Empire Entertainment has done it again; raising the bar so high every event organiser in Ghana will struggle to catch up. They have proven to the world what they are capable of doing best.
The much talked about and biggest event on the Ghanaian musical event calendar took place last Saturday (24th May, 2014) at the Accra International Conference Centre. Various parts of the capital city experienced massive traffic jam as a result of uncountable number of people who were finding their way to get to the venue.
Hype Before the Event
I wouldn’t be charged with providing any false information to the public if I confidently say ‘Ghana Meets Naija’ was, and will forever be the most advertised event on the Ghanaian entertainment calendar. Its news was felt by each and everyone just like we all feel air as living beings.
The online community, print, and broadcast media were all used to publicize this great event (something that most event organisers lack). With the kind of hype this event received prior to the D – day, I wouldn’t be surprised if other event organisers contact the head of publicity at Empire Entertainment for some helpful advice from now onwards. I give them A+ just for this.
The team understands the importance of effective publicity. To the penny-pinching event organisers who wish not to spend money on publicity, yet want to gain from their events, please take a clue from how ‘Ghana Meets Naija’ was hyped and its outcome.
Of course, GhanaCelebrities.Com led the online campaign with thought provoking articles—and we are glad the event was such a GREAT success…
The effect of what has been discussed above (Publicity) was felt on Saturday night. Nobody needed the services of Ghana Statistical Service to do some general counting before we got to realise lots of people attended this mega concert. It was visible to all.
Information that came from the camp of Empire Entertainment had it that tickets were sold out before Saturday. All of us present can corroborate to that assertion because of what our eyes saw. No seat was left unoccupied.
Even though tickets were sold out and the hall was full, people outside the Accra International Conference Centre without tickets were eager to get tickets and enter as if they were going to watch a rematch of Bukom Banku and Ayitey Powers’ bout.
When placed on a weighing scale, those without tickets who wanted access to the hall could outweigh the patrons inside. This alone ought to inform you how majority of Ghanaians, as well as non – Ghanaians, trooped in to the venue for the 4th edition of ‘Ghana Meets Naija’.
From what my eyes saw (attendance), plus the kind of sponsorship Empire Entertainment had, I’m pretty sure there was a break-even or profit, if only they weren’t working with spiritual dwarfs.
First thing I would like to talk about, as well as rate the event organisers high is the issue of no over ticketing.
In many cases, most event organisers outsell tickets against the number of seats present at the venue. I, for once, thought those outside the entrance would be permitted to enter when they pay some money to the security guards (as it has happened at past Ghanaian events).
This didn’t happen at last Saturday’s ‘Ghana Meets Naija’ concert. Patrons were even guided to their seats by numbers issued to them. That was professionalism and coordination at its peak.
The second factor was how Chief Executive Officer of Empire Entertainment, Kwabena Anokye Adisi – prevalently referred to as Bola Ray – involved himself in the various activities, making sure everything was intact.
In most instances, CEOs play the boss character, leaving all the work for those in charge whilst they sit back to watch. To make sure everything was done very well, Bola made his present felt by working tirelessly alongside his team.
This is really recommendable.
What is musical concert without performance? Great performances contribute to the success of any musical event.
Overall, performances were superb, but let me delve a bit deep into individual performances. For some reasons, I am not going to talk about the undercards who performed on the night. They aren’t the subjects of this review at the moment.
- Guru & DJ Lil Win
The combination of Guru and DJ Lil Win was a good one. Even if a person does not dance to Guru’s songs, that person would probably laugh at Ghana’s fine boy’s (Lil Win) comic acts.
Guru’s songs were able to move the crowd because of how popular they are. However, his performance did not do any extraordinary magic. I thought there was going to be improvement on his stage craft after his poor performance at the 2014 Ghana Music Awards.
The only improvement I detected was the fact that he didn’t shout on top of his voice this time around, thereby rescuing himself from any possible sore throat.
He always did quite well at the beginning of his performance but fail to deliver when it was all about to end for him.
With regards to acts like Lil Win, one needs no special performance from him. It’s all about the comedy. He really was on top of his game till his performance was cut short due to some comments he made, which organisers thought were inappropriate at the time.
Castro’s performance was on and off. It got patrons dancing and cheering up, whilst the same patrons kept mute at some point in time. This made him condemn his fans, saying it wasn’t right for them to dance energetically when Nigerian acts perform whilst they sit unconcerned when Ghanaian musicians mount the stage.
That was an unnecessary remark by him. I do not yet know any international or great performer who will pass such a comment. Let your performance do the talking…
Your works manifest in your performance, and that is what patrons react to. They aren’t robots to be sitting down idle even when the performance is great. If you had put up a superb performance, they would have as well cheered.
