It has been a year of successes, sorrow, fun, feuds and disappointments in Ghana’s entertainment industry.
As 2018 grinds to a close, I have put together some of the events and happenings that got rave reviews not only in the entertainment space but also got typically non-showbiz people talking.
1. Ebony dies in accident: 2018 started on a very sad note. We lost arguably the most ebullient artiste of our time in a car accident.
Twenty-year-old Dancehall star, Priscilla Opoku Kwarteng known in music circles as Ebony Reigns died in a car crash at Mankranso in the Ashanti Region.
Ebony, was returning from Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region when the Jeep she was travelling in crashed into a VIP bus on Thursday, February 8, 2018 evening.
Ebony was travelling with three other people, two of whom also died. The two included Ebony’s friend Franky Kurie and military officer Atsu Vondee.
Her funeral was held at the forecourt of the State House in Accra on March 24, 2018.
Preceding the funeral was a vigil concert at the Trade Fair Centre.
Other celebrities that passed away in 2018 include Super OD, CK Mann, Professor Attukwei Okai, Jewel Ackah, MacJordan Amartey, among others.
2. Moesha Bodoung on CNN: One issue in 2018 that got a lot of people talking was when model and actress Moesha Bodoung told CNN’s Christiane Amanpuor during an interview that “being a mistress is a financial decision,” and that like many Ghanaian women, she dated a married man for her livelihood.
She explained that the reason these women dated men with mistresses was because the economy in Ghana was hard.
“In Ghana our economy is such a way that you need someone to take care of you. You can’t make enough money as a woman here. Because even when you want to get an apartment, in Ghana they take two years’ advance and I just started working where will get money to pay?,” she said.
The host who looked shocked by Moesha’s response asked: “are you basically telling me that you are having sex with this guy to pay your rent?”
“Because he can afford to take care of you. He takes care of me, my financials, my apartment, my car, my rent, everything,” Moesha said.
While some thought her statement cast a dent on the image of Ghanaian women, others said it was the true representation of the situation on the ground.
3. Patapaa goes mad at VGMA organisers: ‘One Corner’ hitmaker, Patapaa, went berserk at the Accra International Conference Centre during the 2018 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards.
He was angry for losing out to Fancy Gadam in the ‘Song of the Year’ category.
Due to how big the song was in the year under review, a lot of people had tipped him to win that category, only to have been surprised when Fancy Gadam’s ‘Total Cheat’ was announced as winner.
Patapaa who had already gained so much attention for his oversized blue suit on the night walked out of the auditorium when Fancy Gadam was announced the winner.
He claimed he had been cheated. He even insulted the organisers of the awards scheme but later came out to apologise.
4. Chief Moomen vrs. Ghana @ 60 organisers: Ghanaian poet and playwright, Chief Moomen, in July engaged in some verbal exchanges with the committee that organised the activities for the ‘Ghana 60 Years On’ celebrations.
According to a post he put up on Facebook, the committee had not paid the GHS 100, 000 due him. He said he had charged GHS 200, 000 but they paid only half and failed to settle the remainder.
In his post, Chief said he was facing the most difficult time of his career, as government’s huge indebtedness to his company has put it on a verge of collapse.
The situation, he claimed, put his subsequent stage production in jeopardy as he had to deal with the huge debt he incurred producing a play at the behest of the government.
In his emotional appeal, the famed poet lamented that government had contracted him to show his ‘Wogbejeke’ theatre as part of activities to mark Ghana’s 60th anniversary celebrations in March, and has since paid only half of the bill.
According to Chief Moomen, several attempts to get government to pay the other half of the bill proved futile, forcing him into a terrible financial situation.
He said he has had to put his car on sale to help raise money to sustain his business.
However, the Chairman of the ‘Ghana 60 Years On’ Committee, Ken Amankwah came out to say they had no agreement with Chief Moomen to that effect and that he was even ‘lucky’ to have been paid GHS 100, 000.
5. Celebrity marriages: Some Ghanaian celebrities got married in 2018. In fact, the first one that got a lot of people talking was that of actor and politician John Dumelo.
He got married to his fiancée Gifty Mawunya Nkornu at a private wedding ceremony in Accra.
According to sources, Mawunya is a relative of actress Selassie Ibrahim and a close friend to actress Nadia Buari.
Ghanaian musician Michael Owusu Addo, popularly known as Sarkodie in music circles also tied the knot with his girlfriend and ‘baby mama’ Tracy this year.
The rapper whose wedding information leaked on social media, reportedly performed the traditional marriage rites on Tuesday, 17th July, 2018 at a secret location in Tema.
He received plaudits from a lot of people, especially considering the fact that he had dated Tracy for many years and even has a child with her.
Another celebrity who got married this year is Ghanaian singer Rebecca Acheampong known in showbiz as Becca. She got married to Tobi Sanni Daniel, former business manager for Nigerian artiste, Ice Prince.
And then Ghanaian actor and broadcaster, Chris Attoh married for the second time after his first marriage with Nigerian actress Damilola fell apart in 2017.
The private ceremony took place at North Kaneshie in Accra on Saturday, October 6, 2018.
Chris’ new wife, Bettie Jenifer, is Caribbean-born, based in the United States of America.
The last celebrity marriage in 2018 took place in Tema. Gospel musician Gifty Osei tied the knot with politician Hopeson Adorye.
Hopeson Adorye, who is the Deputy National Security Coordinator in charge of Airports, lost his wife in March 2017 after a long battle with cancer.
