By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo
The entertainment news of the previous week was inundated with the dicey subject of gospel and secular collaborations in music.
Gospel artiste and VGMA 2019 ‘Best Female Vocalist of the Year’, Celestine Donkor opened the conversation up again by calling popular secular acts, Efya and Akwaboah to assist her on her new track, ‘Thank You.’
As expected, the reaction to the song has been divided, instigated by some stakeholders within the gospel fraternity who have frowned and scowled at the move by the gospel artiste. In a bid to showcase their displeasure with the collaboration, these influential stakeholders from the gospel-oriented media, have refused to give the song any audience on their respective media.
Nothing New Here
For years, gospel artistes have had such a tough time with their Christian community over their decision to collaborate with secular counterparts. Not only are such songs rejected, these gospel artistes are perceived to have backslide and lose every form of support for their respective ministries.
Lady Prempeh, Herty Borngreat, Nacee and Yaw Sarpong have all faced such disparagement for their resolution to work with these secular artistes over the years, so, it comes as no surprise that Celestine Donkor is facing similar denigration.
The reaction from the gospel fraternity was highly predictable and highly expected and of course, the counter reaction from the other section of the divide has been resounding.
There Will No Acceptance
It has become evident that the Christian Community would not accept, endorse and validate any sort of collaboration between a gospel artiste and a secular act. It won’t happen!
This phenomenon transcends the borders of Ghanaian music as the rejection of such collaborations pertains even in an established industry like the USA, where the likes of Kirk Franklin, Tasha Cobbs and others have faced even harsher criticisms for such a move.
The critics of such collaborations have, among other justifications, hinged their arguments on a number of Bible verses that tell Christians not to sit in the counsel of sinners or to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, 2 Corinthians 6: 14-18.
Bear the Consequences or Stop
At this stage of our music industry, with reference to history, it should not come as a shock when the Christian community rejects a collaboration between artistes of the gospel and secular divides respectively.
It’s a well-accepted notion that gospel artistes sometimes receive divine inspiration for their songs, so, ideally, they should just listen to such intuition. They should record songs with secular artistes and not worry about the gnarl of the Christian fraternity. That means that, the gospel artiste involved should not expend lots of resources in the promotion of the song.
However, if that gospel artiste and his/her handlers are thinking business with such a collaboration then they should brace themselves for the eventual outcome. Thinking business implies doing extensive media promotion for the song, in a bid to drive attention and patronage. In that case, then the gospel must be prepared to face the usual rhubarb that always herald such projects