As I’ve stated already, Castro did very well at one point and flopped at other points. I enjoyed part of his performance. He performed too many songs on the night, perhaps, that got people tired. Next time, he should stick to performing few great songs.
I sometimes wonder why some people decide to start their performance with the most popular song they have. What song would you have left again to sustain the already built interest of the fans? That was what happened to KCee.
However, he was able to involve patrons in his performance, by organising a mini dancing competition. This added a little flavour to his performance.
Wizboyy’s performance was no different from the ones I’ve talked about above. If nothing at all, the credit of being the gentleman of the night (with neatly ironed white shirt and suit) should be given him.
He was the first act to have left the stage and jumped into the crowd. Sometimes, I love such acts because it makes the patrons feel they are part of the ongoing event.
Sarkodie used to be the kind of performer who abused the microphone by shouting into it. His team has put things at the right place so he does that no more.
Sarkodie pulled a wonderful performance. His performance was halfway filled with emotions but he didn’t allow the emotions to override his performance. He continued to perform as if nothing had happened.
When an artiste has a great team that puts things together well, everything goes well for such artiste. This was what we saw in Sarkodie’s performance. It is of no doubt that he has been nominated again for this year’s BET awards—he is taking his musical career as a serious business…
The arrangement of the songs he performed was on point, as compared to other acts that performed on the same night.
Some improvements were seen in Davido’s performance as compared to what he recently did at the 2014 Ghana Music Awards.
In as much as he did well, there was a certain Nigerian Rick Ross and other team members who were of no relevance to the game but joined him on stage.
He ended his act by performing his trending song – ‘Aye’. That was tactical.
- Shatta Wale
I wouldn’t score him as the best performer, but he was undeniably the one the crowd cheered to most. His presence alone gingered everyone in the auditorium.
His fans in the hall were so much excited not because he surprised them with any extraordinary performance, but because of his popularity. In fact, he is the man of the moment.
The organisers made a very wise decision to have included him in the concert.
As I’ve said earlier on, I didn’t notice anything extraordinary about his performance, except his concept of taken some strong Bull dogs to the stage. However, I loved the selection of his songs and the level of energy he exhibited.
Undeniably, the 4th edition of ‘Ghana meets Naija’ was unsurpassed. There hasn’t been any event that has excelled 100% in all areas, and this was no exception to that. There are some areas that need more concentration next year.
There wasn’t any security threat outside the main auditorium, neither was there any at the backstage. My only concern was the security men inside the hall.
They were assigned to make sure everything goes on well in the auditorium. Their work included guarding the stage which the musicians were performing on. That is, preventing patrons from getting too close to the stage, not to even talk about jumping unto it.
As muscular as they were, I was looking up to them to put some level of fear in the charged patrons. At some points in time, some fans sneaked and found themselves on the stage with the musicians which made the performing musicians uncomfortable.
For example, a lady from nowhere left the crowd and moved to the stage whilst Davido was performing. Not only did that happen. Same thing occurred when Sarkodie was also on stage. Shatta Wale was not left out as one guy also jumped from nowhere and found himself on the stage. All these people were later picked away from the stage by the security personnel.
I suggest that, the number of security men inside the main auditorium should be increased, especially those in charge of the stage protection…
- Media Stand for Photographers
At most international events, a place is allocated for photo journalists. This is to make sure photographers do not block the view of patrons who have paid good money to enjoy themselves at the event.
Photographers were given the free will to choose where they wanted to perch and take shots, blocking the view of patrons most at times.
Nothing is as painful when you pay a considerable amount of money to witness an event as great as thus and you get your view blocked by someone who actually didn’t pay a penny to be there.
I therefore plead with the organisers to assign a media gallery for media men in their subsequent editions.
- Starting Time
Time is no longer respected in this part of our world. This issue has become a plague which will be very difficult to fight.
Though the event was publicised to commence at 8pm, it started after that and I know the football match took part of the time, but we could have done a little more to kick start it a bit earlier.
And the Country that Emerged Winner Was…
This battle of supremacy was tougher than Floyd Mayweather and Oscar De la Hoya’s fight. Each of the two competing countries proved their worth.
As to which country should let go of its bragging rights to the other, patrons who attended the event already know.
Musicians from both countries did extremely well in terms of performances. From my lenses, I am going to judge by considering which country’s acts were able to set the hall on ‘fire’.
Coming all the way from Nigeria, Davido pulled lot of crowd to earn more points for his countries. Salebobo, Wizboyy, and Kcee also did extensively well.
Much needs not to be mentioned when Sarkodie’s name is mentioned. What about Shatta Wale? He really was the one who managed to set the hall ablaze – something that none of the acts were able to achieve.
By way of objective judgment, I consider GHANA as the winner of the 4th edition of ‘Ghana Meets Naija’.