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Sports cars, Jollof, fur coats & Mama Boss Papa – The 7th Ghana Meets Naija – A PREVIEW

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May 26, Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana.

8: 45 am – A hundred phones and cameras go up as Davido emerges from the airport’s arrival hall. He sports an orange hoodie and a backpack. There’s little time for anything. Smiling and acknowledging teeming fans, he rushes to Ibrah’s Audi sports car, and is whisked away in seconds. Who’s Ibrah? A friend of Davido’s for sure, very popular, and based in East Legon, Accra.

Falz emerges minutes later, and cameras levitate again. He’s in a white vest and black jeans, and as usual, the frames in his sunglasses are absent. He’s directed to the white Range Rover, and he, too, dashes off in a convoy of six or seven cars. Minutes later, Tang Palace Hotel, Roman Ridge!

Tiwa Savage, the third in the Nigerian contingent arrived a day earlier (Thursday night), and has been lodging at Tang Palace since. Davido’s hotel of choice is Kempinski. A power trio, they face off Ghana’s Shatta Wale, M.anifest, and supporting performers as Kwadwo “Lil Win” Nkansah, B4bonah, and Article Wan at the 7th annual Ghana Meets Naija concert on Saturday May 27th.

Organised by Empire, the show has now assumed the stature of “West Africa’s Biggest Concert,” and in the years that it has been running, paraded the topmost acts from Ghana and Nigeria: Whizkid, The Mavins, Sarkodie, Naeto C, KCee, R2Bees, Samini, Kwaw Kese, Guru, 4×4, Timaya, etc.

***

A room is readied for a quick press briefing. Falz is first up. As soon as he settles in his seat, questions start coming, both cliché and new: Who’s going to carry the night? Is a new album in the work? Is he afraid of fans eventually getting used to his style? How much has his starring in popular Nigerian sitcom Jenifa’s Diary helped his career? Does he really have a record with Ghana’s Medikal? Whom are his favourite acts from here? What should fans expect from him at Ghana Meets Naija 2017?

He navigates this interrogation without stress, mostly employing a fantastic corrupted English accent which is now his trademark: not ne-zes-trily (not necessarily), am zo mosh eg-zited (I’m so much excited)… And when a tough question is thrown at him, he exclaims “gen gen”, smiles and strokes his well-kempt beard, before submitting his response.

Microphone after microphone is shoved into his face, for endorsement of this media house or that blog. He gracefully obliges to every single one, repeating his aliases with the same zeal.

He gets up and heads for the door when he’s done. That very second, Tiwa Savage is making a triumphant entry. She’s clad in costume the colour of yoghurt — except for the black stockings on her thighs. A flamboyant fur coat hangs over her shoulders, and her eyes are hidden behind oversized designer sunglasses. They embrace warmly, and whisper pleasantries.

A hundred questions (per minute) are hauled at her, too, and though her voice is soft and delicate, an unmistakable sense of command resounds in her responses. Like Falz, she extols Ghana’s superior hospitality, and promises an iconic set — pure thunder and lightening.

“A minute more,” a rep from Empire notifies from behind. It’s a packed schedule for the rest of the day – mainly media appearances.

Soon, the convoy storms the streets again. We’re heading to Live FM, Adabraka. Men in black are hanging out of the front windows of the black 4X4 leading the fleet. With stern looks, they wave away anything in our path. These men doing the waving do it with the distinct audacity of national security detail. Maybe they are.

Again, the Live FM studio is  crowded than usual, and phones/cameras are in full motion. Falz confesses his fondness for “Ghana Jollof,” which instantly is blogging fodder, considering how significant it will prove in the perpetual conflicts between both West African countries regarding the delicacy. Here, too, he shuffles between his peculiar corruption, decent English, and (briefly), an impeccable British accent.

Rapper M.anifest joins him during the interview (which is being compered by Lifestyle Cafe host Sammy Forson). The exchange is warm and hearty, and there’s resounding laughter when Falz is asked about his ideal woman. Assuming Sege’s “azzent,” he details how he doesn’t discriminate when it comes to “kolor,” yet a fair complexion is added advantage (Sege is whom he plays alongside Funke Akindele Bello in Jenifa’s Diary. He also stresses how this ideal woman must have “meat” at the appropriate places, and finally, her intellectual capacities. “I like a woman with sense,” he explains. It is hilarious, and everybody needs a minute to catch their breath from this round of laughter. Both he and M.anifest praise each other’s abilities as wordsmiths, and announce a forthcoming joint single to massive applause.

