Entertainment Tue, 15 Nov 2005

Ensure Protection For Ghanaian Artist

It's a good thing that almost everyone including some Women Rights Advocacy groups treat the assault on Mzbel with all the contempt it deserves,but I still wonder how the likes of Fellow Amnesty Raynay with his article, "Conflict between Skin and Sight," published in the highly read entertainment weekly, Graphic Showbiz on the 3rd November, could be so prudish and narrow-minded to applaud the assault on Mzbel.

The writer, who wasn't gutsy enough to use his real name but rather hide under an obnoxious name like Fellow Amnesty Raynay,did not know what he was blabbering about,otherwise he wouldn't justify what those unscrupulous students did.Those misfits called students had no right whatsoever,to attack the artiste even if she wore a lingerie or negligee on stage.

Infact,I'm not suprised that Amnesty Fellow or Fellow Amnesty or whatever his name is,is an alumnus of KNUST,but it astounds me that he is a lecturer.I'm not wasting anymore ink on the writer,who I wish would use his real name the next time he writes so that I can address him properly.The main issue is about the managing of artistes and their welfare.Ghanaian managers/producers of artistes seem to care only about the album sales and the royalties garnered by their artistes from shows ,but skirt the welfare of their artistes.The manager ought to be responsible for the well-being of the artiste before anything else crops up.Mzbel has performed at various shows after that episode at KNUST,and I know that whoever her manager is ,is entitled to some 'cut' in all that she gets.What if Mzbel did sprain a leg or arm in the incident and was incapacitated for sometime,? the manager/producer wouldn't enjoy any of such future benefits.In as much as I condemn what the students did,I also chide the manager of Mzbel and the organisers for not providing security for the 'star'.I hear She now employs security personnel whenever she performs,something which should have been done long ago and should be done by every artiste.Unlike some foreign artistes who have employed their own personal asssistants,PRs,AnR,chefs,chauffeurs,and bodyguards to see to their daily endeavours,our artistes like to run a 'one-man show'because they claim not be rich enough to hire the services of such people and so place their safety in the hands of their managers,who get more money than the artistes.Artistes are exposed to all kinds of perils whenever they mount the stage to perform,especially when the audience is as rowdy as those seen in most tertiary institutions.I personally witnessed the heckling of Tinny by some disgruntled students of the University Of Cape Coast who held the artiste hostage for hours amidst threats and cursing.His crime,? he performed below par and it was sheer luck that Tinny escaped unscathed,but I was confounded as to why he came all alone to Cape Coast.You see,most of these managers/producers cheat so much on their artistes,such that, he artistes discretely attend such low-profile shows just to pocket the money earned.Most of these artistes don't even have cars to attend to shows and radio interviews,and I was befuddled when I saw Buk Bak,who have produced consistent hit albums come all the way to perform in Cape Coast in a chartered taxi.So where has all the money been going? I also know for a fact that, most of the artistes that go outside to perform are all bundled up into cheap hostels and then paid paltry dollars or pounds.These misfortunes befalling our artistes,I lay on the doorstep of the so-called managers.Back to the provision of security,I think artistes must be privy to the availability of security before they agree to honour invitations.Even internationally acclaimed 'stars' like R.Kelly and Snoop Dogg, with all the well trained bodyguards are assaulted with chairs,bottles and pepper-sprayed,how much more the likes of tiny Tinny and Mzbel.It's about time the welfare of artistes became paramount in the itinerary of their managers and it's also about time the artistes also start hiring professionals to assist them in their torrid schedules.

Source: ARNOLD ASAMOAH-BAIDOO (arniebaidoo@yahoo.co.uk)