Many years ago, Valentine’s Day celebration wasn’t familiar to many Ghanaians, myself included, until I came across several people clad in red outfits ranging from T-shirt, jeans, blouses, jeggings and other clothes.
I was young then and naïve. I was curious and made inquiries about the reason behind the red-dominated clothes. I was educated on the significance of the day, why it is celebrated on February 14 and why it is called Valentine’s Day.
Trust Ghanaians to fully embrace anything foreign and celebrate it like their lives depended on it. Even in my naivety state then, I saw how excessive commercialisation of the day had influenced the celebration. On radio and television there were music themed promotions for lovers to win various prizes.
Unfortunately some youth misconstrued the whole Valentine’s Day as an opportunity for them to engage in sexual promiscuity. The day was painted as a day to have sex with your partner or to get involved in sexual activities.
To salvage the deteriorating situation and perhaps to save the youth who had not grasped the idea behind February 14, the then Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations, Mr Jake Obetsebi Lamptey made efforts to rebrand the day as National Chocolate Day in Ghana.
I can’t stress enough how disappointed I am in Ghanaian musicians in the past week, especially during the celebration of Valentine’s Day. I’m disappointed because I realised that even though Ghanaian musicians constantly criticise Ghanaians for their unsupportive nature, they, the musicians themselves are, or did not, support Ghanaians to propagate the National Chocolate Day.
I find it a total slap in the face when you take into account the number of shows that were put by these musicians and no single mention was made of the fact that, the day had been re-christened a National Chocolate Day in Ghana. Instead all the noise was centered on Valentine’s Day.
I observed how highlife singer, Kwabena Kwabena, rapper Castro and legendary, Pat Thomas on TV3’s morning show, New Day, to talk about his ‘F14’ concert which came off at the Conference Centre on Val’s Day.
Also, I watched as the three artistes talked to the presenters of the show and admonished lovers and people who want to make this Valentine a special one to be at the show since the day was for lovers. Hmmm!
The next day on the same show was singer, Raquel. She was also on to speak about her Valentine’s Day theme; Cupid Party show at the +233 Jazz Bar and Grill.
Again the next morning, I watched highlife greats; Nana Ampadu and Asabea Cropper talk about their show on Val’s Day. They of course asked patrons to be part of the show to celebrate the lovers’ day.
I felt very gloomy because I felt there was something missing. In as much as the individual artistes who were behind those events are free or cannot be forced into organising any event, I thought they should have showed some level of patriotism and should have taken it upon themselves to publicise the National Chocolate Day.
Monitoring other media networks, I realised the same Val’s Day theme ran through all the time, with only little reference to the Chocolate Day.
It was a shame to see how Ghanaian musicians shamefully neglected Ghana. When you complain about Ghana and Ghanaians not supporting you, can you please ask yourself what you did or are doing for this great nation?