Tiwa recomposes the setting with her gentle demeanour when she arrives. She laughs with the pitch of a teenage girl, smiles as she divulges her latest craving for gari and sugar (or while detailing her recent managerial deal with Jay Z’s ROC Nation), and leaves everybody dumbfounded when she admits to having never tasted the famous Ghana Jollof. Sammy Forson is shaken, and there is embarrassment in Tiwa’s giggle.  “Tiwa, you’re joking,” Sammy hopes, worried. She’s serious, and he is left with no other option than to offer to rectify the situation as a matter of urgency — “right this afternoon.”

At Starr, Kwadwo “Lil Win” Nkansah is the man! Both Anita and Giovani Caleb (hosts of the radio station’s drive belt programme) virtually drown in a pool of their own tears — not from sadness of any kind, but from abundant laughter invoked by the Kumawood actor and rapper. A seasoned performer, Lil Win is among the country’s biggest celebrities currently — for his numerous roles in local movies, popular songs as Mama Boss Papa, and ultimately, his personality as a super humour merchant. He’s among named supporting artists on the night, and this radio appearance is to give prospective patrons a taste of what he brings to the stage come Saturday night.

One can’t help but admire the I Cant Think Far man’s humility despite his elevated place in society. Clothed in a green camouflage Channel hoodie and Adidas cap over green pants and boots, he effortlessly unleashes joke after joke, while simultaneously sermonizing on life hacks, and nuggets for living. Our gifts are for the benefit of others. Everybody has an appointed time for a breakthrough. It is important to never lose hope. These are key takeaways from his presence at Starr on Friday afternoon. It has taken him a lot of effort and grace to get here, and it is all very inspirational how he has remained grounded even in stardom.

Tiwa honours a Starr interview too, this time, with the seasoned broadcaster Kweku Sakyi Addo at the La Palm Beach Hotel, emphasizing once more, the need for all to go see her perform at Ghana Meets Naija 2017.  She is later joined by Shatta Wale, who extols Miss Savage’s personality. Both promised to work on a project.

Typically overbooked, Ghana Meets Naija has constantly served as the ultimate platform for the West African countries to execute a longstanding sibling rivalry in the area of music. Ghana and Nigeria have a lot in common musically, and constantly collaborate on projects. The concert has since its institution, provided a unique platform for musicians from both countries to celebrate the diverse sounds which also unify them.

Earlier at Tang Palace, Falz points out that to be named among performers on the Ghana Meets Naija stage suggests that one has achieved great heights in their career. It is why in his opinion, the concert is treated with this much seriousness, as well as what accounts for unforgettable performances every edition.

At the Accra International Conference today May 27, when the trusses go up, and the led lights dimmed or swung far and wide to sync with mood boards and patterns, only one thing should matter; who kills what? The troops (musicians) are expected to come out firing at targets (patrons) in sight. Some may understandably be overly animated, others, will go home not bothered about who did what. It is normal because all they wanted to see was a certain Mr. Mensah, or Shatta Wale as he is known in the streets of Accra.

The 2017 Ghana Meets Naija is powered by Empire Ghana and proudly sponsored by uniBank’s Smile and Mastercard products, Alomo Gold-Natural Herbs and Fruits, Paba Cosmetics, Tang Palace Hotel, Nasco Mobile, Kasi Express, 7Fold, Emerge Ghana and Maaha Beach Resort and ENEWSGH.COM.

 

Images by Eben Yanks/ Sadiq More.

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Teephlow, Kuami Eugene, Kelvynboy perform at UCC Closeup Campus Tour (+IMAGES)

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The University of Cape Coast was the place to be last Friday as the University felt the heat of the Closeup Campus Tour.

The show which saw award-winning artistes like Teephlow, Kuami Eugene and Kelvynboy move the crowd to the highest level.

