By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo
Opinions are heavily divided, this time, on matters relating to arguably one of the most popular entertainers in Ghana, Sarkodie.
The artiste has been in the news since he embarked on a promotional media and that’s a good thing. Every artistes needs that level of attention to thrive and Sarkodie is on the right path.
The artiste, in interviews in Ghana and recently in Nigeria raised varied issues hinged on moments, appreciation and value. In his interview with Andy Dosty, Sarkodie emphasized that Ghanaians to not hold on to moments in our industry, citing examples of Shatta Wale and Stonebowy as some of the entertainers whose moments were not held on to by Ghanaians.
In Nigeria, during his interview Beat FM, Sarkodie endorsed commentary by the host that, Ghanaians do not give him enough credit and do not know what we (Ghanaians) have.
I repudiate the assertion by Sarkodie that Ghanaians do not hold to moments and I would use the same examples of Shatta Wale, Stonebowy and even Sarkodie himself to shoot down his claim.
Shatta Wale’s collaboration with Beyoncé was one of, if not the best moments in the history of Ghanaian entertainment and that moment was heavily celebrated. That moment was talked about to the point where the President of the nation, had to also congratulate the artiste for the feat.
The celebration of that moment even went beyond Shatta Wale, where Dancegod Llyod and his DWP dancing academy were venerated too. The Ghanaian technical crew who supported Beyonce’s ‘Lion King’ project were also recognized.
Stonebwoy’s critically acclaimed album, ‘Anloga Junction’ was heavily accepted and projected by Ghanaians, making it one of the most streamed albums in the last couple of years. Every international feature on the album was mentioned, especially the feature with Keri Hilson.
Sarkodie’s BET wins were all heavily celebrated, especially the BET International Flow, which was well talked about. His mention of the ‘Year of Return’ was highly talked about to a point where a section of Ghanaians made a plea for the Ministry of Tourism to make the artiste an Ambassador.
The fact is, these are moments, you celebrate them for a period, etch it in history and move on – that is the reason they are called moments.
In Nigeria, the host, Osi remarked that Sarkodie is not given enough credit by Ghanaians – a comment the artiste validated. That’s hogwash!
Sarkodie is given credit; in fact, he has been given enough credit all through his span as an entertainer. He is regarded largely as one of the most influential entertainers in the country and his influence transcends entertainment.
He is credited as a hardworking artiste who has been able to stay dominant and relevant for over 10 years and the testament to that is the attainment of hit songs, hit albums, hit albums, sold out concerts, endorsement deals.
He is credited to be one of the biggest selling acts in Ghana with a high percentage rating.
He is credited to be the Artiste of the Decade, per the standards of the biggest music awards scheme in Ghana, the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA). Corporate entities see his worth; hence, they credit him by signing him to endorsement deals.
So, it is implicitly not factual that Ghanaians do not give Sarkodie enough credit.
The Nigerian presenter also stated that, as Ghanaians, we do not know we have in Sarkodie. In essence, we do not value the artiste. That’s baloney!
We expressly know exactly what we have in Sarkodie, yes we do!
We know his value, and it is the reason we recognize his hard work by supporting him, his brand and his business. Our recognition of his works is what has ensured a support system that has seen him stay relevant for over a decade in the industry.
The value he has is the reason almost every song he releases is a hit – and it’s been like that for over 10 years. The premium we place on him is the reason almost every album he releases is a hit album. The recognition of that value is reason every show of his is sold-out.
Because we know what we have, that is the reason we have held him high for 10 years and over – making him stay relevant, dominant and outstanding. As a result of what we know we have, we have accorded him all the laurels for his hard work.
So, it is not true that we do not know what we have; we definitely do and that’s a fact.