Last year, news had it that Gifty Osei had divorced her husband of 10 years, Prophet Prince Elisha Osei.
Reports about Gifty and Hopeson’s relationship were rife when the two were seen together at public programmes.
6. Fella-Medikal-Derby Love story: The Love Triangle! That’s how I call it. The year has witnessed a gossamer of love story involving musicians Medikal and Sister Derby, and actress Fella Makafui.
It all happened when news broke that Medikal had jilted Sister Derby for Yolo actress Fella Makafui.
Medikal expressed his love on social media for Fella Makafui, glorifying her body and throwing shades at Sister Derby.
He had said in one of his open letters that Fella had taught him true love and there was nothing wrong leaving one woman for another.
Sister Derby also released a song titled ‘Kakalika Love’ suggesting that Medikal will also treat Fella the same way he did to her.
However, Fella remains unfazed by all the backlash. She says she is enjoying the relationship and will have fun as long as it lasts. She has stated that she is not scared about what the future holds for the two of them.
7. Stonebwoy-Zylofon-Shatta fight: In 2018, Stonebwoy had issues with Zylofon Media and his record label mate Shatta Wale.
Stonebwoy was engaged in a scuffle with some officers of his record label, Zylofon Music, who had gone to Champs Bar to take from him, a car purported to have been given to him by the company. He reportedly fired a gunshot to scare them away.
Stonebwoy had earlier been to the University of Ghana to perform at the Artistes Night of the Hilla Limann Week Celebration.
At the order of Stonebwoy and his management, the organizers took off all Zylofon Media banners. This deepened speculations that the ‘My Name’ hitmaker may have severed his relationship with Zylofon.
It was speculated that Stonebwoy felt uncomfortable promoting Zylofon Music in his activities because they had signed his rival Shatta Wale on the label and were giving him special treatment.
The feud escalated when Stonebwoy appeared on Hitz FM and poured his heart out about Shatta Wale’s claim that he [Stonebwoy] killed his mother.
8. Sarkodie advises Shatta Wale: Shatta Wale, typical of his maverick character, kept throwing shades at a lot of musicians, claiming he was richer than all of them and that his other colleagues are poor.
This seems not to have gone down well with Sarkodie who decided to do a song to ‘advise’ his one-time friend, Shatta Wale.
Even though he did not mention a name in the song, commentaries on social media pointed out that it was a diss song targeted at the dancehall artiste.
In the song, Sarkodie addresses the character who he claims is fond of discrediting other people and describes reserved people as not smart.
He states in the song that he has always advised the character but he does not heed his advice.
Sarkodie in the song challenged that wealth was not in bragging about a house and cars.
9. Kwesi Arthur at BET Awards: Ghanaian hip-hop artiste Kwesi Arthur could not win the Best New International Act award at the BET Awards as had been anticipated by most Ghanaians.
The ‘Grind Day’ rapper lost the Viewers’ Choice award to South African artiste Sjava at 2018 Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards held at Los Angeles in the United States America.
His nomination came as great news to most Ghanaian music fans particularly because no Ghanaian musician made it to any of the categories, unlike previous years.
This year, there was no Ghanaian nominee for the Best International Act category.
Kwesi Arthur was nominated alongside Prince Waly (France), Mc Soffia (Brazil), Take A Mic (France), Niniola (Nigeria), Sik-K (South Korea), Nailah Blackman (Trinidad And Tobago), Not3s (UK), Iamddb (UK) and Sjava (South Africa).
10. Comedian Waris and Teacher Kwadwo Wahala: In a fledgling comedy industry like Ghana’s, it was unfortunate that two incidents cast a dent on all the hard work that had been put in by Ghanaian comedians in 2018.
Ghanaian comedians had worked very hard by organising their own programmes and were gaining more visibility on social media but hey! there came the bad moments.
Comedian Waris made a bad joke about Sarkodie’a daughter that got him in hot waters. He tweeted, after seeing Titi’s new photos that the two-year-old girl was ripening and soon men will start ‘eating’ her.
Remorseful of his post, he apologised but another comedian (and a professional teacher) Teacher Kwadwo who had defended him also landed in trouble. His banter with some women on social media goaded feminist group PepperDem Ministries to dig out rape-related posts he made in the past on Facebook.
The group petitioned Huawei Mobile which had signed on Teacher Kwadwo as an influencer to cancel their deal with him. They also asked the Ghana Education Service to sanction him.
The Technology company Huawei Mobile later announced that it had severed its relationship with Teacher Kwadwo.
The announcement came a few days after the comedian took to social media to disclose that he no longer had any contract with Huawei.
11. Wendy Shay’s ‘Dumb Question: To some people, it was right for Wendy Shay to have told Joy News’ MzGee that a question she asked her after one of her performances was dumb.
Journalists have on many occasions been chided for not asking relevant questions. But was Wendy entirely right to have to cut the interview after describing the reporter’s question as “dumb?”
The artiste in one of her responses had said she wanted music lovers to “accept me for who I am as Wendy Shay.”
What triggered her ‘dumb’ response was when she was asked: “Who are you as Wendy Shay?”
The issue has engendered debates on various media platforms as people discuss the propriety or otherwise of the actions by either party.
But in a Facebook post, Sarkodie wrote that the artiste, who is quite new in the music industry, may have acted on reflex.
He added that Wendy’s answer to the interview was not right; promising to apologise on her behalf.