2019, a year Ghanaian music has done tremendously well on the international platform is about to end with a huge dent. Grammy award winner, Cardi B was in Ghana for a concert on the 8th of December, this unfortunately turned out to have a lot of negatives coming out of it.
The nation was blessed to have her multiple award winner Sarkodie win the premier award for best international flow act at BET, self-acclaimed king of dancehall Shatta Wale and music producer Guiltybeatz also got featured on the Lion King: The Gift album by Beyonce, which is a potential Grammy winner as it was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album. M.anifest is also in line for a Grammy due to his performance on the ‘African Giant’ album by Burna Boy which also got nominated for Best World Music album. Afronation, arguably the biggest urban music beach festival in Europe is set to be hosted for the first time ever in Africa with Ghana being the first nation to host it from 27th to 30th December. All these have gone a very long way to put Ghana back on the music map in 2019 which even got American Hip-Hop star Wale tweeting to his agent that he wants to go to Ghana, asking him to make it happen.
The incident with Cardi B has caused a big international stare as the issue trended for over 48 hours on twitter. Prior to her performance in Ghana, the organisers thought it would be nice to have her meet and greet a few music and media women to interact and share ideas but unfortunately this took a bad twist as Cardi B didn’t show for the meet-and-greet session early but spotted at the pool enjoying a vintage delicacy, a khebab. She later came out to say she was not aware of any such meetings hence her absence. Her failure to meet the few Ghanaian selects didn’t sit down with them well as they took to social media to let the world know. There has been a split as some think this will have adverse effect on the nation, some think it won’t even cause a pinch.
For a developing nation like Ghana, having top stars stop by to perform at concerts helps it gain international recognition. This helps paves way for our local acts to gain exposure, a stepping stone to performing on international shows and even secure endorsement deals with international companies. This also helps other stars to follow and proceed to come and have concerts of their own and meet their fans on the other side of the globe, but if these incidences happen, it deters others. This will deprive our talented musicians the pleasure of meeting these stars and having the opportunity of not only performing with them but also get a record with them. The visit of these stars is always followed by crowds who always want to know what their artistes are up to so as to follow and feel close to them. As it is December, lots of foreigners are looking for new places to travel to. A star as big Cardi B alone can cause the nation to lose majority of these folks. Tourism may take a blow since some may decide against visiting and this will go a long way to affect the economy as a whole.
What happened is an avoidable situation simply through proper communication. Nonetheless, it has happened and I believe it will be learning process for all event planners so as to help avoid international scandals going forward.