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The Sizzla Live In Ghana “Disgrace”
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Music of Thursday, 11 March 2010

Source: eugene osafo-nkansah/peacefmonline.com/ghana

The Sizzla Live In Ghana “Disgrace”

Fans of Jamaican Reggae super star Sizzla Kalonji have waited so long to see their idol perform live in Ghana for the first and to put up one of his “more fire” performances but it appears he fell into the wrong hand on his first visit to Ghana over the weekend.

Prior to his coming, no proper publicity plan had been laid out to make sure the anticipation was high. Apart from a few radio and TV mentions, a handful of newspaper write ups a few insertions and on the internet, the organizer did not make any extra effort to publicize the event which was scheduled to take place at the over 40 thousand capacity Ohene Djan sports stadium. The media had no idea as to when Sizzla was touching down in Ghana.

When the Reggae star finally arrived in Ghana on Wednesday March 3 like an ordinary traveler, organizers of the event could not even put together a simple press conference for the Ghanaian media to meet and interact with him before the main show, like what happened when the likes of Shaggy, Kelvin Little and Wayne Wonder, Buster Rhythms, Fat Joe, Wyclef, Eve, Boys II Men, and other came to Ghana.

The main event on Friday March 5 ie the eve of Ghana’s 53rd Independence Day Anniversary can best be described as a ‘disgrace’ to show -business in Ghana and the image of the country as a whole on such a historic day. There was no media accreditation or special invitation whatsoever. As a media person I had buy a VIP ticket worth GH¢25 to witness the event which was organized by Lalibela Music Limited and Aduanaba Promotion Limited, with support from GTV, Radio Gold and Vibe Fm.

Even though I had a VIP ticket plus my company ID, I was heckled for several minutes before I was allowed to enter, due to poor security at the gate. The size of the stage was as small as the Mentor stage at TV3 studio B. There was no back drop on the stage, to show what kind of event it was. The lighting on stage was very shabby and there was no barricade around the stage. The sound provided by Radio 7 in Tema, did not have the quality that was fit for a “Sizzla live in Ghana” show and bad microphones.

Despite of all odds, Ghanaian Reggae artistes like Sammy B, Stonebowy, Clizzy Wailer, Vibration Kings, Bandana, Black Prophet, Prickie Yhardhey and others took time to entertain their fans before, the man of the night Sizzla Kalonji took over. The worst happened when Sizzla arrived at the stadium on his way to the stage.

The crowd forced open the glass gate which separated the VIP stand which was close to the stage as well as those at the popular stand, who paid GH¢10 as gate fee. The crowd over-shadowed the few security men around and went straight to the backstage. The MC (who never mentioned his name) called for security re-enforcement for over ten minutes, but there was no chance to rescue Sizzla from the anxious crowed. The Reggae singer himself had to take the microphone even though it was not time for him to perform, and pleaded with the crowd to go back.

After a long wait and unnecessary delay, Sizzla finally came on stage at 1:45am and his first problem was with the microphone. The only cordless microphone on stage had run out of batteries, the MC’s scream for someone to help them with energizer batteries, so Sizzla had to make do with a microphone with a long cord. He also complained that the stage was too small and that there were too much people on stage. He personally had to sack everybody from the stage leaving only his bandsmen.

Nonetheless Sizzla took over the show and performed for over three hours nonstop. He dished out good music from his repertoire of hit songs, including the popular “Thank You Mama” song. He thanked all Ghanaians and his fans for turning out to come watch him perform and also paid tribute to Ghanaian teachers for their contribution to the development of education in the country, and asked them to work harder for the nation's progress. Though the show could not even fill a quarter of the stadium the crowd enjoyed it, to Sizzla and the supporting musicians.

Artistically it was a great show, but technically there were too many avoidable organizational lapses. Maybe next time, the organizer should consider working together with professional event organizers, to at least give expert advice and help put up a good show. It’s not just about having the money or links to bring an international artiste to Ghana.

It also requires experience in how to organize a world class event for them when they come. This is obviously not the Sizzla live In Ghana concert we were expecting. Sizzla whose real name is Mignel Orlando Collins, has already released over 40 solo albums and over 15 combination albums, crossing into different genres of reggae. Twenty two of his albums have also topped Reggae Charts all over the world.

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