In January 2016, dancehall artiste Stonebwoy had to walk off stage while performing at the launch of Accra-based Live FM. While performing his hit single, ‘Go Higher’, a guy from the crowd jumped onto the stage and started mimicking the way Stonebwoy walked.
That act, infuriated the Ashaiman-based artiste forcing him to abandon his performance and walk off stage.
In March that same year, he went to Germany for a surgery to fix a defect in his right leg. He limped slightly on the right leg after an accident some years ago. It was unclear if the unfortunate incident at the Live FM launch fuelled his decision to undergo the operation.
Many, particularly the disabled, for several years, saw Stonebwoy as an inspiration, a role model, who has risen through the tides and society’s near neglect of the disabled to become a national hero.
He became the first African reggae/dancehall artiste to win a Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards in 2015. He hopes to make it a second win at this year’s awards.
If you live in Ghana, it’s not news that Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale don’t see eye-to-eye. They are currently nursing one of the longest running beefs in the country.
From shots in songs to comments made on social media, Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy are not the best of friends and it is possible they won’t be any time soon.
When the Ashaiman-based artiste was nominated for his second BET Award, many expected Shatta Wale to rise above their beef and congratulate his arch-rival.
It didn’t happen. Instead, he said on social media, “I dont want any fan of mine to feel bad about any BET…My skin is too strong now for such Nkwasias3m from this educated fools in our industry..”
Born Charles Nii Armah Mensah Jnr., the dancehall act added that, “My B.E.C.E certificate sef ano know where edeh..Then we deh come worry about BET…#Money deh call me for my brain….”
Stonebwoy, speaking in an interview with Doreen Andoh on Joy FM, said he did not need a congratulatory message from Shatta Wale.
Enough of the history, now to the substantive issue.
Recently, many wondered who Shatta Wale was referring to as “Sergeant Lee” in his smash hit song, ‘Taking Over’. Although he has not stated who he meant, many suggested he may have been referring to Stonebwoy.
Well, the controversial singer seems to have provided some clarity.
During his performance at the Vodafone VIM launch early this month at Trade Fair Centre, while delivering his lines, “Sergeant Lee Otashi otwa tea. Nɔɔ eba akɛɛ comfortable lead,” in the ‘Taking Over’ song, he limped with the patrons cheering him on.
That’s not the end of it. He repeated same at the 2017 edition of the Ghana Meets Naija concert at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC).
This act, begs an answer to the question, “Where did we go wrong as an industry?”
Such performances should not be entertained in the name of showbiz. Showbiz is supposed to entertain not to insult, mock or hurt the feelings of others. Every smart musician takes the feelings of others into considering before proceeding to write, record and perform a song.
Shatta Wale and other artistes should not be allowed to, in the name of beefs, use their talent or craft to inappropriately attack innocent persons.
It is quite unfortunate that, patrons at these venues did not see the need to condemn the act but rather cheered him on.
The lack of regulations in the Ghanaian entertainment industry has paved the way for artistes to unnecessarily attack people’s personalities and rain insults on them without justifiable cause.
Beefs are good for the music industry. They bring about competition but taking it personal and insulting or making unsubstantiated allegations all in the name of showbiz must not be condoned.
Shatta Wale’s management, as a matter of urgency, should stop him from using showbiz to either mock, attack or insult persons to settle scores in any form.
The Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) should be up and doing to sanitise the industry. Same goes for practitioners in the movie industry and event organisers, who are supposed to give patron’s their money’s worth by providing quality entertainment and not insults.