In my article last week, I mentioned that it is time for Ghanaian DJs to play more Ghanaian songs. I also mentioned that, contrary to the perception held by many, Ghanaian songs don’t get played outside the country.
Visit to MTN
On Friday, August 26, I joined American gospel musician and actor, Micah Stampley, the headline artiste for this year’s edition of Ghana Stands In Worship to pay a courtesy call on the lead sponsor of the show, MTN.
The tour was to interact with the sponsors ahead of the show. With the team were the organisers, Imajin Advertising, Ceccy Twum, Joe Mettle, Nana Perbi and one Boadiwaa, a gospel musician and also staff of MTN.
There were many discussions at the tour among which included the commencement of the show at 6:00 pm as advertised. However, the show started after 9:00 pm and the delay, as I found out was a technical problem.
Ghana Stands In Worship started in 2013 and has over the years, brought in some internationally reputed gospel artistes such as Donnie Mcclurkin (USA), William McDowell (USA), Sinach (Nigeria), Mthunzi Namba (South Africa), Uche Agu (Nigeria) to Ghana.
Some renowned pastors in Ghana have been part of it since its inception.
Apart from the billed artistes, some selected choirs took patrons through a time of praise and worship. The Lighthouse Choir, Harvest Choir, CEM choir, all gave good account of themselves.
Though they had a bad performance last year, the MTN in-house choir, Viva Voices, redeemed their image this year. Led by gospel musician, Nana Perbi, they wowed the patrons with their renditions of popular songs.
Dominance of foreign songs
For many years, I have observed that many church choirs prefer to perform foreign gospel songs at various functions and even at the church and the practice was no different at the MTN Ghana Stands in Worship last Saturday.
Honestly, even though the crowd jammed to the foreign songs, the reception was thunderous when a local song “dropped”.
Give us more local songs
From the tweets from patrons on the night, it was clear they enjoyed the local songs than the foreign ones performed by the choirs.
“The show was awesome with great performances I believe the choir did well but it would have been better if they had performed more Ghanaian songs instead of the foreign songs. It was a great experience,” a lady seated close to me said.
“Oh, are they performing another foreign song?” another lady at the event queried.
Tribute to Danny Nettey
The late Danny Nettey was scheduled to perform at the show before his demise on July 15, 2016 at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
Described as one of the pioneers of contemporary gospel music in Ghana, a tribute was paid to him by Koda of Nkwa Abodoo fame. Koda got everyone confused and yours truly was too. He performed his own hit song as a tribute to Danny Nettey and that was very confusing.
As he performed, Danny’s picture was displayed on the large screens at the background. Apparently, Danny Nettey was instrumental in his musical career. He said the latter helped him in building his musical career. He ended the tribute with a song titled, Adom written by Danny Nettey.
He introduced Nii Okai, another protégé of Danny Nettey. He began with his hit, Mokobe. He was later joined on stage by a young man and they paid a glowing tribute to Danny with their performance.
Ceccy Twum, Nana Perbi and the evergreen Elder Mireku had an awesome night as well. Nigeria’s Nathaniel Bassey was awesome on the night and it wasn’t surprising the reception his song, Imela had.
Micah Stampley joined him to perform their song, This God is Too Good before taking over. He is such an amazing performer. He was very energetic on stage and with his band and backing singers, had the patrons to sing and dance along to his songs.
I can confirm that, the Ghana Stands In Worship attracts people who do not play with their Sunday church service. In the coming years, the show must start on time and end early so people can rest enough for Sunday service.
I also think that choirs selected to perform should celebrate Ghanaian gospel musicians by performing more of their songs. Obviously, the patrons enjoyed the local songs than the foreign ones. Sincerely, what’s all the fuss about foreign music? Regardless, I had an awesome experience at a well-organised event.
By Ebenezer Anangfio / Graphic Showbiz