Other artists who performed on the night included B4Bonah, Obkay and Real MC.

But it wasn’t all about them last Friday, staying true to Close Up’s “Break The Barrier” mantra, other upcoming artists were given the opportunity to perform on the same stage Adina, Kwesi Arthur and Kelvyn Boy performed on.

This was a major confidence booster for the young artiste who will undoubtedly record that moment in history as one of their own “Break The Barrier” moments.

The BreakTheBarrier competition was tough in Cape Coast but the luckiest among the contestants was UCC’s own Rap Dizzle. The rapper beat 11 other competitors to win the 2018 Close Up Cool Breeze Campus tour edition in Cape Coast.

As the winner, Rap Dizzle will get another rear opportunity to break another barrier and represent his school on the Close Up Cool Breeze Campus tour bus.

As part of the fun-filled activities, Close Up Cool Breeze shared some goodies including mugs, towels and cash prices.

The next stop for the Closeup Campus Tour is the Koforidua Technical University.

 

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OUT NOW! TICKETS FOR Ghana Meets Naija hit physical stores

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Empire Ghana, organizers of the annual Ghana Meets Naija have announced that tickets for #GhanaMeetsNaija18 are out at major physical outlets, and are selling for 120, 200 and 300 cedis.

Tickets are available at LIVE FM, STARR FM (located in the Meridian House, Ring Road), opposite Ecobank, and close to Nima Junction. Other outlets include Accra Mall, Achimota Mall and West Hills Mall, as well as Empire Ghana offices (located at Ridge, Accra, close to Alisa Hotel),

Patrons can also download the flexipay app on Playstore and Appstore, and make their purchase. Platinum tickets/ tables can be reserved on 050 564 6657 and 0558434907.

The 8th Ghana Meets Naija is on June 9 at the spacious FANTASY DOME, Trade Fair, La, Accra. The call for a bigger event for the annual Ghana Meets Naija concert has been heeded to by the organisers, Empire Ghana, as this year’s concert makes its debut at the facility located at the International Trade Fair, La. Fantasy Dome boasts state-of-the-art facilities and has already hosted a number of high-profile events.

Over 5000 people are expected to attend the event, which has constantly proven a sought-after platform for the West African nations to play out the musical sibling rivalry that exists between them.

Dubbed the “Rescue Mission”, this year’s event will also witness  performances from Stonebwoy, who is famed for his outstanding live gigs, KiDi, Kuami Eugene, King Promise, Patapaa, and Fancy Gadam. Nigeria will be represented by Wizkid, Mayorkun, and Mr. Eazi. More acts are expected to join the roster, organisers say.

Usually overbooked, the concert, widely deemed the biggest West African show, has previously been mounted by A- Listers as Shatta Wale, Sarkodie, Falz, Tiwa Savage, Davido, Naeto C, R2Bees and a host of others.

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, 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, Timepiece Gh.

The 2018 Ghana Meets Naija concert is powered by Empire Ghana.

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B4bonah,TeePhlow,Kuami Eugene others invades UCC for Close Up Cool Breeze Concert

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Award-winning artistes Kuami Eugene, TeePhlow and Kelvynbwoy will take the party to the University of Cape Coast this Friday.

Dubbed #BreakTheBarrier, the event will give an opportunity for an upcoming artiste to breakthrough to mainstream music.

The Campus Tour is an initiative of Close Up Ghana to break the barrier and connect with the youths of Ghana through entertainment.

Among the several artists who would perform on the night is rapper O’bkay of  MTN Hitmaker fame and Tema based Afropop star and Dear God crooner B4Bonah.

The Campus Tour is an initiative of Close Up Ghana to break the barrier and connect with the youths of Ghana through entertainment.

The Close Up Cool Breeze gives you up to 12 hours of fresh breath.

This youth centric brand is giving young people the confidence to break the barriers with the power of fresh breath.

As these young talented musicians bring their act to the University of Cape Coast, the students of the university will get the unique opportunity to make to gain the confidence they need to break the exam barrier.

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Collaborating for Growth – Aftown music is set for AfroMusicon 2018!

