The year was 2011 and it was 3AM. A young man’s boss had dropped him off at Kwashieman after work. His work involved seeing to the printing of posters for upcoming “Samini hosts Movado” concert.
While he was in the printing press at New Town with his boss, Verus Nartey, and Samini’s manager, Tony Pun, it started raining heavily. By 3AM, the rained had subsided but unknown to him, the rains had caused a flooding in some parts of Accra including Santa Maria and Sowutuom where he lived.
He picked a cab at Kwashieman en route Sowutoum only to drop after a metre because the cab couldn’t go any further. His boss’ phone was off and he called his auntie who lived close and asked to come by hers.
Crossing the road to the other side where his aunt lived proved too dangerous so he had to keep half-walking, half-swimming from Kwashieman to Sowutuom. He was rheumatic so his joint aches kicked in almost immediately.
This half-sick boy got home shivering only to realise the room he shared with his friends was so flooded. Too tired to care, he fell asleep on the wet floor only to be awoken by phone calls from his panic-filled parents because his aunt had called them to alert them of his call to her.
He went to sleep for 2 hours and woke up to go back to New Town to check on the printing of the posters, taking just Folic Acid for his rheumatism. Two days later, he had to make sure the posters all the principle streets of Accra.
The boy was Nenebi, the poet who performed on last weekend Saminifest Concert stage. Nenebi had summed up his 2011 ordeal and a prophecy of his last Saturday performance into the lines “I used to walk through floods to post posters for him. Now I’m sharing stages with him”, which he recited on his first single, No Explanation, a video for which was released on YouTube earlier this year.
Nenebi, who aside working with an event company that co-ordinates Samini’s events, is a diehard Samini fan who can be seen with his shirt off jumping anytime the African Dancehall King is on stage.
Last Saturday was the third time the poet/songwriter, who calls his style Afropop Poetry, was sharing the stage with the Scatta Badmind hitmaker. They shared a stage during Okyeame Kwame’s Versatile Show last December and in Mprampram earlier this year as part of the Homowo celebrations.
“This weekend’s performance felt special because his manager asked me to be on bill”, the See Me Naked artiste said.
The poet/songwriter received loud cheers from the crowd during his performance to his own surprise. “Because it’s a typical dancehall crowd, I was expecting a lukewarm response. Tony (Samini’s manager) and I joked about the fact that people were going to stone me when I got on stage so I was prepped up for people booing and all but they were excited at my performance. Glory to God.”
When asked why he went on stage if he was expecting boos, he said, “It’s because of something I learnt from Koo Emma. In 2012, we were standing in front of the newly-opened Traphic Lounge after a meeting to discuss the “I Love My Life” Concert. While we were chatting, he asked if the road-like artifact that led to the rooftop of the building was climbable. We all said no and went back to chatting.
A minute or two later, Emma (Samini) screamed from the top of the building, ‘I climbed. If you cowards have never tried it, don’t tell me, it can’t be done’.
I learnt from that day, why he is so successful. He is not scared of taking risks and trying new things. That is part of the reasons I started performing in the first place. I have always been about taking risks and seeing someone who is successful from taking risk gives me the courage to be myself more”.
Nenebi just released his second single Me, My Selfie and Eyes feat. Mzbel. He is hoping to release a video for it before the year ends.