Tongues have been wagging as regards what the [email protected] celebrations is going to cost the country, especially as popular foreign musician, Don Moen has been billed to perform at the event.
The [email protected] Planning Committee has been receiving piles of criticisms since after disclosing to the public that popular American gospel musician, Don Moen will be leading the [email protected] International Gospel Concert to be held on the 7th of March, the day after the Independence day. The gospel music concert is one of the very many entertainment activities mapped out for the [email protected] celebrations. It will feature many international musicians but the list of performers is yet to be released.
Do You Know that [email protected] Cloth Is Out? Check It Out Here!
However, Ghanaians are not ready to take chances on how the state money will be spent in the [email protected] celebrations, especially while considering the poor condition of the economy which the new government has loudly brought to the knowledge of all. The citizens having been bitten once at the [email protected] celebrations, are poking eyes, ears and noses into the affairs of the planning committee, especially on financial maters; never wanting to be taken for granted once more.
Owing to this curiosity, claims that Ghana is going to spend some millions to have the “God Is Good” hit-maker perform at her independence anniversary have been flying around. But, speaking on various media platforms, Chairman of the Media Subcommittee, Mr. Jefferson Sackey said that the music concert is being funded by an interest group and not the state. According to him, it was the group that approached the Committee and acquainted them with their plan to invite Moen to perform at the Occasion.
Also, Chairman of the Events Subcommittee, Mr. Laud Commey threw more light on the funding of Don Moen’s visit to Ghana during the official unveiling of the [email protected] cloth at the Black Stars Square on Thursday, February 24. According to Mr. Commey, most activities for the [email protected] celebrations are ideas of different groups and individuals; with the committee only collaborating with them to provide venues and protocols for the events.
Mr. Commey explained that the idea of the International Gospel Concert was brought by Josh Laryea, a gospel musician and his colleagues. He emphatically said that “we are not spending [even] one Cedi on Don Moen”. According to the events subcommittee chairman, millions would have been spent on Don Moen in the past but now, “change has come” and so no such thing will be repeated.
He further explained that the only contribution the committee will make towards the concert is to provide the Independence Square, VVIP stage, Public Address System (the same that would be used on March 6), and protocols to the group free of charge.
Speaking further, the Media subcommittee chairman, Jefferson Sackey disclosed that the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) is organising a 3-day concert to celebrate Ghana music 60 years on. The event according to him are scheduled to hold from 10th to 12th March. The MUSIGA concert is expected to chronicle Ghana music from independence to the present.
Mr. Sackey said that musicians will be given elaborate opportunity to perform during the [email protected] celebrations, seeing the vital role they play in the country. He also said that President Nana Addo has requested that every region be given an opportunity to be represented at the Independence Square on the independence day – March 6.
Mr. Sackey finally called on corporate institutions to help the committee to raise the GHC20 million for the 60th Independence, while indicating that an institution has already donated GHC300,000. He assured that the committee through proper accountability and transparency, will prove to the people that 20 million is enough to celebrate the country’s 60th anniversary.
Ghanaian Musicians Angry
Meanwhile, some Ghanaians are not really after the financial burden; they are just worried about the recognition. Most Ghanaian musicians did not welcome the idea of a foreign musician taking the lead in what they call a national event; describing it as sidelining local musicians. Many of them have taken to various media platforms to vent their annoyance.
Speaking in an interview with Zionfelix.net, female gospel musician, Mary Agyemang described the move as an insult to local musicians. She stressed that since the Independence is a national event, there is no justification for inviting a foreigner to headline any aspect of the celebrations.
The ‘Change Over’ hit-maker further criticism Ghana media for always preferring to play foreign music on air instead of the local ones. She pointed out in annoyance that aside the upcoming ones, there are big musicians in Ghana who are worth recognizing by the media.
Mary who vigorously campaigned for Nana Addo ahead of the 2016 elections said that inviting Don Moen to perform at the country’s independence anniversary is a shame and disgrace to Ghanaian leaders and musicians; adding that “some Ghanaians did not vote for this kind of change”.
Also, Cwesi Oteng has advised all Ghanaian musicians never to collect anything below $25,000 to perform at the [email protected] Gospel Concert to be headlined by Don Moen. In a tweet, the ‘God Dey Bless Me’ hit-maker wrote:
“No Ghanaian gospel artiste, should charge less than $25,000 to climb the Don Moen Stage. $25,000 is not too high an amount for blacks.”
Donald James “Don” Moen is a 66-year-old American singer-songwriter, pastor, and producer of Christian worship music. He is believed to be Ghana’s favorite when it comes to foreign gospel music, and this is actually not the first time the world popular musician will be visiting the country.
Moen was in Ghana for a two-day concert held in December 2009 at the Independence Square and the Accra International Conference Centre respectively. He has also attended several other shows in the country such as the Charismatic Worship Centre Zoe Conference organised and a special performance at the Charismatic Evangelistic Ministry in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
Ghana’s 60th Independence is exactly a week away! But, what’s your take on this Don Moen beef? Do you think it’s necessary, especially while considering the fact that there will be well other platforms for Ghanaian musicians to perform during the [email protected] celebrations? Please, share your views.