Monday, 23 April 2012

The ‘Anaconda’ hit-maker, Aletse Tinny, has taken Charter House, organizers of the Vodafone Music Awards, to the cleaners in what appears to be the most daring interview ever granted by a Ghanaian musician in recent times. Speaking to NEWS-ONE on the recently-held music awards, Tinny said he watched the event on television from the comfort of his home and in his opinion it was boring and lacked the terrific ambiance expected of such an awards night. “I mean when you watch from home, the programme was dry and you could see that the audience themselves were not having the feel they wanted to have. Anytime the cameras captured the audience, they were seated very calm and quite as if they were listening to Christian lessons from Pastor Mensah Otabil. “The stage design was okay and very well done but where was the stage lights and stage effects the organizers expected the artistes to perform with? The stage was very dry and the same lighting system that was used for artistes who were going on stage to receive awards was the same lighting system used for the performances. There was just something basically lacking and we should not blame the artistes for that,” Tinny told NEWS-ONE. He added, “When you organize such an award and put the name ‘Ghana’ on it, you are expected to do something great because it takes a national outlook. Especially when you take such huge amounts from the sponsors, you are to let the money go into the show so that people who buy the tickets would have value for their money but not what they did that night where very good musicians were made to perform under a situation that made them under-perform.” Though several Ghanaian musicians have expressed strong reservations about the Ghana Music Awards, none of them has mustered the courage to go public with their criticisms due to the fear of a Charter House ‘mafia’, which is ready to pounce on such critics. Tinny declined comments on which artiste won which award but said it was not proper that organizers of a Ghana Music Awards event would invite only Ghanaian musicians who had been nominated and completely ignore all other musicians except those penciled to present awards. “It is not that Tinny or other musicians cannot buy the ticket to attend the ceremony but it is just not proper. And someone has to say it just as it is. After all, Charter House, despite its sponsorship package, cannot pay Tinny to perform on such a night. No they can’t pay me”. It is a statement of fact that almost all the artistes that performed on the night had been nominated for one category or another and the organizers snubbed all other artistes including VIP, the overall winners of the previous year’s Ghana Music Awards. TINNY ROCKS APHRODISIAC NEWS-ONE has confirmed that Tinny, in May, will rock the Aphrodisiac Night Club in Accra with his Tinny & Friends Anaconda Tour. The debut Tinny & Friends Anaconda Tour was held in the first week of April at the Vienna City Nightclub in Accra with an all-stars concert that saw performances from some of Ghana’s best musicians including Eze of Uradia fame, Tic-Tac, Gasmila, Stone Bwoy, D- Flex, Bandana, Jupitar, Arrow and Scientific. Tinny explained that the tour was to enable him to have a direct relationship with his fans and to enable them to have a feel of his songs without having to wait for a festive season.
NewsOne April 23,2012
Travelling arrangements for wonder kid Rahim Banda to attend the 2012 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) in Nigeria has led to a clash between organizers of the award and the boy’s father, Ahmed Banda, the celebrated music cum movie producer, popularly known as Bandex. Rahim, a Ghanaian child actor with exceptional talent and skill, was nominated for the category of Best Child Actor at the 2012 AMAA that came off in Lagos yesterday and on the eve of his departure, it became evident that the organizers had purchased one plane ticket for the 11-year-old boy to travel alone to Nigeria. His father, Bandex, insisted it was improper for an 11-year-old boy to travel alone from Ghana to Nigeria simply because he had been nominated for an award and this generated a heated misunderstanding that nearly led to name-calling between Bandex and the AMAA organizers. Judith Oluwale, AMAA representative in Ghana, accused Bandex of causing financial loss to the organization. She further alleged that Bandex had threatened to take the issue to the media just to tarnish the reputation of AMAA, an allegation Bandex has categorically denied. As at the time of filing this report, it was a few hours to the awards ceremony and both Rahim Banda and Bandex were