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THUMPS UP! ‘Shout Out’ to the Handlers of These Stars

By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo

Last week, I penned an article on how some Ghanaian artistes, together with Shatta Wale deserve special mention for their ability to break grounds, set trends and make history in elevating the craft in Ghana. Special mentions went to the likes of Obour, Samini and Reggie Rockstone.

After the publication of the piece, my attention was drawn to some sort of injustice that has pertained in the industry for ages. The lack of mention and recognition for the handlers who oversee the varied businesses of these stars.

Albeit not the norm of having ‘backroom’ personnel also enjoy some approval ratings for their job, it is important to also highlight their achievements and offer them their flowers where and when necessary.

Stars belong to the limelight

Entertainers and celebrities are made for the limelight. That is how the industry is engineered.

These stars are the ones in the spotlight; they are the ones that elicit all the attention, the ones who command the stage and the airwaves. They are the ones we mob and clamour for their autographs while we trip over ourselves.

They are the ones who mount the podium and sit under the bright lights to grant interviews and they are the ones that garner the biggest jeers and cheers. The limelight is made for them!

Interestingly, the personnel that ensure that the stars are fit, organized and ready for that spotlight are never hailed but the good thing is; they (handlers) are convinced that the spotlight is not for them, so, they do not tussle with these stars for that space. Great understanding and realization!

The Real MVPs

The most valuable players in the lives of these stars are the handlers; the Artiste-Managers, the Business Managers, the Road Managers, the Lawyers etc. The stars look good because of these handlers. They signed the biggest deals, sold out concerts, topped the charts and won multiple awards because there were/are a group of personnel that ensured so. The stars are billionaires and millionaires because of these handlers.

Jay-Z, Kanye West, Beyonce, Scarlett Johansson, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, Shatta Wale and Jackie Appiah and all these successful entertainers didn’t just become stars and rich. They started as novices and through the veracious management, direction and admonition of other. The real McCoy in the projection of the stars are these handlers; the people who are gratified to see their works (the stars) get all the elevation, attention and recognition while they bask in the glory – backstage!

Jackie Appiah & Samira Yakubu

Here They Are

An attempt to mention names could be inappropriate because the names of these illustrious handlers who have contributed to the success fables are many but regardless, some names ought to be mentioned.

Shatta Wale’s renaissance in 2013 was epic. He altered the paradigm and goes into the annals of our music history as one of a few who brought such a refreshing yet, revolutionary change to the business of the creative industry.

Unfortunately, one fellow who never gets critical mention for his role in making Shatta Wale a household legend is Nana Asiamah Hanson, widely known as Bullgod.

Bullgod was colossal in Wale’s camp and in his endeavours. For him, if his client wins, he wins, so, he was willing and determined to burn bridges, spend sleepless nights on the negotiation table, ‘move mountains’ to get the shows and was ready to go to war for his artiste. There was no compromise for the famed Artiste Manager when it came to Shatta Wale. He simply gave his all!

Jackie Appiah is getting all the shouts for what she has been able to achieve over the years but one name that is never mentioned is his longtime Manager and friend, Samira Yakubu.

Samira has been by the side of the actress for years – aiding her maneuver through countless deals, business ventures while ensuring that she (Jackie) stays relevant and consistent.

Sarkodie is the most decorated artiste in Ghana and one of the few across Africa. For close to 2 decades, he has been able to project his brand to the pedestal – making his brand one of the most influential across the world and there is that one person who has stayed loyal, aiding the artiste to weave through all these years. Shouts to Angeltown!

Diana Hamilton is one of the highly revered gospel musicians in the country and quite amazingly, she’s been producing hit songs since 2007. Now, she has sold out concerts, endorsements and major awards to her name – thanks to the stellar management of David Ennin, also known as King David.

Diana Hamilton & King David

In the corner of Empress Gifty is Rosindy Frimponmaa Attakorah!

Rosindy is everything to the gospel minstrel; ensuring that the artiste stays relevant, sells records, signs TV deals and strikes partnerships with corporate firms while maintaining the purpose of her calling as a gospel artiste.

Empress Gifty & Rosindy

 

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