In September 2018 the manager of Amakye Dede, Akwasi Aboagye, begun discussions with Ghana’s Ambassador to China regarding his artist performing in China. The conversations were mostly via WhatsApp and took place over some weeks.
This was part of The Ambassador’s efforts to promote the creative arts industry in China and to give Ghanaian artistes exposure. In June 2018, The Ambassador worked with the UN to invite Steve Bedi to perform at a UN event and then later in Beijing and Senzhen to large audiences. Steve’s performances were well received by the Chinese community. Steve Bedi became the first Ghanaian musician to perform in mainland China according to available records.
In light of the President’s state visit to China and the Focac summit, H.E Edward Boateng suggested a local Ghanaian artist to perform as part of the visit and the broader Focac programs. About 50 African Heads of State and several leaders of international organisations including the UN Secretary General attended the summit in Beijing in September 2018. The Ambassador recommended Amakye Dede. Unfortunately, due to security considerations the event had to be cancelled by the authorities.
When the Ambassador informed Amakye Dede’s manager, he was upset and demanded that his artist be paid the full performance amount alleging Amakye had cancelled a contract in the US. The Ambassador was surprised since the discussions were ongoing and he had not signed an agreement with them as required in such a situation especially since it was going to be a Government paid for event .
Nevertheless, in the spirit of cooperation and maintaining good relations, the Ambassador offered to pay Amakye USD 4000.00 which he did from his own resources as compensation for his alleged ticket back to the USA. The Ambassador told both Amakye and his manager that he would work to find new opportunities for Ghanaian artists in China and would duly include Amakye in any subsequent event.
As a result, The Ambassador is perplexed that Amakye Dede, who he has worked with severally would announce publicly that that he is owed money by the Ambassador, which is utterly false and obviously with the intention to defame The Ambassador.
H.E Edward Boateng has been a phenomenal pillar in the growth of the Ghanaian creative arts and music industry over the last 20 years with evidences for all to see. Several artistes from Agya Koo Nimoh to Nana Ampadu, Amakye himself and several important and other artists would testify to his support. From music to fashion, the Miss Ghana pageant, Art, sports and the Ghana Blind Union he has always offered his unwavering support.
H.E. Edward Boateng has been instrumental to the industry and can be described as one of the best of the industry over the years to which Amakye Dede has benefitted from.
The first Ghanaian to finish in the top three of The Miss World beauty pageant, was mentored by etv a company founded by the Ambassador. His company has also featured Amakye on the same bill with African legends like Hugh Masekela Yvonne Chaka, Chaka and Femi Kuti on the African Legends Night platform.
Amakye’s false remarks questions whether he is bitter as a result of the 2019 African Legends Night bill, which features Kojo Antwi, Awilo, 2face Idibia, Ofori Amponsah and more? Furthermore if the $4000 was not satisfactory why was this accepted?
The focus should be on driving growth and innovation in the creative industry, members of this industry need to practice unity and give appreciation where it’s due. The motive should be to create a respectable industry where aspiring artistes can be proud to be part of. Grievances need to be communicated in absolute truth.
Asokwa Constituency 1st Vice Chairman and NPP National Communication Member