still in Accra. Speaking on Peace FM’s Entertainment Review programme, Judith Olawale literally fumbled in an attempt to give an explanation as to why they bought a single ticket for the 11-year-old boy to travel alone. According to Judith, Rahim was nominated because of his role in the movie, ‘Behind The Mask’, produced by Bandex. She said the movie had two nominations but Bandex waited until the eleventh hour before telling AMAA organizers that his second nominee could not make it to the awards. “Can you believe that we had Mr. Banda telling us late in the night that his second nominee was not going to make it as at the time we were giving him details for the ticket. The tickets are not refundable so if we have been communicating with you and you are now telling us at a time we are to fly the following day that one of your nominees cannot make it to the event, first of all you are causing financial loss to AMAA. You should have told us then we could have bought that ticket for the person accompanying him, which is you. Secondly, I was not aware, I did not hear that you (Bandex) said you wanted to go with him (Rahim) else I would have sorted it out,” Judith attempted to explain. When asked if the organizers were aware the nominee was just 11 years old and could not have travelled alone, she responded, “Exactly. But if I had been prompted. I am not blaming anybody. I am not blaming him. But all I needed was to have been prompted in the beginning so that I can sort it out. In fact, I am aware that he is a minor but it escaped me. We are all in this business of putting stuff together and anything can happen that you would actually forget that this is what it is.” Bandex, on his part, was quick to fire a response to the lame explanations from AMAA. “I wonder why Judith is not telling Ghanaians the truth because when he had that ZAAFA awards nominations, she called me and said my son had been nominated at ZAAFA and I checked it on the net so I drew their attention that the boy cannot travel alone because he is a minor and they accepted it. “So how many times do I have to keep reminding them that the boy is a minor? That is number one. And number two, her sister was the one that I personally talked to always because I remember Judith was not okay, if I say ‘okay’ I mean, she is pregnant so it is the sister who mostly communicated with me. I remember I asked the sister how many tickets they were giving us but she said the confirmation was not yet in so she could not tell how many tickets they were going to give us and I said alright. “Then I had a text message that we were flying tomorrow. It came in yesterday (Friday) that we were flying tomorrow (Saturday). But late in the night, she called and she said there was another nominee who was not travelling so I should go to the airport and change that person’s name into mine so I said how come? “I don’t see it as part of my job. If two people have been nominated in my movie and the other one was not going, the organisers are asking me to go to the airport and change the person’s name on the plane ticket into my name. This thing is never done anywhere and even if a change of name has to come in, it should be done by the organizers and not me the father of a nominee. You don’t tell me to go to the airport early morning around 5 o’clock to do that change of name before I can travel with my son.” He added, “For the past three days, I have been communicating with them and asking the same questions on the time we would be leaving and how many tickets would be available for us. But they kept saying they did not actually know the time because the list was not in yet. So when I informed the guy three days ago that this was what was happening, he said he had so many things doing and cannot reschedule it. That was three days ago so let Judith ask her sister Kharima. Let her not say I informed them yesterday. It was three days ago…I kept asking you and you said the list was not in yet and that was when the other nominee said he would not go and I informed you so why are you now telling me that I have caused financial loss and blah blah blah. No no no no. If the tickets were ready and I said change it, that is when you can say that. But I had asked you and you kept saying you do not know…Even if they had told me, maybe I could have bought my own ticket and gone with my son…How can I let the boy to fly to Nigeria alone? Come on men, I can’t do that. Not even to let him go to Circle alone.” Rahim was in 2011 nominated for the ‘Best Actor In Lead Role’ at the Ghana Movie Awards. He has starred in movies like ‘The Beast,’ ‘Millions’ and ‘Masters of the Game’

