I’ve never been one for Ghanaian local music; it is instrumentally monotonous, lyrically bland and totally devoid of any emotion. Ghanaian musicians have a proclivity for following the guy ahead but never really forging a unique path. Thus, the Ghanaian music scene is cluttered with very generic and same-sounding songs from all genres.
…to each his own right?
My stance on this subject won’t change…but there’ve been some few songs that have drawn out my inner Ghanaian…and one such song is Gasmilla’s Telemo.
To be quite honest, Telemo is a real joy to listen to but mostly because of its chorus.
The rest of the song isn’t half bad but it is the chorus that kept reeling me in.
It is nothing remarkably extraordinary but what can I say, it makes me wanna sing along;
If any musician can achieve that in any song, then that is a win in my books.
Moving on; prior to listening to Telemo I knew practically nothing about Gasmilla…(I believe we’ve established I’m a hermit)…but after a rather short search on the internet, I found all I needed about the Telemo Man.
Apparently he has been around far longer than I first thought, released other hit songs (3 points) and is somehow an alumnus of Wesley Grammar.
After the success of Telemo (plus the fame), Gasmilla has been wounding people with a GH¢40,000 – GH¢80,000 appearance/performance fee.
Is that outrageous? Maybe.
Does he deserve it? Ummm…probably, but I guess it is his sworn duty as a sane Ghanaian musician to make as much money possible before his Telemo train grinds to a halt…because, unlike Sarkodie, a lot of Ghanaian musicians desperately try to stay financially afloat with their one-hit-songs. When the buzz fades away, they try recapturing the lightning in their bottles but when that doesn’t work, they either go into hiding with what’s left of their money or reinvent their music careers; Shatta Wale anybody?
Anyway, Gasmilla is making it “big” but his recent attempts at creating another hit song have so far been middling…but hey, he’s trying. I can’t fault him for that.
Now, on the 31st of October 2015, Gasmilla was invited to the Wesley Grammar Homecoming celebrations and was made a celebrity judge at the Talent Show.
After a very bizarre dance-off between four groups, the winner was picked.
Oh yeah…they danced off to Telemo.
I bet you didn’t see that coming.
It was at this point Gasmilla irreparably broke my heart. He went up to the stage, sang a very off-key line from the Telemo chorus and then delivered a not-so-charismatic speech.
It went a little something like; “I admire talent and I always try my best to invest into the lives of anybody talented. It is because of this I’m giving GH¢200 to the winners.”
(Paraphrased…but very accurate.)
Obviously, the kids were excited (no surprises there) but I was so shocked I lost some (a lot) respect for Gasmilla.
I wonder how much he would have invested if he thought they didn’t have talent.
In this economy what can GH¢200 do?
Maybe they can get matching socks. That way we can easily tell they are all from one dancing group.
Or maybe get a celebratory fufu from Aunty Mansah’s chopbar.
GH¢40,000 – GH¢80,000 a show and our magnanimous Mr. Gasmilla dishes out GH¢200?
Unless he’s mismanaging his money, he has no excuse and quite honestly, GH¢200 is an insult.
“All os a fudden”, Telemo angers me every time I hear it.
Gasmilla, I’ve never been a fan and if I were, I’d chase you around town with a signpost reading, “You are a cheapskate!!”
Be a better role model and don’t be cheap.
PS: …You just know the kids won’t see a pesewa of that GH¢200.
NB: It appears Gasmilla is trying to make amends for his folly with “Gasmilla Father Christmas Show”.
The premise of this “show” is pretty simple; “put smiles on the faces of little children on the 26th of December, 2015 (Boxing Day).”
Children who participate in the games (held at Efua Sutherland Park) will win prizes ranging from bicycles to T-shirts…with one lucky child winning a scholarship to any school desired. Whether that child has the brains or not is completely up in the air.
For all its worth, I am glad he is “giving back” to society…even though he is gonna demand a gate fee for the “Christmas Show”.