or Grammy Awards respectively, as prototypes of inferior human beings!
You listen to radio or watch TV, and Ghanaian talents, who are suppose to be Ghana’s A-list celebrities/stars, ignominiously declare: I am aiming for the Grammies; I will realize I’ve reached my peak when I get an Oscar. Those are just a few of the remarks our rattlepated and vacuous A-list talents disclose on live radio or TV without a whit of shame!
Sarkodie, after having won Artist of the Year – the most covetous and topmost category in Ghana Music Awards on two occasions, always proudly claim in his songs: “I will bring Grammies to Ghana; “We are aiming for the Grammies.”
Lamenting over how an award scheme is organized, musician, Edem, pronounced recently: “… people are quick to say I’m a five-time Grammy award nominee, nobody is quick to say such of any of the Ghanaian award schemes.”
Speaking in an interview with Kobby Drill on the “Celebrity Birthday Minute” on Loud in GH on sky 96.7mhz in Sunyani, a promising female rapper by name Eno, disclosed she has high hopes of being the first female Ghanaian rap artist to make it to the BETs and possibly win.
Then from nowhere, a gospel musician, Gifty Osei, comes out to tell her fans: “I’m the Beyounce of Ghana. I want to be known as such.” Then she continued: “I will be the first Ghanaian female gospel musician to win BET.” In recent times, VGMA’s 2014 Artist of the Year, Shatta Wale, said he feels like Jay Z.
Ghana’s A-list actors and actresses: John Dumelo, Majid Michel, Prince David Osei, Yvonne Nelson, Yvonne Okoro, Lydia Forson, Jackie Appiah, Kafui Danku, amongst others, have all at one point, disclosed their desire to win an award or get nomination in Oscars.
Have you ever seen, read or heard Beyounce or 50 Cent disclose that “I’m longing for a day I will get nomination or award in Ghana Music Awards?” Or Will Smith or Eddie Murphy say he would consider himself having reached the peak of his acting career the day he wins an award in Ghana Movie Awards? I guess you know the answer.
Why wouldn’t they do so? Because every great art people, see themselves as superior over others and not as underlining! Great art people do not play second fiddle to others! They are confident and believe in their talent, skills, and craft and take pride in that!
Great art people orient their minds to accept that they are the definition of art! They see themselves as competitors – not others from other countries or continents! They are indeed stars in the true sense of what they do and stand for! They create trends for others to follow – they rarely copy others! These are some few properties of great art races.
So is it not a shame that a Ghanaian talent that I consider superior to others elsewhere and expects to appear or present him/herself as such to the outside world, would sit on air and tell me he or she is aiming for the Oscars or Grammy or considers acquiring an award there as a mark of reaching the crescendo of his or her career? Honestly I don’t have confidence in our A-list talents.
Sarkodie won a BET Awards (in 2012) and was reported to have been given the statuette backstage – meanwhile, when he won Artist of the Year in VGMA on his own soil, he was given the award on stage and he used the stage to thank all his fans and supporters – yet, he always speak proudly of his BET Award more than his Ghana Music Awards.
Indeed, some entertainment pundits make a strong point on live radio and television that Sarkodie has gone international just by winning BET’s Best International Act – Africa. In an exclusive duologue I had with one of BET’s African adjudicators, Kwasi Kyei Darkwa, popularly known as KKD, he said something very revealing.
He opined: “First, BET is a huge American brand whose main audience is African-Americans living in the United States as well as nations around the world where they partner with networks for their transmission to be received.
“Whilst the African media and entertainment markets are more excited about foreign artistes, the American and, to a lesser extent, the Indian, British, German, French, Japanese and Chinese markets are more interested in their own performers and cultural products.
“Sad to note but the reverse seems to be the case in Africa where networks and event promoters still believe that the audience is sure to be larger with an imported act than a home-grown star.” Touching on why BET gives awards to some of its nominees backstage, he did not mince words.
“For such a devoted audience that is fascinated by their home-grown talent, any ‘unknown face’ that seeks the spotlight on their national platform must have made the effort to capture the imagination and attention of the people in a profound way.
“An unknown or previously not well promoted person on any major screen is likely to cause the network to lose in the battle for eyeballs, and by extension battle in ratings and advertising income. The battle for eyeballs is clear and present on a minute-by-minute basis.”
Ending our conversation, he said something that I always remember him with. He said: “I dare say that Kojo Antwi, Abrantie Amakye Dede, Nana Tuffour, Sarkodie, R2Bees, Okyeame Kwame, Kwabena Kwabena, Bisa K.Dei, Samini, Shatta Wale, Becca, Efya, and others are more relevant to me than Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, etc. Let’s start believing and celebrating our own and others will follow suit.”
KKD recently expressed his shock at how Ghanaian musicians and actors lust for foreign awards. “I don’t get it! Why would you wish for an award outside? The Best form of award is the one given to you by your own people” KKD said on the Rundown Show on TV Africa.
There is absolutely nothing strange or too special about what musicians and actors in America or Britain are doing that Ghanaian musicians and actors are not doing or can’t do! Americans/British believe in their talents, see them as superior over others, patronize them, and over hype them to appear as thin-gods to the whole world. As I always say, fame is just a state of the mind.
Ghanaian talents ought to see themselves superior over others so we (the fans and critics) would believe in them and hype them respectively! After all, how is 50 Cents’ rap artistry better than Sarkodie? Sarkodie raps better than 50 Cent, Jay Z, Lil Wayne, and others! Sarkodie is as best as Eminem when it comes to rapping. Kwabena Kwabena’s compositions and singing prowess is on the same wavelength as Craig David, Usher Raymond, R. Kelly, and others!
Efya sings far better than Rihanna! Efya is on the same page with singers like Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, and the likes. Majid Michel is a blunt-circle actor just like Wesley Snipes and Eddie Murphy. Akorfa Asiedu Adjani acts very well as Kate Winslet!
The only difference between the afore-compared talents is simple – both are displaying their talents within different settings, orientations, belief systems, culture, values, etc. and also, one (America/British) is over hyped and the other (Ghana) is not.
All the major award schemes, Ghana Music Awards and Ghana Movie Awards to be precise, have serious organizational challenges year after year – but, I consider them superior over Oscar or Grammy Awards when in Ghana. Both award schemes have their own peculiar challenges they contend with and address year after year – none is perfect!
We critique GMA in Ghana – Americans do so to the Oscars or Grammy Awards! So the point is; we are all living in a world of our own with its own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Ghanaian A-list talents, believe in yourselves, and take pride in home-given awards and honours. Winning foreign awards/honours should come as SURPLUS to what your own people have bestowed on you. Until then….MOTWUM!!