Negative publicity which is a employed to obtain attention by most artistes in the secular world of entertainment is creeping slowly into the gospel music industry in Ghana.
First, there’s no rule as to which form publicity should take. However, in whatever form it takes, it can assume one of two forms, thus, negative or positive. Though datable, from showbiz perspective, positive publicity is the traditional way of informing or getting the fans attention to an artiste’s works through; radios, prints, posters, televisions, websites and now social media.
Negative publicity on the other hand, is a form of attracting the audience attention and sentiments to an artiste’s work but as the name suggests, with a negative tone. For about 5 years now, negative publicity seems to be creeping into our gospel music industry.
For instance, in 2011, gospel musician Philipa Baafi who had bore triplets was reported to have lost her three children. The story came with mixed feelings of dubiety. I recall all attempts by then entertainment presenter, Agyemang Prempeh, of Channel R’s ‘205 Total Entertainment,’ to get Philipa Baafi to either confirm or deny the story proved otiose.
Later, the ostensible picture of the story was undraped and what was uncovered was that, she was coming out with a new album. As to whether Philipa Baafi’s three babies died or not, the negative publicity got her fans attention, favour and ushered her then album into the market.
In 2012, another gospel musician whose story had a negative publicity tone is Celestine Donkor. On various websites, social networks and print media was a story of her with pictures of two female prison wardens – they handcuffed her.