The ink has probably not dried on the deal signed between government and Event Horizon Entertainment Ltd to host the Afro Nation concert in Ghana for five consecutive years and already there is grumbling among industry players in GH.
Since news of the deal was revealed by Gabby Otchere Darko, a member of the ruling New Patriotic Party on his Facebook page on Tuesday, January 21, some industry players have started raising questions about it.
One of such persons is entertainment pundit, Kwaku Asiedu who believes the President might have been misled to sign the deal.
In a chat with Graphic Showbiz on Wednesday, January 22, Kwaku Asiedu said there were no benefits for Ghana in the five-year deal and instead gave the advantage to Nigerians.
“Perhaps, the President doesn’t even know what he signed up for because Afro Nation doesn’t in any way serve the interest of Ghanaians. Afro Nation is a purely Nigerian event promoting Nigerian artistes, hype men, DJs and providing jobs for the food vendors in other countries.
“What was even the performance percentage ratio of Ghanaian artistes compared to Nigerian artistes, hype men, DJs and vendors? The Nigerians dominated in every way. How does such a deal that promotes Nigeria and its arts over Ghana be a good deal?
“Nigerian entertainment gurus, Smade and Obi are the brains behind Event Horizon. Afro Nation is not for Ghanaians and so we are promoting Nigeria and not Ghana,” he said.
Kwaku Asiedu mentioned that even though the new deal may be in line with the Beyond the Return initiative, it would have served a better purpose if the involved amount were distributed among the other events to be held in December every year.
“Afrochella is a full Ghanaian event which promotes our culture, heritage and also provides business opportunities for Ghanaians along with the other events headlined by our artistes. Don’t they merit support too?” he asked.
Interestingly, some other industry persons Graphic Showbiz contacted were cautious about making comments about the deal and for Kwaku Asiedu, it was hypocritical for industry persons to shut up about such a bad deal when they vehemently opposed AFRIMA.
However, one industry player who agreed with Kwaku Asiedu is film producer and former PRO of the Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG), Ola Michael.
Speaking on the Best Entertainment Show on Okay FM on Wednesday, he argued that the deal will not augur well for Ghanaian event organisers.
“I am hurt by the events that are unfolding. When we ranted over AFRIMA, it was not because there was no Ghanaian involved but rather we felt when same support was given to locals, they could do more and even better. We felt if we could be given the same level of support, we could do marvellously than the Nigerians,” he stated.
He supported his statement with a post on Facebook. “Today they are asking for details before anyone can talk? Good but ludicrous!
Where have we thrown integrity to? When we benefit, it’s okay but when we don’t, it’s bad?
We screamed to halt AFRIMA and they are saying this is different from AFRIMA? Shame on your lack of integrity!
AFRIMA was initiated and owned by Nigerians. AfroNation is owned by Nigerians.
Such events always have local organising teams wherever they are organised. So what really is the difference?
Stop this double standards; it sucks! The Ghanaian can do better given the same support and awareness.
We will produce what people said and what they are saying now and expose those whose integrity is swimming in Kejetia gutters with the mice” (sic).
Afro Nation was founded by Adesegun Adeosun aka SMADE of Smade Entertainment and his partner Obi Asika. It started in May 2018 in Portugal to sell African culture to Europe.
Ghana’s edition of Afro Nation was held from December 27 to 30, 2019, and was the first time the event was held in Africa.