Ghana’s Gospel Abrantie, Kwaku Gyasi, is likely to be denied the pleasure of starting the New Year in high spirits as he faces a legal punch-up for reneging on a GH˘4,200 contract to perform at seven shows in Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Western regions.
On September 12, 2009 the ‘Ayeyi dwon’ singer signed a contract with Myka Productions as a lead performer at seven shows at Nkoranza, Techiman, Effiduase, Konongo, Mampong, Bibiana and Asanwinso, during the Christmas season.
Under the contract, he was supposed to have performed on December 18, at Nkoranza, December 19 at Techiman, December 20, at Effiduase, December 24, at Bibiana, December 25, at Asanwinso, December 26, at Mampong-Ashanti and January 1, 2010 for a fee of GH˘ 600 for each show.
On the mode of payment, Kwaku Gyasi was to be given GH˘300 each before and after before each show. However, after receiving GH˘600 as first installment and commitment fee from the organizers, Kwaku Gyasi only performed at the Nkoranza show and failed to show up for the Techiman and Effiduasi shows although he granted radio interviews that he was attending.
Kwaku Gyasi could not assign reasons to or explain his failure to be at the two shows when contacted by the organizers. In the circumstance, organizers had to call-off the five remaining shows to protect their reputation and that of the Mika Productions following warnings from those venues that they would only buy tickets when they see Kwaku Gyasi at the event venue.
Speaking to the Times Weekend yesterday, the Communications Manager of Mia Entertainment, Kwaku Opare, said that they were giving Kwaku Gyasi up to January 2, 2010 to come for negotiations to settle the matter or face legal action.
According to Mr. Opare, they spent substantial amount of money in advertisement and booking of show venues and therefore, they would seek “substantial compensatory damages” from Kwaku Gyasi in court.
He said that it is in the best interest of Kwaku Gyasi to sit down with them to resolve the matter before it goes to court, indicating they would seek an injunction to prevent him from future public appearances including the launching of his future albums until the final determination of the matter in court.
Explaining how the shows were planed, he said he submitted a proposal to a Ghanaian university professor on how the music industry in the country was growing, how bright the future looked and the need to invest in it. He said the professor agreed to his proposal and they contacted Kwaku Gyasi to be the lead performer at all the shows.
He said that initially, they had wanted to get other musicians onboard but Kwaku Gyasi told them he is a crowd puller and can manage the shows without others. “We had wanted to do the shows in few places but (Kwaku Gyasi) said we should extend it to other places where he has a lot of crowd, “he added.
At the first show, he said Gyasi showed up very late and so the organizers made it known to him how important the upcoming show at Techiman was to them. “He provided interviews to local radio stations in Techiman that he was definitely attending the show, but he did not show up.
We were confronted with angry fans at the gate and had to let the very serious ones come in for free to avert any dangerous disturbances,” he said. At Effiduasi, again he provided interviews to local radio stations…that he will be at the show, but he did not show up again for the second time without any prior notice,” he said.
Mr. Opare indicated that on the day of the event, they “ We had more angry crowd to contend with because of his failure to attend. The few people that came to the show were calmed down with free or reduced gate fees.”
…But Kwaku Gyasi Explains: “I Was Sick!”
Meanwhile, Kwaku Gyasi has expressed surprise at intended legal action to be initiated against him by Mika productions and explained the circumstances surrounding his inability to show up to perform at the two gospel musical shows.
“According to the singer, he was sick on the day the two shows were staged, adding he gave prior notification to the Communications Manager of Mika Productions that he could not attend the shows.
He ruled out the impression being created that he deliberately refused to be at the two shows, saying “a day before the Techiman show, I told Opare on phone that I was sick and that I won’t be able to attend the show”. According to Kwaku Gyasi, when he told Opare about his ailment, Opare impressed upon him not to tell the Ghanaian University Professor who sponsored the shows and that it should be between him Kwaku Gyasi and Opare.
Before the Effiduasi show, Kwaku Gyasi said he again told Opare that his ailment had not improved and that he was even at a hospital hence he won’t be able to show up at to perform at the show. He said that after the Effiduasi show, Opare called him on phone and handed him to speak with the professor who according to Kwaku Gayasi, was furious and mad at him for his action.
Kwaku Gyasi said all attempts to explain the situation to the professor did not yield as he threatened him that he would cause his (Kwaku Gyasi) arrest and subsequently initiate a legal action against him.
“My brother, I am a very hardworking guy…I do things cautiously in order not to land myself into problems. If I am not sick, I would have turned up for the show” he told the Times Weekend in an interview yesterday. “If I am dying should I get up from my sick bed to come and sing for you” he asked.
He said that so far as he is concerned, he does not owe the organizers as he performed for the GH˘600 that was given him, indicating that the organizers rather owe him for his transportation for the first show. He refused claims by the organizers that he prevented them from getting other artistes to be part of the musical shows, saying “it is not true that I stopped them from picking other artistes”.
Kwaku Gyasi said he should not be blamed for the cancellation of the other events since there were other artistes who could have performed in spite of his absence, adding he could have even been able to show up for some of the remaining shows should they have not cancelled them.
Asked whether he was ready to meet the organizers for settlement of the case, he replied affirmatively adding “If it is necessary for me to apologize. I am ready to do that” but said he has no money to give the organizers should it get to that level.
Source: Stephen Kwabena Effa / The Ghanaian Times
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