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There’s business up North

By Ahuma ‘Daddy Bosco’ Ocansey

Starbow must be doing something right and I am sure Togbe Afede’s Africa World also has a good thing going. At least I hear their planes are fast.

For the past two weeks I have had the occasion of going up North for work and the amazing development is the frequency of flights there. It’s interesting to note that there are daily flights which are usually full.

It means there’s business up North. Apart from the NGOs which account for the droves of foreigners heading up North, the artefact scene is also frenzied. I met a young man who says he’s regularly exhibiting and trading his stuff at major festivals worldwide.

Then of course there are the tourists who flock there to enjoy the sun and heat!!! As well as the numerous tourist attractions the North boasts of.

FRAMA Awards
I guess it was Edward Kennedy who said that while people see things and ask why they are so, he would ask why something is not in existence and I reckon that’s why the Frafra Musicians Association (FRAMA) decided to institute the awards to celebrated musicians of Frafra extraction.

The FRAMA Awards is an initiative of FRAMA in collaboration with Radio Guruni, the station that runs local language programming in Bolgatanga.

Last Saturday, the Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, Daniel Syme, gave the assurance that the regional administration will support the event to the fullest. Daniel Syme who was a vocalist in his school days was so enthused about the event that he danced and sang to the admiration of the audience.

The Awards is scheduled for May next year and the event organizers, RAM Consult are sure it’s going to be one of the most memorable events the North would have witnessed.

From all indications, that is, if the performances that night are anything to go by, FRAMA Awards will be groundbreaking.

At the launch, the likes of 2011 Traditional Musician of the Year, Guy One, was in his elements. Other Korogo players like Sulley and Samson were so exciting to watch and I am sure that sooner than later, Atongo Zimba and King Ayisoba will not be the only Korogo players of fame.

The sonic colours of the Korogo, Goje and other traditional Northern instruments painted a kaleidoscope of sounds that should be heard to be appreciated.

Apart from the traditional musicians mentioned above other artistes cast in the youthful mould like Fauzia a highlife/hiplife songstress and Munsori a hiplifer had the crowd excited and it is obvious that they are in reckoning for some big things.

Another show in the North around the same time was Blakk Rasta’s Ancestral Moonsplash Tour. The original Salaga Soldier played in Wa to a crowd of over 8,000 fans who mobbed the group after their performance. The likes of veteran reggae crusader Felix Belland Red Fyah were in their elements and gave a blistering performance.

In Bolga, the Salaga Soldier was joined by local artistes like Fricksta and a host of youths who proved that Hiplife is live and alive in the North.

According to Blakk Rasta, his national tour will take in all the regional capitals showcasing what he’s best known for, avant-garde reggae with a dash of authentic African rhythms.

For someone as outspoken and no nonsensical as the original Boy Blue, his demeanour on the tour was interesting as he interacted with his fans and had a good laugh with them.

One wonders how next year’s VGMA and Bass Awards will play out considering the material coming out in the reggae and dancehall compartment.

The likes of Stoneboy, Shattawale, Samini and RasKuuku will certainly give Blakk Rasta a good run for his money.

Talking about awards, a couple is due before the end of the year. This weekend, all roads lead to the Accra International Conference Centre where the best of the best will be celebrated for their videos this year.

As to who will win, I daren’t hazard a guess since many videos have been released; some substandard and some mega buck projects. What I know for a fact is that with some of our artistes nominated for the Channel O Awards, those acts will be expected to walk away with gold.

Sponsorship for the Award is also exciting and Ignace and his crew deserve tons of commendation for how far they have brought the 4Syte TV Awards.

Another awards scheme that is going to kick some rumpus later this year is the RTP Awards, Radio and Television Presenters Awards.

This year, who wins the topmost award, will be between arguably the same dudes like Kwame Sefa Kayi, Abeiku Santana, Fiifi Banson, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Kofi Kum Bilson and who…

Well without a doubt there’s always gonna be the Big Six and the others for radio and television. Yeah, television is where one cannot say that for now; there are away and out champions. Yeah, we have the PYs, Joselyns, Eric Don Arthurs, Bennie Blancos and co. There are also latter day saints but well it’s a matter of time and we will know who the boys are from the men and who the girls are from the women.

As my homie Babie would say, she doesn’t need an award to feel appreciated but I remember Shatta Wale’s answer when asked what his response would be if he’s nominated by Charter House this year. He was candid, “massa who don’t want an award, duttyyeh!!!”

So hey if your favourite is nominated, go out there and vote for them and let’s see whether they will go for it or not. Ask Blakk Rasta and he’ll tell you that an award is a recognition every artiste appreciates.

What I would add is that if of the numerous artistes in the country you get nominated, that’s recognition enough.

Finally, I would like to know what we doing to take tourism to the next level. If we actually made over GH¢5m in tourism last year, then hey what are we doing to ensure that we grow this sector of our economy phenomenally?

Methinks more attention should be focused on tourism and the related activities that drive it… a word to the wise is enough.

Editor’s Note: The author, Ahuma ‘Daddy Bosco’ Ocansey, is a Chartered Marketer and trained journalist. He has an illustrious background in Ghana’s entertainment industry and is currently the Administrator of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA). Email:
twitter@africandaddy, skype@africandaddy. +233 243-382-474

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