Late dancehall artiste Ebony Reigns one-week celebration held at Dansoman in Accra last Sunday was a public trial of the media and their activities.
One after the other, musicians, actors and actresses took to the dais to uncharitably deplore media practitioners over their commentaries on celebrities and other entertainment-related issues.
It was apparent these people have been and are under the illusion that journalists are their real enemies.
Dancehall artiste Shatta Wale summed it up when he invoked the wrath of God against media practitioners who were critical of his late colleague when she was alive. “God if you are here, strike Ebony’s enemies,” he prayed.
But he and his ungrateful colleagues were wrong on so many fronts.
First, nobody hated Ebony. Everyone she met loved her and she loved them back.
Second, there’s no Ghanaian who was happy after the news about the death of dancehall artiste Ebony Reigns was funnelled to the public.
Third, the only real enemies the late female artiste ever had come from the music industry. It’s her own colleagues who won’t stop at anything to blight her meteoric rise.
Fourth, the media made Ebony. She was talented and had the media backing. The support made it possible for her to overshadow those artistes who were in the industry before she surfaced in 2015.
Fifth, there are many people who are equally talented yet have not had the opportunity the late artiste had. In fact, some of them are clamouring for such favours but they aren’t getting. Be grateful!
Sixth, it can’t be denied that the media also made Shatta Wale (formerly hustling Bandana). Sarkodie. Tiny. Obour. Tic Tak. E.L. Kofi Kinaata. And the rest.
If you don’t want critical minds to dissect your brand with the intention of bringing out the best in you, you would have to consider playing your songs to yourself and family when you do them.
I know some of the artistes who complained bitterly about the media used the event to re-launch their dying career. Well, I understood their motivation but the trial was needless, baseless and shameful and presenter Abeiku Santa was right to point that out to them.
I don’t consider myself the spokesperson of all journalists, especially when I can’t vouch for the character of many of them, but I think the media should be given the credit due them. It is not all gloom and doom in the media. We dish out praises when they’re well-deserved and we apply the stick when it is needed.
As a journalist, I think we find ourselves in a peculiar position that makes us custodians of Ghana’s culture (social, political, economic and environmental), while at the same empowering us to be careful of lifestyles we import into our society.
We may err in the performance of these two crucial roles, but that doesn’t mean we are the real enemies in the room. Some of the celebrities who’re hailed today got to their current status because of the intervention of the media.
So stop bastardising journalists.
And the hungry, charlatanic journalists should also stop disgracing their colleagues by begging for money from these people. You’re cheapening and disgracing the enviable profession that is behind the development of many countries.
As I sat on the dais during Ebony’s one-week observation, I couldn’t help but shake my head in a fit of disappointment when I heard the people the media made publicly proclaimed their hatred for the hand that fed them.
The media may not be everything that you want, but they are what you have and hope to have in the coming days.
Learn to be grateful fellas! We have a country to build.
The author, Austin Brakopowers is a Broadcast journalist at Joy99.7 and views expressed here are exclusively his and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Multimedia Group Limited or Myjoyonline.com. You can reach him via Brakomen@outlook.com