MTN brings Christmas home early as Kwaw Kese sings ‘pa pa pam pam’

BY: Isaac Yeboah/Graphic.com.gh/Ghana

What a night the MTN Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols turned out on Thursday, with the array of star performers all not just turning up, but also going the extra mile to make the event so colourful and entertaining. 

Talk of regular fixtures Kwaw Kese, Okyeame Kwame and Kwaku Gyasi, always hot and in season ready with surprises you simply dare not predict.

Take Okyeame Kwame – his two or so renditions of popular Christmas tunes  including the ever green "Mary's Boy Child" – rendered in reggae and spiced with his own lyrics, part of which he happily chose to ‘forget’ and announced he was going to have to read from his notes he had stashed in his pocket  - simply endeared you to his artistry. 

Then there was Kwaw Kese, up on the stage to give real meaning to his craft name “Abodam”. Stage lights go off briefly and return with Abodam seated, dressed in his usual spotless white shirt, simple suit with leathered elbows, and a red sack of candies by him while on a long leash, his dog Paris, a black Newfoundland breed he says should be followed on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, dressed in red and white Christmas clothes. Then totally disregarding the beat being provided by the band and choir, Abodam shoots off beat into Ye ma mo afehyia pa oo, as the momentarily stranded band reorganises to flow with him. Patrons reached for their ribs just to hold them in place or simply reached for handkerchiefs to avoid being caught off-guard with wide-opened buccal cavities.

The '3 Wisemen' visit the baby Jesus at birthAnd then you have Kwaku Gyasi announced as the last act – with time far spent and the roads leading to the Accra International Conference Centre venue all jammed with cars, your natural inkling is to dash out and make an early exit before the impending chaos of limbs and revving engines and smoke unfolds. But no, you just cannot leave because Kwaku Gyasi’s medley of feet-shuffling songs catch you like hay fever, difficult to avoid once it hits the air – you’ve got to catch it at all cost, and if you are as sensitive to good music as Akumaa Mama Zimbi, you simply let your hair down. She wriggled the whole body, virtually, and her waist in particular got busiest.

Such was the fun-filled night that Nana Ansah Sasraku III, chief of Mamfe and Kyidomhene of Akuapem Traditional Area; Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Dzifa Gomashie; MUSIGA president Bice Osei Kuffour; actor John Dumelo; Samuel Atta-Mensah of Citi FM; Stratcomm Africa’s CEO Esther Cobbah; and Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, CEO of Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications who all played roles in the annual ritual by reading some of the selected lessons, were all applauding the performances.

Seasoned players like Ofie Kudjoe, Nicholas Omane Acheampong and Miriam, and even the new additions of Koo Ntakra and his challengers at the MTN Hitmaker(s), were very impressive and brought their own styles to bear on the night, doing more than enough to assuage the frustrations of the many patrons who had tickets but found no seats for the over four hours that the event lasted. 

It may well be too early to start dreaming of the next edition of the annual bash, but I have heard a few people verbally book their seats and vowing to be at next season’s act (remembering to add God-willing to that wish). I’m sure they were taking a cue from John Dumelo’s challenge for all to dream big, for he says he looks at himself and marvels how far he has come in acting and fame, and if of all people could make it  – “why not you?”  Visit our galleries for photos of the event and click here to watch Kwaw Kese's performance.