In the aftermath of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) on Saturday, May 19, 2019 and the Daily Graphic publishing the pictures of Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy side by side, I got to know the difference!
Before then, I thought Stonebwoy (Livingstone Etse Satekla) and Shatta Wale (Charles Nii Armah Mensah) were one and the same person!
With the brouhaha and the publication of their pictures side by side the following day, I got to spot slight differences.
They all wear earrings, they all have appreciable moustaches, Shatta Wale sported a funny dread hairstyle in the Daily Graphic publication, while Stonebwoy had a nice close-cut haircut. But apart from the spotted differences, the two still looked no different to me, really.
Their music too is no different to me; a lot of gyration, hopping around and the holding of the crotch, is characteristic of both in the few clips I watched and a fad with the youth these days.
Call me old fashioned, but l would always stand still and be awed by an Amakye Dede highlife tune, on a good or bad day.
I sometimes even attempt some dance moves.
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Thus, the two are not particularly artistes I like.
Then to push me out of that indifference, I was subjected to news of happenings after their dangerous actions, during the awards that was to commemorate 20 years of the institution of the VGMA in the music sector, the whole of last week.
I had to school myself about them a bit, so I took to social media to read and see.
There, I met (or read about) Shatta Mama (the mother of Shatta Wale, Elsie Evelyn Avemegah); Shatta Capo (his father - Charles Nii Mensah Snr) and the Shatta Movement (his fan base).
I also encountered Stonebwoy and his Bhimnation crowd. Unfortunately, I read he had lost the mother some years back.
Being one with an interest for the quieter shades of life, of the two, I would have preferred Stonebwoy, although he pulled the gun at the awards, if urged to chose between them.
Stonebwoy’s footprints on social media were clearer, quieter and calmer. Shatta Wale's was louder and all over the virtual landscape, as if to prove some notoriety.
Yes, I know showbiz is about the hype, the bragging, the noise and the blings.
But has it gotten to the brandishing of guns now?
Should there not be merely a healthy competition on who has the best lyrics, tunes and dance hall moves? Should their key ambition, with their popularity gained, not be to change minds and hearts for the better?
Yes, I am not into the theatrics of these two, but most Ghanaian youth are.
Thus, should the two not be affecting culture properly, by impacting positively with their music and actions?
It would have been nice and proper for the two to have had a healthy competition between them.
That would have translated onto their fans.
It would have also helped in the peaceful development of the sector.
As it is now, we hear all sorts of taunts, accusations and counter accusations from the camps of the two.
People are also blaming CharterHouse, saying they should have predicted and pre-empted the incident.
however, they could not have really predicted that Stonebwoy had a gun and I guess as a nominee, he would not have been checked for that.
They could not also have predicted the movement of Shatta Wale in the auditorium.
Perhaps, ultimate responsibility for the spoiling of the commemoration of two decades of music awards should be laid squarely at the feet of the two artistes.
They should use the mileage they have with their support base and their status to affect the youth positively, to encourage them to hope, to give them ideas to sing about, dance about and perhaps, put some of such ideas sung about into practice as they go about!
As Kweku Baako stated about the times of respected artistes, such as, Alfred Bannerman, Hugh Masekela, Pat Thomas, Gyedu-Blay Ambolley, Amakye Dede and Osibisa:
"Those were the days…descent disciplined artistes. What really happened to us?”
Indeed, what has happened to us? Who is mentoring these lads and who are they mentoring?