A Postcard to Shatta Wale

Fri, 13 Dec 2013 Source: Mensah, Solomon

By Solomon Mensah

In years past, going to the cinema had with it a nostalgic feeling. Yes! On the front view of those cinema houses, you would see the titles of movies to be shown written on a piece of blackboard; “The Jewel, River Ankobra, Kanana, Justice, Baby Thief, Who Killed Nancy…”

Were you born?

Aside these titles written in different shades of colour chalks, the pasting of the cover albums of the movies on a piece of blackboard was, as well, spectacular. But aside all these, the cacophony of noises by the cinema audience won my heart the most. You remember people whistling “operator eeeeee” when there was interruption (scratches) in a movie? At this time, we the children peeping through loopholes to watch would be much more agitated than those who paid to watch. “Nipa nny3 kooooose.”

Is it not sad that such a fond memory is now far-fetched? It is gone. But the new trend of the entertainment industry has come with it another twist of nostalgic feeling. A feeling that I think ten years from now we would sit back and reminisce. But as to whether such feelings would be enjoyable recollections of our past events is a dollar question.

Shatta, before I write anything in the subsequent lines, promise me of reading this postcard. If out of the love you have for your fans you would like to share with them, I … I think you are at liberty to do so.

Few months ago, at the Vodafone Icons show, the excitement that had adorn the faces of the Show’s audience gave way for a cloud of confusion to sit at the edges of their mouths. I guess you are not asking me why? Kwao ‘Abodam’ Kese had mounted the stage just before the winner of the Icons Show could be announced. He cat walked as the contestants of some of Ghana’s sense-eluded beauty pageants (I don’t want to mention names) do in their skeletal apparels. Kwao zigzagged and danced his steps on the stage as if to tell the organizers that they were about giving a ‘s3k3’ verdict.

I hear he did this in defense of his brother who was part of the Icons contestants whom Kwao believed should have won. On radio and television, in newspapers and on the internet, it became a big news in the entertainment industry.

But Shatta, could you believe this news of Kwao Kese did not overshadow the feud between you and Samini? I ask myself, what is it at all that you young guys are seemingly fighting over? Excuse me my phone is ringing; will be with you soon.

On phone.

Me: Yo Papa Slash!

Slash: Oh Bossu. I read your article; Abeiku Santana and Stacy’s day of shame. You be shatta w’ate.

Me: Hahaa! Charlie you no sey I dey rep sth wey e dey Shatta Wale en body?

Slash: Oh really? Abi you know sey Samini no go fit am.

Me: Charlie I no sey noting oo! …

Shatta, Slash is my senior back at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ). Well, if you care to know he is a choreographer for beauty pageants including Miss Excel Plus of GTV. Wherever and whenever he hears your name, he doffs his hat for you.

He would vehemently argue with anyone who thinks Samini is the dance hall king in Ghana. Once at the students’ lounge on the campus of GIJ, Shatta Wale, Samini factions went about flinging ‘proves’- of you or Samini being the best- against themselves as though mangoes hitting against walls in a torrential storm.

Shatta, how do you feel when you see or hear your supporters and that of the Adult’s Music man ‘clash’? Do you smile, laugh or cry? Certainly, I know you do not cry because such feud in showbiz in one way or the other sells an artiste. But whereas you may be making money out of this publicity, remember that Swahili proverb which says that constant rubbing of a rope against a stone cuts it.

Indeed, the Shatta Wale-Samini feud will soon catch fire among your fans if you two do not amicably cool down tempers. I may sound as a prophet of doom but what we must not forget is that, one does not need certification in logical reasoning to tell that the result of fire and gunpowder sleeping together is fireworks.

Elsewhere, on the international front, the dance hall industry has and is still witnessing a number of feuds. Talk of Gaza (Empire) VS Gully (Alliance), or Kartel VS Mavado, Kartel VS Bounty Killer, Deva Bratt VS Busy Signal/Flexx, Lisa Hype VS Stacious and Portmore VS J.O.P./BIG SHIP INC. and ask yourself of its effect.

Shatta, a case in point, Kartel has along the line called Mavado a ‘pseudo-gangsta,’ dubbing him "Mafraudo" and claiming to have had sex with his mother. Mavado retorted that Kartel was, among many other things, a "battyman" (gay), a skin-bleacher, and an atheist. The feud came to a head at a major stage show in late 2008, when the two stood face to face before a rowdy crowd—Kartel who was decked out in full army gear with Mavado sporting a Lone Ranger–style black mask, engaged in a heated clash. They hurled insults at each other as Kartel carted out a coffin with "R.I.P. Mavado" printed on it.

“After this show, fights were said to have broken out between fans who argued passionately about whether Mavado or Kartel was the victor,” quoting (http://www.villagevoice.com/2010-03-02/music/reggae-s-civil-war/).

Shatta, perhaps in Ghana, we think the word ‘fight’ can never happen here so whether in politics or whatsoever, we keep vilifying and Al-Shababing (firing, a new word from my dictionary) a barrel full of insults against one another.

At the just ended Guinness Big Eruption Concert, we witnessed the fans of Shatta booing and hissing Samini and that of Samini doing same to Shatta. Did you notice that? A friend whom I used to buy banku on credit with back at GIJ would say; “When it is coming, it is doing.”

Shatta, I could have sent Samini a copy of this postcard myself. But for the sake of calming down tempers, kindly hand it over to him for me. This gesture will tell one another that you guys are not enemies.

Samini, while reading this, put your name in place of wherever I mentioned “Shatta.” I advise the two of you to let the public decide and crown who is king in Ghana’s Hall music and put a stop to tattooing yourselves with titles.

This has been your unrecognized Journalist who has been covering your shows for you.

The writer is a Sunyani-based Freelance Journalist.

Email: nehusthan4@yahoo.com

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Columnist: Mensah, Solomon