His head concealed under a hoodie and sunglasses, the petite man exited the arrival hall of Kotoka in the company of a small entourage. A dozen pressmen, who had been awaiting his arrival since 7 pm, immediately swamped him, prodding cameras and microphones into his face. The man beamed happily, like a kid walking up to the welcoming bosom of his grandmother. He’s at home.

“Ei, who is he?”, someone asked in a low voice, curious about this petite mystery who has suddenly brought the entire airport to a standstill. “He must be a boxer”, said a pot-bellied man, smiling, before throwing out the name “Agbeko”, ignorant of his ignorance.

The “boxer” is actually Wizkid, Africa’s foremost musician today. He’d just touched down for West Africa’s biggest concert — Ghana Meets Naija. Slated for the Fantasy Dome of the Trade Fair Center in Accra Saturday, June 9, it will be his second time at the historic event. The Nigerian superstar submitted quick answers into the many microphones, all the way to the convoy of sleek 4x4s which would sail him to his hotel. Days ago, he had treated the 20, 000 capacity O2 Arena in London to a solid 2 hours of classics from his glowing catalogue curated since 2011, and he would replicate that at the Fantasy Dome, Ghana could be sure.

Not long after Wizkid left, another Nigerian act arrived. Famed for such records as “Mama”, “Che Che Che”, and the remix of KiDi’s “Odo”, Mayorkun touched down later than it was scheduled, for he had missed his earlier flight. The elation written on his face en he finally landed was obvious. And why not? Like many of his colleagues; including Mr Eazi, and Dice Ailes (both of whom are slated for the concert, and arrived earlier in the day), Ghana has constituted a solid support base after their native home of Nigeria. Both nations share a mutual music ancestry, thus, bear similarities…even trading street jargons. It is, perhaps, this sonic sameness that has birthed numerous collaborations between acts from these countries over the years, as well as the Ghana Meets Naija franchise.

Since its inception 8 years ago, the concert has served as a major proving ground for anybody who is anybody in African music, lining up top names as Sarkodie, Shatta Wale, Davido, Tiwa Savage, Naeto C, R2Bees, Falz, and a host of others, and even expanding to other destinations as the UK among other global stops.  If, like it is widely held, West African music sums up music from the continent, the show has contributed greatly to this averment.

Last year, off the momentum of the award-winning “Take Over” ( featuring Militants Captan, Addi Self, and Joint 77) and other ubiquitous street jams, dancehall star, Shatta Wale, reigned supreme, performing his entire set to a gripped crowd who had no option than to remain on their feet., and they chanted along to “Low Tempo” (featuring wife Shatta Michy) “Enter the Net”, “Cocoa Season”, “If I Collect”, “Say Fi”, “Obodorbidi”, “Hosanna”, “Ayoo” among other tunes. Tonight, the baton falls to WizKid and the Nigerian corps (Mayorkun, Dice Ailes, and Mr Eazi) who partner Ghana’s Patapaa, Stonebwoy, King Promise, KiDi, Kuami Eugene, Fancy Gadam, and Yaa Pono for the much awaited “rescue mission”. Kurl Songx, Sister Afia, Obibini, DBlack’s BAM Family, and Nana Yaa, are among supporting acts for the event.

Unsurprisingly, the 15,000 plus capacity venue is virtually sold out, and Africa’s favourite anthems will thunder around the capital –a  solid line up guarantees this. The playlist for tonight consists “Akwaaba” “Socco”, “Otedola”, “Confusion”, “Obiaa Wo Ne Master”. Surely, the centre cannot hold.

Dubbed the “Rescue Mission”, this year’s sponsors include Kasapreko Alomo Gold and Storm Energy Drink, Allied Oil, Somoco Ghana Ltd, Nasco Mobile, Kirusa, Point and Play, Rova Surveillance, Dame lashes, Pernod Ricard, Tang Palace, Fix Consult, EIB Network (Starr FM, Live FM, Gh One TV, Kasapa FM, Empire FM, Ultimate FM, Abusua FM), Graphic Showbiz,  Y FM, Aftown Music, Muse Africa, Ghana Music.com, West Hills Mall, Achimota Retail Centre, Accra Mall, and Timepiece Gh.

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