Monday, March 1, 2010
OPEN LETTER TO AYIGBE EDEM
I wouldn’t exactly describe myself as a hip life/hip-hop follower. I can only say I love good music. The language is not usually a barrier because I do listen to songs from other parts of Africa, I can barely understand the language yet I pay attention to them. This I do via VOA radio.
I am Ghanaian. I appreciate a lot of things about Ghana. I love our own high life tunes, through to the modernised contemporary high life tunes of today. Change is inevitable and usually comes with a force when the need becomes ever so pressing. From our high life tunes, and with an attention to the western hip-hop tunes, the Ghanaian youth now enjoys a type of music which has been tagged as hip life. In my opinion, hip life is mainly hip-hop, except it is sung in our local languages. On this, I think there is more than enough room for our musicians and music producers to make music with more of the highlife tune, yet, with enough youthful zeal, just so we can claim, fully and totally that this new type of music, just like high life is totally ours.
Was it really necessary to go through all this before settling in on my main personality for this letter? Well, introductions encompass what has been, what is, and what must or can be. Edem is a brand from one of the above named music genres and I deemed it necessary to at least make people aware that Edem is a phenomenon who has come through from a genre that has gone through a number of refineries and has produced a lot of artistes as well. Edem’s type of music is not independent from one or two of the above named genres.
A trip to the recent past, courtesy my memory, tells me that there have been a few rappers in the Ewe language. However, my racing mind from the past to the present is not seeing these artists anymore. We have a host of Akan artistes. Even the dreadlocked dargatti sensation, Samini, raps quite heavily in Akan. We have a major Ga artist in the person of Tinny and now, an Ewe artist with a force to reckon with in the person of Ayigbe Edem.
I love the very basic fact that he plies his trade in the Ewe language and more so too that his fan base cuts across the language. I am quite certain that the only reason for this is because he does good music. On this, congratulations.
My major problem with Edem is also factual. The dude hardly smiles in his videos and performances. Now am wondering, will a smile cost him to loose anything? If so, then what? Am particularly awed by this because it is no secret that people are quite sceptical about the Ewe group. Now if Edem has come out to kind of debunk some, if not all of these notions about the Ewes, why the heavy frown? I have met him on occasions and oh yes he smiled and was it not beautiful! Edem dear, if you really want to debunk these issues, I think it will be quite easy for people to relate to you if you at least smile to them, through whichever avenue. Despite your good music and rather warm personality, people still have the notion that you are not approachable. I don’t know the reason for the frown, whatever the reason is, mister, it wouldn’t hurt a fly if you smile. On the contrary, I am thinking it will make people see you in a rather positively different light. Gees, my issue with your frown is deep! Hmmm!
Now to another aspect of Edem which has awed me.
Certain things are quite ironical in this world. Give what you have freely and you will never lack. This is one of the ironic things in this world. A certain preacher man made me understand this the more. He used the sea as an example. Sometimes human beings think we are giving our unwanted things to the sea. Yet for some reason, the sea always brings them back to us, usually in larger quantities at a time, even though we throw things into it scathingly. In the same way, when you give, freely to those who need, you will definitely get them back, in larger quantities than you gave but not in the same way. It definitely will come back in bountiful blessings.
Oh! Why again am I going on and on and on with this? Gees, this girl can talk!. But why won’t she when she is so elated about Edem’s donations and charity work? Folks hardly do this in our part of the world. Well, am told we do, but we usually need some sort of promptings and a surety of getting something back. I will be damned to think Edem won’t get anything back. Of course he will get the satisfaction of helping others. He feels socially responsible. Edem, please permit me to say I love you in this regard. Kisses!
People wonder if you can speak good English at all. I would have said you shouldn’t mind those people. But ah, has the English language not become the most important language in our country? So then it is as a matter of necessity to be able to express oneself in this language and am not talking Pidgin English. You have quite a huge fan base among secondary school pupils. Our educators say our standard of written and spoken English is falling. Some of these students think that once they identify(or so they feel) their talents, they should not pay attention to education.
Why am I saying this to Edem? Well, he is doing charity work alongside his music, and he is in school as well. This shows that he cares about people’s well being. He loves his fans enough to want to help them. So then I am thinking that it should be part of his charity works (charity shouldn’t always be about money) to use any little chance he gets to tell these students to pay attention to their education.
Edem is a phenomenon. When phenomenal persons talk, they always get quite a huge following. To get such avenues, you can package one time visits to some of these schools during their entertainment sessions or open days, not to perform, but to simply tell the students to study.
Edem is a brand. A phenomenon. He is still emerging (if you think you have emerged fully, shoot yourself off because we will get tired of you very soon). We have Ghanaian artists who have become popular after one album and have totally gotten lost now. I will entreat you to be careful with fame. Be yourself. Be true to those who have helped you come this far and they will be with you till the end of time. Respect your fans. Who are you without them? Edem,’ medekuku’ smile ‘siaa’. In all this, I wish you well.
Read more on Ayigbe Edem in Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayigbe_edem