By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo
Ghanaians like to talk; they like to complain and have opinions about everything and sometimes it is interesting to note how confused we sound sometimes in our commentary about certain issues. One of such is the trending issue of Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy and their reconciliation.
The ‘Shatta-Stone’ story, especially in the last couple of weeks, could make for an epic drama series; from their fight at the VGMA to their arraignment before court, to the sanctions by the VGMA Board and their peace treaty, which will culminate in some ‘peace concert’.
After the press conference officially announcing a truce between the two artistes and the music concert to reinforce that treaty, there have been mixed reactions, with the majority of observers raising doubts about the authenticity of the reconciliation and punching holes in the peace concert.
Pessimism greets truce
I find it hard to understand how some observers are scoffing at the truce between the two influential acts and are even casting doubt on the intent.
After the VGMA debacle, almost every Ghanaian condemned the actions of Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy, while indicating how dangerous their actions were and how it could have resulted in something more catastrophic than what we witnessed.
Amidst the condemnation were calls for the two to face the appropriate sanctions as well as making peace or keeping whatever ‘beef’ they have civil, so it is incredulous how the same persons who were calling for peace are being cynical about the ceasefire.
Some are even questioning the timeline to this new found peace; that the time between the VGMA fracas as well as Shatta Wale’s offensive video about Stonebwoy’s disability to declaration of peace is too short for anybody to take seriously. Are you kidding me?
For unknown reasons, many critics also have misgivings about this peace talk because of Shatta Wale – claiming that, the artiste, based on his past shenanigans, cannot be trusted.
Peace treaty won’t last?
Another school of thought believes that this treaty won’t last. I do not blame such persons making such a cynical call because of the history between the two.
They have had some jolly times in the past, performed together and all, but none of their competitive tussles reached the heights witnessed at the VGMA and the two had not faced backlash for their actions in the past.
What transpired on May 18 was precarious and that is why any talk of peace should be taken with all the seriousness it deserves, even if it is short-lived.
Let’s assume this peace treaty does not last; it should not pose a problem for anybody. When the peace breaks down, we will go back to the table and talk peace again. It is as simple as that!
It is expected that Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale would uphold whatever promises they have made to Ghanaians but we must also realize that once we all reside in a human institution, arguments, disagreements and related issues could culminate in yet another impasse.
When that occurs, we just must still call for peace and the cycle would continue. The world won’t end over this! How many times have Israel and Palestine not fought, brokered peace and are still fighting?
So what if peace treaty is to woo the court?
I find quite laughable, the argument that Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy are putting up a well-scripted act to convince the court that they are good citizens and not as rowdy and undisciplined as they have been projected to be in the last couple of weeks.
Even if that is the intention, so what? I totally endorse such a move and I am sure such an action would be ratified by their respective lawyers if it came up. Nobody would want to face jail time and if this move convinces the judge, then praise God!
Again, the cynics are forgetting the emphatic words of the Judge when the two appeared in court – that, they must be of good behaviour while they wait for their next appearance on June 20, 2019.
If this peace treaty is not a testament of the two guys being of good behaviour, then I don’t know what is.
Peace treaty is money-driven, so what?
Some critics are also connecting the truce and upcoming concert to money. Okay, Dr. Abban of Rigworld was able to convince these guys to sit at any table to talk peace under the influence of money, so what?
The most important thing is for these guys to talk peace in order to get their massive following to toe the same line and if such a grand gesture was influenced by money, so what?
For some, there was incessant talk of money at the press conference to announce the peace treaty and music concert, solidifying the notion that these guys are just in for the money and this move is all business.
My take: If you are in this craft and you do not factor the element of money in any endeavour, then you are not serious. These guys are business-minded and their ability to plug revenue in the conversation is smart.
No single day passes without showbiz aficionados’ calling for investors to inject some well-needed succour into our industry, yet, these same folks are debasing the two artistes for calling for an investor to inject some funds in whatever collaborative album or project they would embark on. How?
Why should peace concert be free?
There’s also this strong agenda industry folks are pushing; that the peace concert should be held without any charge to patrons. This statement, in all honesty, confounds me.
My thinking abilities are heavily challenged by the reasoning for a free concert; the fact that the two acts, after making fans and music followers go through such trouble cannot charge any fee for the concert if they truly have their fans at heart and if indeed, they are for peace and not for money.
So, if the concert is free, it would mean the two guys are really for peace? How?
Firstly, there’s no way I would recommend a free gate fee for the two’s joint concert considering the security implications.
Secondly, it takes resources to put together a good concert and especially when it involves two big artistes under two different independent labels. If putting a charge on the concert would help with the cost of putting it together, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.
A fee for the concert does not, in any way, shape or form negate the fact that these guys mean well with the peace treaty and the peace concert. We should support in any way we can, if truly, we want this industry to be better.