Early May 2010, I was part of a team of artwriters together with Ameyaw Debrah and Eugene Osafo-Nkansah of Peace FM who joined winners of Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) that year, to the Castle to present their awards to the presidency.
The then Vice President, John Dramani Mahama, after receiving the winners (EL, Adjetey Annang, Naa Ashorkor Mensah Doku, Lydia Forson, Akorfa E. Asiedu, Ken Attoh and Mabel Germain), pledged the government’s support for the art industry and expressed the government’s desire to make the creative a job-creating avenue. It is in line with his vision that I write this text.
When he was alive, President Mills was avid believer in the youth and as Vice President, President Mahama was an active patron of the entertainment arena. (I spotted him at a movie premiere once and also at a Kojo Antwi concert) So, I have reason to believe he is really passionate about the arts.
That is why; it won’t to out of place to request that the arts industry be involved in the celebration of the life of our demised former president, Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills, who passed on on Tuesday July 24th, 2012.
Dirges and traditional music are a part of funerals in Ghana so obviously they won’t be missing at the late president’s either. The entertainment industry may be represented by, say, the reading of tribute by Obour (MUSIGA President) and/or Odoi-Mensah (Actors Guild President). What I’m asking is using this funeral at a morale-boosting platform for young artists and I am suggesting Asem, Sarkodie and Florence Obinim for that venture.
Just 48 hours after the death of Prof. Mills, Asem recorded a beautiful dirge or cheer song, Dear John, in memory of the late statesman together with Pat Thomas. Witty and intelligent as that song sounds, it is the best hip hop rendition of nation’s tribute to a fallen soldier.
Though the musicians’ body, MUSIGA, also has a song to that effect, Asem’s is more precise. Since hip hop (or GH rap or hiplife) is the most recent music genre making waves in the country now, it would imperative to have it represented at the funeral especially since it has a hook (sung by Pat Thomas) which the elderly would appreciate.
The 2010 World Bank Music for Development winner has, like the late president, built a strong character over the years against a backdrop of criticisms and character assassination. His presence at the funeral would be a morale-boost to all young musicians that if you stay true to who you are, it would take you places.
Sarkodie is the artist of the moment. He is the reigning VGMA Artist of the year and the first Ghanaian musician to win a BET award. Many young people look up to him and his often-hilarity portrayal of the plight of the Ghanaian has endeared him to many. He could be made to perform one of his many numbers on life and its journey. He could as well be asked to write a tribute to the late hero.
Florence Obinim, my last but not least suggestion endeared herself to Ghanaian with her songs like Osoro ne mefie (Heaven is my Home) and yesu beba (Jesus will come). Those two songs portray life as a spiritual journey. Meanwhile her tribute song for the late president which she performed on TV3’s Music Music last Saturday weeping would be beautiful if she performs it at the funeral of the late president the charismatic way she is known for.
Though these three are my suggestion of young musicians that could be added to the list of activities to celebrate the life of the late president, the morale of this piece is not limited to them. The young budding Ghanaian entertainment industry should be added to the celebration of the life of the late president.
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