Ghana was overcome with shock and grief yesterday when a 20-year-old budding dancehall artiste, Priscilla Opoku-Kwarteng, known in showbiz circles as Ebony Reigns, was killed in a horrendous road accident.
From the President to his vice, former Presidents, Members of Parliament, religious leaders, sports people, journalists, and to players in the showbiz industry, and several others across various shades of national life, the demise of the songstress was a national blow.
Radio and social media were awash with the death.
Ebony died alongside two others when the Jeep vehicle, in which they were travelling, collided with a VIP bus around 11.30p.m. last Thursday at Nyamebekyere, near Mankranso in the Ahafo Ano South District of the Ashanti Region.
The two others who died were the best friend and a security man of the dancehall artiste.
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Ebony and Franky Kuri who also died in the accident
The bodies of the three have been deposited at the Mankranso District Hospital, while the driver of the vehicle, who is in critical condition, is receiving treatment at the Bechem Hospital.
Sources say the musician, who has had a meteoric rise to stardom, was returning to Accra with her friends after attending a programme and visiting her mother in Sunyani.
The tragic death came three days before the sensational singer was billed to embark on an European tour.
She was one of the artistes tipped to win the topmost award at this year’s Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA).
The spot where the accident occurred was said to have developed many potholes thus becoming an accident-prone area on the Kumasi-Sunyani road.
Atsu Vondee died in the accident
An eyewitness said the driver of the Jeep tried to avoid a heap of sand on that stretch of road, which is under rehabilitation, before it crashed into the oncoming VIP bus.
Personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) in Bechem were called to the accident scene.
According to the eyewitness, rescuers had a hectic time removing the bodies of the victims from the wreckage of the Jeep.
Both the Mankranso District Police Commander, Supt John Adusei, and the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, Commissioner of Police (COP) Mr Kenneth Yeboah, confirmed the accident when they spoke to the media in separate interviews.
Ebony, raised by her father, dropped out of senior high school after two years, to pursue her dream in music, and has since been a ‘hit woman’ with her incredible dancehall, afro pop and highlife music.
A superstitious dimension has been introduced into the death of the star as a man said to be a prophet, but whose name is still unknown, is said to have prophesied her death months before the tragic event.
Dressed in an all-white with shoes to match, the prophet is seen in a video telling his congregants that Ebony was going to be killed in a car accident before July this year.
He was emphatic that the death of Ebony was going to be similar to that of Terry Bonchaka, who also died from a similar accident in 2003.
Born on February 16, 1997, Ebony, from Abesim, near Sunyani, was discovered by Bullet, a member of Ruff n Smooth fame, after she submitted a voice recording to him.
Some of her hit songs include "Poison", "Kupe" and “Maame Hwe”.
Her mother has been resident in the United Kingdom for years after allegedly breaking up with the husband many years ago.
She was subsequently raised by her father.