The struggle of the Savanna gods
They are Savanna gods because they wield immense influence by commanding large fan armies. Across the world, artistes are revered, each commanding reverence in varied proportions. However, the dictates of now has further granted a larger space for daring artistes to soar. How exactly that is done, though undefined, determines stature in the “spiritual” world ruled by artistes/musicians. We need to understand that value and stature translates directly into economic gain which has a ripple effect on society.
Music award schemes in the savanna are to an extent a protest. The kind that seeks to improve the worth and morale of musicians from the area. Most award schemes in Ghana do not put in the necessary effort to truly identify deserving talents from the savanna. Many reasons may account for the little-to-no-will in truly bridging the gap. However, the disdain accorded people of the savanna when practiced by self, suggests a need for retrospection.
The struggle for growth, recognition/relevance, and dominance demands that we acknowledge the little mounds we scaled for endurance. All big winners would acknowledge the small wins and efforts which culminated into major victories.The savanna gods must rethink.
For many, seeing the savanna rise from relative obscurity to prominence in Ghana music is a welcoming development. However, many groups and individuals work to make this a reality. The fans, the event organiser, and media fraternity. They each sacrifice the taste for everything “alien”, causing the locale to appreciate and love their own.
The three Savanna gods and their goofy deeds
News of Rockcity’s failure to participate in an award scheme organized by “one of their own” was heartbreaking. Even worse is when they assign certain reasons to the “no show”. Upper East showbiz has gone through a lot, but then again, to find perfection we keep trying.
In a recent interview with Upper East Region’s biggest music group, Rockcity; Conrad Kurt, suggested that the failure to participate in the One Love Youth Foundation Awards (Upper East Music Awards), was influenced by failed schemes initiated in times past. Another reason proffered is a busy schedule attributed to the release of The Big Breakthrough Album.
The above may sounds reasonable, however, it places little value on the Upper East Music Awards of 2019. This is especially so, when one considers their participation at the Northern Entertainment Awards 20. I do not know the difficulty involved in filing nominations at these award schemes; however, I am aware of a misconception surrounding award schemes and how they arrive at winners. Whilst some schemes thrive on the opinions of technical boards, others are left to public voting. No matter how big an artiste is, the voting public determine whether they win or otherwise. Reason is simple, our schemes are not merely recognizing artistes, but seeking a financial leverage to help enhance the industry. Remember, we rarely have sponsors, when we even do, sponsorship packages are so meagre.
The Success of the Savanna gods isn’t just their doing
The nonchalant behavior of the Beer & Akayet hitmakers are not exclusive. The two most commercially successful artistes from the Savanna didn’t file nominations for NEA 2020. Quite mind boggling, however, very telling of either a complex or amnesia.
Many were surprise when neither Maccasio nor Fancy Gadam were nominated at the Northern Entertainment Awards 2020; for others, maybe they could hitch an honorary award, but alas, they didn’t. My initial reaction was “wow, how can the two biggest mainstream acts not even receive a nomination”; but then again, this is the Tamale entertainment space; the only place musicians and industry people can stage events just to see another flop. Fortunately, the organisers made it clear, the Total Cheat hitmaker & the Rappers Jack didn’t file for possible nominations.
Quite scandalous, however, it is within the right of any musician to participate or choose otherwise. For several years Shatta Wale & VGMA’s couldn’t see eye to eye. This was borne of a perception that the latter always plotted to ensure Shatta Wale never wins. However, in the case of our awards, things are different.
In 2016, we saw the entire savanna come behind two great musicians, Fancy Gadam & Maccasio; forcing the entire Ghana to accept their brand and music. They’ve become brands every emerging artiste from the savanna wants to work with. In fact, their biggest music concerts are attended by mostly people of savanna extraction. This is not the time to play big boys. As the Savanna gods, your well-being transcends self.
For music from the savanna to rise and be relevant, the Savanna gods would have to work with all stakeholders. You don’t need to despise anyone to prove superior.