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Celebrated rap artiste Eugene Baah, popularly called Praye Honeho of the music trio Praye, over on April 14 2012 got married to the love of his life, actress Beverly Afaglo.
The best man for Praye Honeho was his group mate Praye Tiatia aka Big J while the bridesmaid for Beverly was her loyal pal, the pretty-faced TV presenter Amanda Jissi.
Interestingly, the third member of the Praye trio, Kente also known as Praye Tintin, did not attend the wedding.
For reasons best known to the two lovebirds, they ensured that no media person was allowed to the celebrity wedding and even persons who had cameras on them were scrutinized to ensure they were not journalists.
The wedding came off at the Royal City Hotel in Tema last Saturday. Reports said they had a traditional engagement ceremony on Friday.
The love relationship between Praye and Eugene is no secret and they did not even attempt to hide it from the media.
It was therefore not surprising when a number of celebrities including award-winning actress Jackie Appiah, Pascaline Edwards, Kalsoume Sinare and Eddie Nartey showed up at the wedding.

News One- April 18, 2012

Ghanaian rapper, singer and producer EL has expressed appreciation to his fans who voted for him in three categories at the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMAs), but has urged them not to be perturbed that he did not win any award out of the three.

In an exclusive with NEWS-ONE, EL said though he appreciated the nominations, the priority of his music career was not to win awards but to satisfy his fans all over the world and do the type of music that would be accepted in Ghana and on the international music scene.

EL was nominated for the categories of Best Collaboration of the Year for the song ‘You Go Kill Me’ with Sarkodie, Best New Artiste of the Year and Best Rapper of the Year.

During the awards last Saturday, when TV and radio presenters Jeremy and Jay Foli were called to present the award for the Best New Artiste of the Year, the crowd started chanting EL’s name in anticipation that it would go to him: The room however went somewhat silent when the award went to Stay Jay.

NEWS-ONE asked EL how he felt about that particular category.

That moment was the best feeling for me when I heard the crowd chanting my name. They were chanting my name because they expected me to win and I was happy that my works have been accepted. But I took it in good faith because it was not my award and they gave it to who they wanted to give it to.

“I am not surprised about the whole thing because I have a way of accepting things and putting them in the best perspective. If it is a sign that I have to work harder, then that is what I must do,”
EL explained.

EL’s collaboration with Sarkodie, ‘You Go Kill Me’, emerged as the Most Popular Song of the year, yet that song did not win collaboration of the year. Though the song was produced by EL and he did the rap with Sarkodie, his name was conspicuously absent from that category.

Europe Tour, HHP & Caabo Snoop

The artiste confirmed to NEWS-ONE that he had a tour this May and that he would be performing in Germany, Amsterdam, London as well as Singapore. He revealed that very serious rehearsals were underway for the tour.

EL is currently collaborating with South African rap giant HHP and Angola’s Caabo Snoop.

I produced a song for HHP and Samini and after the show, Samini called and brought Snoop on. We did a feel good song together and I am sure the whole of Africa would be happy about that production”.

VGMA Performance

EL, during his performance at the VGMA in the early hours of Sunday morning, left the audience when it seemed to be enjoying him most and he explained to NEWS-ONE what happened.

I was asked to so a single song. That was what the organizers gave me but I managed to squeeze two songs within that limited time. If I had my way, I would have gone on until the audience got satisfied but it was not my show and there was nothing I could doo about it.

“The music I do, I do them for my fans. It is about them and I try to appeal to their hearts, minds and emotions as I entertain them. It has always been 90% concentration on my fans and just 10% for me. It’s all about them

Monday, 9 April 2012

By Halifax Ansah-Addo
Published by DAILY GUIDE, April 5, 2012

A 55-year-old ‘unknown’ man has popped up in Accra claiming to be the biological but secret son, apparently the second born, of Ghana’s first President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of blessed memory.

The man, Dr. Onsy Anwar Nathan Nkrumah, said though many Ghanaians knew that the first President was married to Fathia and they had Gamel, Samia and Sekou, aside Prof Francis Nkrumah, he had remained the secret son of Nkrumah and that his mother is an Egyptian by name Isis Nashid who is now 80 and resides in Egypt.

It was a touching ceremony laced with tears when Dr. Onsy Nathan Nkrumah on Wednesday met with a delegation from the late President’s family after spending his entire life with his Egyptian mother.

The family delegation was led by Abusua Payin Nguah Kpanyile, the Head of Family and Madam Mary Margret Quansah, a direct niece of the late Dr. Nkrumah.

The family, who had travelled all the way from Nkroful in the Western Region to Accra just for the ceremony, presented the new Nkrumah with some personal items used by the late Kwame Nkrumah.

