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Won’t shut up—Cwesi Oteng on political views

BY: Gifty Owusu-Amoah
Cwesi Oteng won't shut up on political views
Gospel musician, Cwesi Oteng

GOSPEL artiste, Cwesi Oteng is bracing himself for more attacks on his person due to his political views because he is not ready to shut up.

According to the God Dey Bless Me hit maker, he was least perturbed about the public trolls stemmed from his political opinions because he was not “quitting” anytime soon.  

Speaking with Graphic Showbiz on Monday, June 13, Cwesi Oteng, who was heavily criticised for his support for 1.5% E- Levy tax in January, clarified that he had every right to freely comment on political issues.

“The truth is that I can’t shut up and I have no intention of doing that now or in the distant future.

"I see nothing wrong in making my political views heard because first of all, I’m a proud Ghanaian.

"My thinking does not prevent me from commenting on issues or having political opinion.

“I’m not sure people are expecting me to talk about America, United Kingdom (UK) or Nigeria when I have the right as a Ghanaian to boldly express my views particularly on the political front.

"I don’t see what’s wrong with this except that people have ulterior motives as some of the media houses are twisting my comments to serve their interest,” he said.

Cwesi Oteng has not hidden his love for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

In 2016, he was a key campaigner for the ruling NPP government and also came out strongly in the last national elections.

Unlike many of his colleagues who go “dead” after elections and only bounce back in the heat of political campaigns to take sides, the I Win singer doesn’t shy away from the political scene.

In January 2022, for instance, Cwesi seemed to have courted public disaffection with his views on E-Levy being a good policy to drive development.

This was after the government’s decision to introduce a 1.5 percent tax on all electronic transactions received huge public disapproval, a situation that led to the launch of a national sensitisation campaign to promote its acceptance.

But Cwesi Oteng is certain such policies should have opinions from people like himself.

“People fail to realise that I’m not blindly supporting President Nana Akufo-Addo but as a citizen, I know that the NPP government always executes very good policies.

"So for me, it is about supporting good policies because nobody has paid me to do or express my beliefs since I’m thinking about the next generation.

“Unfortunately, in Ghana, people see you as an enemy when you hold differing views from them.

"I wish that Ghana will be a country where people can have independent views and not be afraid to be hated.

"It looks as if as a popular person, I shouldn’t have a view that is opposite to others or attract enemies.

“Recently, when I said that things are hard, I had the NPP fanatics confronting me on that and those who previously attacked me political issues previously, ‘’bigging’’ me up.

"People have their interests and only support you when what you do champions their political cause,” he said.

Cwesi Oteng is known for his pioneering role in popularising urban Gospel music in Ghana.

Following the release of his debut album, The Mercy Project in 2012, Cwesi Oteng, shot into the limelight with songs such as God Dey Bless Me, Kabiyesi and I Win.

He told Graphic Showbiz that he was very certain people would come to accept him for his political commentary since what he was doing appeared alien to the Gospel music industry.

“I don’t think there’s ever been a Gospel artiste who is very vocal on political issues as I’m doing.

I’m confident that with time, people will come to accept it as a normal occurrence because we need to raise young people who can bravely comment on issues of governance without fear or favour,” he added.