Kwaw Kese, that was below the belt

The third season of the Vodafone Icons reality show dubbed Street Edition came to end last week and thanks to Kwaw Kesse the conversation over the past week has been about the controversy he created at the final than the other things that took place.

In his time, Kese has done some very controversial things. Indeed, he has pulled more controversial stunts than many artistes put together would ever do in their entire career, but even by his standards, his reaction to the choice of who won the Icons reality show was amazingly unbecoming of a musician!

Not too long ago, at the MTV Music Video Awards, when Taylor Swift was mentioned to receive an award, rapper Kanye West mounted the stage took the mic and virtually slammed the organisers and the country music artiste that she didn’t deserve the award and that Beyonce rather deserved it.

We all know the criticism that action by Kim Kardashian’s Baby Papa took from not only the people in the industry and ordinary people but even the President of the USA (POTUS), Barrack Obama who referred to him as a “jackass”. Of course he didn’t intend for the public to hear that but they did and the point was made.

From what was reported and the footages that were shared along with the story, Kwaw Kese’s younger brother Buda, who had been in the competition and was part of the finalists, was eliminated at the first round before the announcement of who won would be made.

When the time was due for the CMO of Vodafone and other people on the stage to announce the winner, Kese mounted the stage and rallied the audience to shout the name of his younger brother indicating that he deserved more to have won than the one about to be announced.

The report said for almost 30 minutes, the ceremony came to a stop to enable Kese sashay on the stage, rave, rant and do his thing ala the song on which he was featured by Black Prophet. He was quoted to have said that the verdict was stolen from his brother for Ryan bla bla bla.

Just as many people were miffed by Kanye’s reaction to Swift’s award, many didn’t take kindly to Kese’s mounting the  stage and actions thereafter. I am among the many that felt and I still feel that his action was unnecessary aggression that ought not to have happened and therefore need to be condemned in no uncertain terms.

He had every right to be peeved that his brother lost out of winning and going home with the juicy grand prize; he had a right to complain if he thought his brother lost and the other guy won not based on merit.

However, he could have channeled his grievances in a different manner to how he did it last Friday night. It was not fresh, it was not cool and it was bogusly bogus!

There is no gainsaying the fact that Buda has some talent, at least the kind of talent that would sell him audiences and give him performance time on many shows hereabouts.

And Kwaw Kese and his record label and management have the ability to bring him up if he desires to pursue music as a career, but as far as the voters of the season three of Icons were concerned, he didn’t deserve to win. Simple!

I have heard that my friend and co-panelist on Joy FM’s and Multi TV’s Joy Newsentertainment/showbiz shows Bertrand Nana Turkson would take over from Fenec Okyere as Kwaw Kese’s manager before the end of this month.

One of his tasks, in my view, would be to manage Kese’s excesses. In show business, you have to stay relevant and that means doing some odd things sometimes (just like Miley Cyrus has chosen trashy dressing and twerking to stay relevant despite being on the road to Hotel Britney Spears), but they must be within limit and be reasonable.

Kwaw Kese

Kwaw Kese


When Peace FM entered the market, they did on the wings of Akan language broadcasting and that proved to be very successful regardless of the suggestions, pieces of advice and conventional wisdom proffered against such an adventure. As we all know, the rest is history.

Since its entrance to the broadcast industry, there have been rumours and wild rumours ofPeace FM’s owners establishing a television station.

For over a decade, that legend kept circulating until finally last year, Despite and his team managed to pull that off and hit the airwaves with UTV.

UTV established its credentials very strongly during the Melcom building collapse last year where it dedicated a lot of airtime to the coverage of the rescue efforts by state institutions, individuals and the Israeli forces brought in for the purpose.

However, one of the things that have helped the station to cut through the clutter of television has been their penchant to show the latest Hollywood movies than most of their competitors, if not all of them.

Mention the most recent movie to be released, probably yet to arrive at Silverbird and UTVwould show it.

Their notoriety for showing latest movies is so profound that I have seen people tweet or post on Facebook that they would not spend their bandwith to torrent anymore as UTV has got all the movies they would be downloading from torrenting sites anyway.

I honestly do not think that it is a good reputation for UTV, to be known as a station that would show the most recently released movies on free-to-air is not a good tag.

In its early days, that was one of the accusations against Net 2 TV and it was not good for image.

There is a well-known and well defined global protocol of how and where movies are released and distributed with free-to-air television at the bottom of that food chain from movie theatres through DVDs/blue rays to pay TV.

Simply put, generally, it should not take less than one year for you to see a movie released to be shown on your pay TV let alone on your free-to-air television at home.

That is why there is, most likely, no way you can see movies like Identity Thief, Iron Man 3, Hangover 3, The Minions, Despicable Me 2, etc on DStv this year.

What you can see are movies released last year. Thus if you are watching such movies on free-to-air station then you know what you are participating in.

I think UTV would like to cure its reputation by putting pay to this style. Content is very expensive, but it ought to be bought if you want to have a good name in the business.

Having said that though, I would like to commend the station for their decision to stick to the use of Akan to broadcast most of their local programmes (just as they did with Peace FM many years ago), most especially the news.

Seeing Adwoa Yeboah Agyei resplendent in her nice dress (sometimes though the colour combinations seem to be chosen without the colours of the studio in mind, but what can one do?) and hairdo to match and reading the news in impeccable Asante Twi gives a lot of local vibe to the news.

Over the years, many people who do not understand English very well have to endure listening to the news in English anyway.

Of course there have always been those little handouts like the local news summaries on GTVand the local news segments on TV Africa, etc., but I think in terms of dedicating the entire news programming to local language the UTV way must be novel (I stand corrected though).

As I understand it, the station has increased its coverage to many parts of the country and very likely to go nation-wide before the end of the year.

Just like Peace FM did, the broadcast in local language gives an opportunity to advertisers to have local cut-through with your commercial activities and for policy makers to come to the level of local people with their communication initiatives.

This is a good one for people like my mother to get to understand the news better. Even as I commend the station for this forethought, it is my fervent hope and prayer that, somewhere down the line, someone at the station would not think that the way to go with the local news is the Odi Ahenkan or Kwabena Marfo way as has been the case on Peace FM news.

They should not insult the intelligence of their audience on television too by presenting the news in the manner that those two, and many others on other stations all over the country, do it on the radio. Present the news as news and not some comedic activity.

In due course, we shall talk about some of the real programmes that the station is putting out there that is gradually pushing UTV into the competitive arena as a big game player on the television landscape of the country, because as they would have realised at the station by now, unlike radio, television is no child’s play and they need to be pushing very hard to stay relevant.

By Francis Doku

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