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After a year of operations in Ghana, over 22,000 subscribers and 300 signed acts; it’s become evident that both artists and music lovers are receptive to the business side of music.

Aftown exists not only to help artists make money but also for music lovers to have a one-stop shop to download and stream all their favourite songs from artists they love. So far, artists like Akan, Worlasi, Stonebwoy, EL and more have benefited from the marketing and sales opportunities that Aftown has to offer; selling their singles and albums to thousands of their fans across the country and across the world.

So when word came in from EchoHouse Ghana of the AfroMusicon initiative, it was only right that Aftown came on board to help push the grand agenda; The Business Of Music.

We believe artists should be able to make a living from their art, and conferences like AfroMusicon play a major role in enlightening the artists with respect to opportunities available and measures they need to put in place to secure revenue from their music. Aftown, along with its partners DGN, BBNZ LIVE and Sound Effects, will be playing a major roll in maiden AfroMusicon conference. Look out for the Aftown music workshop, concerts and panel discussions. Sign up to Aftown and get all the info first hand!

 

AfroMusicon is hosted by EchoHouse Ghana, in partnership with InnovaDDB and Pulse Creatives and supported by Trace, Kuulpeeps, BBnZ, DGN, Ameyaw Debrah, Harmattan Rain, NYDJ Live Media, George Britton Media, GhudMusic, Enewsgh, StarrBuzz and TalkMedia GH, Kobby Kyei Media, MiPromo and Ghana Music.

The conference will focus on how musicians can capitalize on existing platforms and opportunities to make money off their passion. Visit www.afromusicon.com or follow @AfroMusicon on all social media platforms for more information or call 0500003344 to sponsor.

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Pascal Amanfo joins the Amoateng Pastors for next level Conference

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Nigerian film director, based primarily in the Ghana film industry, Pascal Amanfo after announcing that he is a man of God in 2015 is yet to speak at one of his biggest events.

The filmmaker has been announced as one of the ministers to give a sermon at the 2018 Next Level Conference in Accra starting May 27 to June 3 this year.

The event expected to happen at the Power of Worship International church at Spintex Road aside Pascal Amanfo will have the three Amoateng brothers who are men of God also speaking at the week-long event.

Pastor Brian Amoateng together with his elder brothers, Pastor Daniel Amoateng, Prophet Sampson Amoateng will minister to patrons who will attend the Next Level Conference. Abena Brigidi is also named as the only female speaker for the Christian event starting on May 27.

The conference will witness performances from several top Ghanaian gospel musicians. The Sunday, May 27 to Thursday, May 31 shows start from 6 pm and Friday, June 1 to June 3 events also commences from 9 pm each day.

Prophet Daniel Amoateng, a civil engineer, author, philanthropist and a servant of God is the founder and leader of the Power of Worship International church located at the Spintex Road, basket bus stop in Accra.

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W.E.B DU BOIS MEMORIAL CENTRE FOR PAN AFRICAN CULTURE Hosts 2018 African Union Fashion show & Bazaar

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The W.E.B Du Bois Memorial Centre for Pan African Culture under the auspices of Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Accra, in collaboration with the Fashion Department of Accra Technical University, will from May 18-19 host an African Fashion Show and Craft Bazaar.

The event is being held in commemoration of the African Union (AU) Week under the theme “Sustaining Africa’s Authentic Fashion and Clothing Industry”

Officials say the objective of the programme is to promote the “African Fashion, Clothing and Textile Industry, as well as, providing a platform for the Final Year Students of the Fashion and Design Department of Accra Technical University to showcase their creative designs as part of their academic assessment.

“It is an event which is strategically designed and crafted to give a platform for the African Fashion, Clothing and Creative Arts Industry as well as the general public to engage in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.”

Some One Thousand (1,000) people including Government officials, Diplomatic Missions, Pan Africanists, Trade groups, Students, Cultural groups, and Craft Vendors are expected to attend.

The official launch will be performed by the Hon Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Madam Catherine Ablema Afeku on Day One; Friday May 18, at 9.00am. It will be followed by an Exhibition and Craft Bazaar, which would continue the next day till 6.00pm.

The two-day event will be climaxed by a Fashion show by the Accra Technical University Fashion Department.

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