Entertainment of Friday, 24 July 2015
Ghanaian Afro-fusion music exponent, Amandzeba and his spouse chose the West Hills Mall at Weija in the Greater Accra Region, to cut his 54th birthday cake last weekend.
As though to escape from all the publicity and the intrusions of the week, Amandzeba, who lives at Teshie on the east-side of Accra, sneaked into West Hills Mall with his wife, Molly and two associates, for what he described later as the most exciting part of his birthday celebrations – a private hangout with family.
The veteran musician’s signature dreadlocks easily gave him away to Mall security personnel manning the car park before he and his small entourage could steal their way onto the upper patio of the Barcelos eatery at the Mall’s food court.
Amandzeba has worn his locks for over 20 years since his spectacular shift in 1998 from the honey-voiced darling boy, Nat Brew of ‘Kpalogo Ye De’ fame, to Amandzeba – (Child of the tradition) blazing an entirely new trail in music and churning out a more vibrant and lyrically provocative Ghanaian brand of Afro-fusion stuff with hits like ‘Wogbe Gyeke’, ‘Opioto Da Tso’, ‘Dede’, ‘Dzoo’, ‘Baawo’, and ‘One Ghana.’
Irritatingly Afro-centric as Amandzeba could be, before he cut his birthday cake, he declared to his wife, and the Barcelos staff waiting on him that he would have loved cutting a giant ‘Epitsi’ – a traditional Fante cake made from ripe plantain dough baked in fresh plantain leave wrappers.
When the Mall’s Operations Manager, Mr. Bennard Denkyi, heard that the musician was cutting his birthday cake in the mall, he fetched a card and went up to extend his felicitations.
“Thank you Sir. This is a great place you have here – a shoppers’ paradise! It’s a shame that I am only now discovering it. And if you may be wondering why after all the fanfare we had in town, Molly (his wife) chose to bring me here to cut my cake, it’s because we heard so much about West Hills but have not been here until today.
“I like what I see here. I love the cosy ambience here, the space, the shops and the variety of the stock on display. This mall is awesome and compares squarely with many I have seen abroad,” he told Mr. Denkyi.
“I am proud we have it right here in Ghana and not elsewhere. But what about enriching the ambience even better by playing more Ghanaian music? That could be your only way of promoting Ghanaian music at our biggest shopping centre.
“I don’t think it will cost you much to play, say Amakye Dede, Ramblers or Wulomei on a fine weekend like this. Remember, this is our Mall.
People will shop, do business and have fun here but they must feel that they are here in Ghana,” he said.
Amandzeba’s cake – a huge rectangular five-pounder with light green icing – had the curious inscription ‘Amandzeba @ 154.’
When the waiters screamed at the age on the cake, he said: “I don’t have to look 154 years old. You feel your age; you don’t necessarily have to look it.
The Almighty recycles all of us. I believe I have been around a century already before this life. How else would I get to know where we (Ghanaians) are coming from and where we are going? People dread aging but with age comes volumes of knowledge and wisdom!”