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Diana Asamoah, Uncle Fiifi in a tussle over who owns gospel song

BY: Graphic Showbiz

An uneasy breeze is blowing over Anopa Wim Mframa, a song on Evangelist  Diana Asamoah’s recently released Pentecost Soree Nwom album on the Frimprince label.

Accra-based musician, 53-year-old Uncle Fiifi Hemans, better known as Abe-pe Show, is claiming ownership of the song which translates as ‘early morning breeze.’  

He says the well-known gospel singer and her manager/executive producer, Anane Frimpong of Frimprince Music Production, have recorded the song which he composed and recorded in 1985 and registered with the Copyright Office in 1990, without his permission and is therefore heading to court for redress.

Anane Frimprong, however, has a different explanation to the issue. He says the song is from the Church of Pentecost hymnal and  that they got the permission to record it from the church. 

“We decided this time around, to record only songs from the Church of Pentecost. After discussions with the music committee of the church, headed by Apostle Ango, we were given a list of songs which included  Anopa Wim Mframa and we recorded it,” says Frimpong.

The song in the eye of the storm is a medium-tempo, danceable track  in the highlife vein. It was recorded for the Frimprince label by engineer, George Forest.

Listening to both songs, Abe-pe Show’s as well as Evangelist Diana Asamoah’s piece carry the same melody. There is, however, a slight difference in the lyrics.

While Abe-pe Show sings ‘Oye Anopa wimu mframa, okasa ma obira akuma ato ni yem,’ Diana sings ‘Oye anopa wim mframa. Obo ma Obiara akuma gyigya.’

Frimpong’s contention is that Abe-pe Show should deal with the Church of Pentecost over the ownership issue because the authority to record it came from the church.

“We were made to understand the song was composed by a  certain woman who was a member of the church, way back in the 1960s. That’s why we want Abe-pe Show to deal with the church on that matter,” the Frimprince boss said.

Notes on the album cover give special thanks to some personalities including  chairman of the Church of Pentecost, Apostle Dr Opoku Onyina and chairman of the Church of Pentecost music committee, Apostle Ango. 

Abe-pe Show has been around in Ghanaian music circles for several years. He has, at various times, been a member of the Akofena, Sumsum, Senior Eddie Donkor and  Prof. Kofi Abraham’s bands.

He says he has composed songs which have been recorded by gospel acts like Elder Mireku and Elder Collins.

To him, there is no point dealing with the Church of Pentecost because he has proved with his song and receipt upon registration with the Copyright Office, then under  Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu, that Anopa Wim Mframa is his intellectual property.

“Both Frimpong and Evangelist Asamoah have not been cooperative enough to get this matter resolved. 

Maybe, they think it is an opportunity for them to create publicity for their album but I won’t let them go scot-free. I have all my documents ready for court,” Abe-pe Show  stated. 

Frimpong’s stance, for now, is that he would  try and come to some terms with Abe-pe Show only when  the Church of Pentecost confirms that Anopa Wim Mframa is not for the church.

The early morning breeze usually brings calm but this time around, it has created an uncomfortable storm over a song.