Veteran Highlife musician, Abrantie Amakye Dede has called out Ghana’s Ambassador to China, H.E Edward Boateng for owing him an amount of $10,800 for an engagement he had with the diplomat in 2018.
The ace musician has recounted how the diplomat forced him to bring his tour of the USA to an abrupt end, to entertain President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo and his entourage who were to travel on a state visit to China in 2018.
Recounting his frustration to Nana Ama McBrown on UTV’s United Showbiz program, the legend said, “if these are the kind of people representing our country abroad, how would the arts industry be promoted to the outside world, for Ghana to reap the benefits?”.
“I was billed to perform in Chicago on a tour of the USA; the ambassador called my manager, Kwasi Aboagye to ask me to stop everything and return to Ghana to travel to China with the President; when I arrived in Ghana and I called my manager, he said the ambassador had canceled the show; just like that”, he revealed.
“I was very alarmed by the news, but the damage had already been caused, so I asked the ambassador to in the spirit of fairness, pay for the arrears of $10,800 to the promoter of my canceled USA tour and my plane ticket, but he told me to go to hell and that he would pay only $4000 if I insisted”, the livid Nana Amakye Dede recollected.
The legendary musician said he decided to let the matter rest because he did not want to be seen to be in a fracas with the government, but however lamented for the future of the arts if people like H. E. Edward Osei continue to front for Ghana abroad.
It has been a common practice that the missions of countries abroad engage the services of persons in the creative arts to perform to their guests in the spirit of projecting their culture and values to the outside well.
“There used to be culture desks at the various embassies abroad, but as we speak now, all of them have been removed; how do we expect to sell our culture and arts abroad if we don’t have even a desk at the embassies to do so”, Nat Brew ‘Amandzeba’, who was also on the show lamented.
Hiplife musician, Kwame Asare Obeng ‘A Plus’, said for the Ghanaian artiste to get the full reward for their work, they must adopt the style of Shatta Wale and demand every penny they are worth before agreeing to perform on any stage.
He hailed Dancehall artiste, Shatta Wale for raising the bar and showing the way for other musicians to negotiate for what they are due.
Actress Vicky Zugah, who was outraged by Amakye Dede’s narrative, warned movie directors who may be interested in using her for any role to stay away “if they do not have money”.
All the six panelist who appeared on the show, including Micky Osei Berko ‘Master Richard’ and veteran actor Victor Lutterodt agreed that, the creative arts industry is fast losing its pride of place and it would take a deliberate concerted effort by all stakeholders to rescue it from further fall.