They gave the newfound son one of the favourite smocks worn by his late father as well as one of his walking sticks and a white handkerchief.

Dr. Nathan Nkrumah explained to DAILY GUIDE why very little or nothing was known about him since he was born on March 17, 1957- some 10 days after Ghana attained political independence.

“Because I really cherish my privacy, I did not want to share much but I guess in the last few years, I allowed some people to get to me and to know me. I have decided to now settle down in Ghana,” he noted.

Aside giving the mother’s name as Isis Nashid, Nathan revealed nothing about her love relationship with Ghana’s first President.

“That is not a talked about subject. It was a closed and confidential subject so that is the reason why I don’t go into that issue. People also can respect people’s wishes for privacy. In fact in London, I had a public relations consultancy just being retained to protect my privacy. I’ve done that for years so it cost me money and it is not by accident that I am a private person. It is by design and by intention,” he explained.

Nathan shed some light on what contributions he would be making to the development of Ghana: “I am really praying about this and that is number one. Number two, I was one of the founders of United Africa Organization back in 1981 and we have now created a branch in this country so we are launching that here as well as other NGO activities so far. But I am listening to God and God is confirming certain callings on me here so hopefully you would hear more.”

Abusua Payin Nguah Kpanyile and the family from Nkroful paid glowing tribute to Dr. Nathan Nkrumah for renovating their family house back at the village and providing them with electricity and modern amenities.

The Abusua Payin said the family had hitherto lived in abject poverty and in dilapidated structures until the emergence of Nathan who funded the renovation.

Miriam Sinare, a leading figure in the National Democratic Congress (NDC), whose father, Alhaji Sinare, literally married Fathia off to Kwame Nkrumah, was at the ceremony to testify that her parents had told her that the first President had a secret son in Egypt and that he would one day come to Ghana.

“When my mother saw him, she said ‘yes, this is the one I have been waiting for’. Nathan is a brother to me and let’s put politics aside. I have to stand by him. One day he would lead Ghana. There is more to this and my mother can tell you a lot about what actually happened,” Mariam noted.

Interestingly, none of Kwame Nkrumah’s other children were at the ceremony and DAILY GUIDE asked the newfound son why his siblings were missing.

“Well, you know that we’re from different mothers so we all somehow lead separate lives which is unfortunate, but that’s how it is… But we know ourselves, they know me, I know them. We relate by phone sometimes, e-mail with some of them like Gamel. I see him each time I pass through Egypt and I see him more than the other siblings,” he stated.

By all standards, it certainly is a good time for Ghanaian music star Elorm Adablah, popularly known as EL; his videos are making constant rotations on Channel O and he has bagged 3 nominations for this year’s Ghana Music Awards.
EL has been nominated for the Best New Artiste of the Year, the Best Rap Artiste of the Year and the Best Collaboration of the Year for his duet with Sarkodie titled ‘You Go Kill Me’.
As if that is not enough, NEWS-ONE has picked reports that EL is about to release a 20-track album- quite unprecedented for any Ghanaian musician.
EL is about to accomplish that feat courtesy his management company, BBnZ Live; a relatively new multi-purpose entertainment cum media company seated on the topmost floor of the Flore Heights Towers on the Ring Road Central in Accra.
NEWS-ONE (NO), out of sheer curiosity, decided to find out about this relatively new but enviable company called BBnZ Live. The paper spoke to two of the company’s four directors- Kwame Blay (KB) and Alvin Bekoe (AB).

NO: What does BBnZ actually stand for?

KB: BBnZ Live is an acronym. It is actually an abbreviation of the surnames names of all the directors of the company. So you have Bekoe, Blay and Zinney. There is actually a fourth partner, Michael Jaba and he brings the ‘Live’ bit. He is our UK partner and works with OH TV.

NO: Aside the studio works what else do you do?
KB: The studio is actually the smallest aspect of what BBnZ Live does. We are a complete marketing firm and we provide a range of media-related services including account management, media planning, indoor and outdoor events, commercial printing and visual marketing. We are also into creative media, advertising and we are a management agency. Aside that, we also do brand management. We have artistes, artists, sound engineers, music producers, clothing lines; we have about six different brands which we manage under BBnZ Live. Ian Isigo is a Nigerian clothing brand which we manage; Sons of Elizabeth is a Ghanaian clothing brand we manage; we have EL the musician.

