In spite of the last minute postponement which almost ruined Samini’s dream to host his Jamaican counterpart, the highly publicized MTN Fantasy Jam “Mavado Live in Ghana Hosted by Samini” concert, finally came off last Saturday October 8, 2011 at the Accra Sports Stadium exactly a week after the original date and attracted an overwhelming crowd.
Even though the unexpected postponement offered the organizers an extra week to correct all possible mistakes and to reorganize themselves, some avoidable organizational lapses almost destroyed the beauty of such a high profile event organized by Fantasy Entertainment in collaboration with Samini Music, and sponsored by MTN.
Production wise, the show by Gilbert Allotey was a world standard, with sound provided by Ralph Kingsley Hayford. Some backlines were provided by Mr. Kwakyi, LED Screens by Big Ideas, and stage lights by Control Lights, Events Factory was responsible for the stage and projection was by Karl Aubyn Multimedia. Aside the fact that the projector screens on both shoulders of the stage were too small for people sitting far in the stands to see and a few other technical hitches, production was professionally done.
Security was poor because Press accreditation and artistes’ tags became a very big issue at the event on Saturday because the tags delayed and they were not enough to satisfy everyone. This created several confrontations between security officers, some media men and some artistes at various entry points especially at the VIP section. Security men were instructed not to allow anybody without a VIP ticket or tag to enter the VIP area. Yet most of the artistes who were supposed to occupy the VIP seats did not have tags so they had to force their way through. Artistes like Efya, Kwaw Kesse, Okomfour Kwadee, 4X4 among others were seen struggling at the VIP entrance.
“Kill Me Shy” hit maker, Dr. Cryme who was on the bill to perform on the night, had a heated argument with a security officer because according to the officer, D-Cryme didn’t have a tag. He angrily drove his car out of the Stadium and never returned to perform on the show. There was no place for the artiste to relax before their performance because Peacefmonline.com’s investigation reveals that the air-conditions at the VIP lounge where they were supposed to use as artistes room were not working. Most of the artistes were seen standing, walking around or sitting in the open, behind the stage.
Another thing that really affected the event was the organizers’ last minute decision to add a ˘100 VVIP ticket to the already existing ˘20 standard and ˘40 VIP tickets. This created a bit of misunderstanding at the VIP entrance because those who had the ˘40 ticket also considered themselves VIPs and they were refused entry into the VIP area but in the end the VIP area was over crowded because even those ˘20 standard tickets found their way there somehow.
After all the heckling at the gates, everyone was able to enter somehow, and the show which was supposed to start at 8pm started some minutes after 10pm with MC for the night Bolaray’s heavy voice announcing the start of the show. Skinny, Kaki of Stars of the Future fame, Yaw Siki and others also perform to warm up the crowd and Kwaw Kesse’s ‘madness’ brought some energy on stage and prepared the crowd for the rest of the performances on the night.
Just at the time when the night was beginning to warm up, the show was stopped for about an hour, due to natural courses. An unexpected rainfall brought everything to a halt until the rain subsided because the event was held in an open space and the stage and the equipment were not covered so after the rain, all the wet sound equipments and wet stage had to be cleaned and left for some time to dry before it was powered again to avoid electrical shocks or destroying any of the equipment.
It took several minutes before the show came back on but all that while, the over 8,000 crowd waited patiently amidst heavy smoking in the skies, to watch the stars perform, rain or no rain. Because of the rain most of the artistes billed including; Buk Bak, Castro, Screwface, Stay Jay, Efya, Raquel and Sonni Bally were not able to perform.
Okomfour Kwadee brought the stage back to life even though his live band performance looked quite unrehearsed. The band was not playing to the beats of his songs so he sang on any rhythm played by the band. Tema based R2Bees came on stage to do only acapella throughout, because their DJ couldn’t fix his lap top early enough to play their songs, whiles they were already on stage.
4X4 did their usual thing singing along their popular songs with the crowd with no co-ordination whatsoever. Sarkodie “Obidipong bidi” took over the stage and dazzled the crowd with his consistent tongue twisting flow doing his own rendition of Nikki Minaj’s “Moment For Life”. His “Azonto” hit song, got the crowd to rap along with him.
The King of African dancehall, Samini, proved why he is Africa’s best stage performer. Samini who was supposed to be hosting Mavado, performed as though he was the headline artiste. He outshined the Jamaican super star on stage by far. Samini’s interaction with the crowd and their response was enormous.
He made sure that everybody in the crowd waved their hands, their handkerchief or jumped along with him before he left the stage, as he dropped all his hot hits one after the other. This will be Samini’s best performance ever, and this was evident when the crowd didn’t want him to leave the stage after performing for almost an hour. He virtually had to beg the crowd to allow him to pave the way for Mavado.
Jamaican dancehall bad boy Mavado, mounted the stage trying to say Samini’s popular catch phrase “Akyie saaa” and took all the cheers and screams from the crowd who were obviously excited to see him live for the first time on African soil in Ghana. After this, his performance dwindled because most of the songs he was performing were not popular in Ghana. If you decide to forget about the song’s popularity in Ghana and dance to the very familiar dancehall rhythm in his songs you don’t enjoy it because he keeps cutting in the songs.
He mostly performed about one minute to two minutes of a song then he changes to perform another song. Speaking to some patrons of the show after his performance, most people felt disappointed with Mavado, who performed for over two hours on stage. Some even believe Mavado’s presence on the show was not necessary because all the great performances on the night were by Samini and other Ghanaian artistes.
Mavado performed most of his world hits including: Messiah, I’m On the Rock, Gangsta For Life, Pepper, and Hope and Pray. All in all, the MTN Fantasy Jam 2011 “Mavado Live in Ghana Hosted by Samini” concert was a great show by standards on stage, but for the too many unforgivable organizational flaws and security lapses. Nonetheless, the crowd at the well-attended event had a show worth their money.
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