Glo Telecommunication Company is the sixth mobile company to enter Ghana’s mobile telecommunications industry. In September of this year it unveiled 17 personalities in the entertainment industry as ambassadors to promote their brand.
A name which conspicuously missed the tall list was Kwaw Kese, the notoriously controversial performer. Looking at the kind of personalities on the list, one wonders why the Kwaw Kase, self titled ‘King of the Street’ was not included. Music pundits and people from all walks of life were surprised at his exclusion and questioned the reason for this decision. It is amazing that the ‘King of the Street’, who was nominated for and won the highest number of awards including the most coveted prize, Artiste of the Year, at the 9th annual Ghana Music Awards in 2008, was not considered for Glo’s promotional campaign.
To some people he was not included in this promotional campaign because of his behavior. The artiste, known for his controversial utterances and aggressive personality was strategically left out for reasons unknown to the public.
It has turned out Kwaw ‘Abodam’ Kesse, hip-life idol cum model, is justified for his negative comments regarding Glo and MTN endorsements. For him, the GH¢50,000 to GH¢100,000 his fellow artistes received from the endorsement deals is not enough to buy his car nor is it worth being tied to a three-year contract.
To further grasp Abodam’s outburst, imagine a high profile show this Christmas without Asem, Okyeame Kwame, Samini, Wutah, Ayigbe Edem, Tinny, Amakye Dede, Paapa Yankson, Kwabena Kwabena, Gyedu Blay Ambolley, Irene Logan, Pat Thomas, Reggie Rockstone, Sherifatu Gunus and Becca. Why? These artistes are restricted by their exclusivity contract for three or more years under the pretext of endorsement deals.
A show believed by many to have suffered to live up to its billings because of this exclusivity deals is JOY FM’s, ‘NITE with the STARS’. This annual show commenced nine years ago. ‘Nite with the Stars’ is geared towards the youths and offers local artistes the opportunity to grace the stage and showcase their talents. Special emphasis is given to upcoming artistes who have excelled in their career during the year. This year’s edition of the show can best be tag as “Nite with ‘few’ stars” because of the lack of artistes to make the show what it’s known for.
The probability exists that, three years from now, none of Glo’s ambassadors will be the featured artistes on weekly entertainment shows. Programs like TV3”s Music Music, TV Africa’s Sound Splash and annual shows like Star of the Future, Miss Malaika and Ghana’s Most Beautiful sponsored by MTN and Vodafone will have moved on the new stars and fresh faces.
Ghana Music Awards and Ghana Films Awards are two shows purported as a win for every artiste. The former is prestigious and the latter is being rejuvenated. None of the artistes under Glo Telecommunication Company ambassadorial contract will mount the stage during the roll call.
Christmas is almost here again and as usual there will be variety shows to mark this yuletide season. Music lovers and fans will expect their various stars to mount the stage to entertain them throughout this season and well into the New Year. The Glo contract may very well put a dent into the artistes’ ability to perform at shows that presents a conflict of interest. The above named artistes might not be only the biggest artistes in Ghana, but a show without them surely makes a difference in the quality of the entertainment.
The future really looks bleak as it stands out now. Major players must come together and communicate in the hope of helping this sad situation. Music fans can’t afford to pay exorbitant money to watch the same artistes perform at every show, because others are tied up.
By Ebenezer Anangfio Jnr./GhanaCelebrities.com