AB: We also want to focus on improving the quality of entertainment in the country and this is one of our major priorities. We came up with all the concepts in EL’s videos and for real they are raising eyebrows on Channel O. We are also doing a lot of productions, as in actual shows, which we want people to come to.

KB: We have a show on TV now which is ‘Pamper Your Mum’, with Anita Erskine; we have a new show with Gzigbodi, the Allure lady and it’s called the ‘Gzigbodi Show’. We basically want to focus on Ghanaian entertainment but doing it at international standards to prove that despite the fact that this is Ghana and we started later than the Nigerians and the South Africans, we still have a lot to offer the music, entertainment and branding industry.

NO: How long have you been around?

KB: BBnZ is a new company. The directors are not new to each other but we incorporated the company last year and started operations in August 2011 as a full-fledged company. I believe we have gained a lot in a few months.

NO: You seem to have avoided the Ghanaian media

AB: Well that was strategic. We believe in letting our works speak for themselves. We want to be behind the scenes at least for the first year or two. So far, people call us and ask what exactly we do and when we tell them what we have done, they get surprised.

NO: Is artiste management lucrative in Ghana?

KB: If you are serious about it and you plan properly, it can be a very lucrative venture. I mean in any market, it is all about proper planning. Yes, Ghana is smaller than Nigeria, South Africa etc but at the end of the day, there are still shows that can be planned properly in this country. There are a lot of high schools in Ghana and there are times EL plays 30 shows per weekend.
AB: There is a fundamental issue with artiste management in Ghana. This is basically the image of the artiste. It is not just about walking into the studio, drop a track then off you go until there is a show. This is a full-time job so we would ensure the artiste gets the best image and this is about branding and when you brand your artiste properly, the right sponsorship deals would follow with the endorsement deals and mouthwatering deals. The two are inseparable. So we are careful of what our artistes wear and how they carry themselves; when they release a song and all the little little things that others miss.

NO: You mean to say you determine what your artiste wears?
KB: Yeah. The clothes, the shoes, the perfumes and everything just have to be right.
AB: We have a tailor-made modus operandi at BBnZ and when you go to our site for instance and we say we are about to go live, everyone knows it means we are about to drop a song. Both of EL’s videos were dropped on the net at 12 midnight for instance and yet people stayed awake in wait of them.

NO: What’s the future like?

KB: Well, the prospects are bright and we say we are about to go live. That’s the catch phrase. There are a couple of projects we are into now and we feel they would change the Ghanaian entertainment industry. We have 24 million plus Ghanaians wanting to be entertained so the options transcend just music. We are talking of a special type of monthly events for different target audiences.

NO: Is it worth having the most expensive studio in Ghana?

KB: We believe in working with the best to get the best. As to if it is worth it, we can say yes.
AB: This is not our first time dabbling in this. It is a tedious job and we want people to have value for their money. We have already had international stars in our studio. We have had Jesse from Chocolate Boys: He is the main producer for MI, Ice Prince and all those guys. We’ve had Omotola, Eddie Kaddie, and Eddie is already bringing a lot of big guys.
KB: We are about doing a movie with Eddie and that guy is big. Currently, he alone fills the O2 Arena and that’s no easy thing to do. We’ve already had a show with him last Christmas.

NO: Your final words

AB: We want to change the face of entertainment in this country and be a major entertainment force
KB: We want to build a big brand to compete on the international market. And we are bent on bringing the best of entertainment Ghana has ever seen.

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Halifax Ansah-Addo is a Ghanaian journalist living and working in Accra. Currently, he is Editor of THE PUBLISHER (, a private-owned Ghanaian newspaper with nationwide circulation in the country. He attended the African University College of Communications in Accra and an alumnus of the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ), Berlin, Germany. He was awarded the 2015 Best Entertainment Journalist/Writer at the GN Bank Awards. Halifax writes on politics, human rights, arts and social issues. He is a Christian.

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