Chale, chale, chale it is amazing 2019 is almost over already. To some, it came and went by very quickly. For others, it may have stayed a tad too long. Regardless what you think, the year did not go by without its fair share of odd, viral news and happenings in Ghana. Some of the issues that flooded our social media timelines and made the news were totally astounding. Let’s see what we can remember from a whirlwind 2019, which has become the very famous Year of Return.
- Loom ooo Loom
It feels like it was so long ago when Loom hit us hard. Loom was that Whatsapp saving and sharing game where a set number of people will contribute to give the money to one person at a time. Most people predicted Loom was not going to last, and that some people will form victims. The predictions all came to pass.
- Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy marring the 20th VGMA
Yes please, it happened this year. After what seemed like a lot of work to produce a memorable 20th anniversary of Ghana’s largest entertain event – Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, two of top stars decided to put all the hard work to naught. Shatta Wale decided to make his own rules by walking onto the stage unannounced with his huge entourage to ostensibly congratulate his then rival for winning the Dancehall Artists of the Year. Things went out of hand and before we could say jack, Stonebwoy had grabbed a gun to ‘protect himself’. Case is still in court, although it has all the signs of what we call a ‘foolish case’.
- PDS Scandal
So the famous ECG, much loved and hated in equal measure, lost its name and powers to a new company called PDS. Ignore all the contractual and political back and forth. The takeover lasted only a few months as the government cancelled the deal and before we knew it, our dear ECG was back with us.
- Cardi B, ‘Celebrities’, Khebab and a Concert that was rarely spoken of
So a Nigerian company got a deal to bring Cardi B, the American rapper, to Lagos for a couple of days. They took the opportunity to add Ghana to her schedule. Clearly the focus of her West African trip was Nigeria and not Ghana. But she came. We know all about a supposed ‘meet and greet’ that went south. Our popular ‘celebrity’ ladies got upset and yelled disrespect. Some of them also went the entire 9 yards to prove to Cardi B that they worship her and she is the best whatever that ever happened. Oh and in all that, news about the show itself was sparse and it appears it was not eventful at all.
- New Parliamentary Chamber and National Cathedral Brouhaha
So social media and Ghanaians in general were livid when news that Parliament was considering building a bigger, new chamber for their comfort came up. Then there was the other news of a National Cathedral. If the dropping of the news was to test the pulse of the people on these two issues, then the response was loud and crystal clear. Like most Ghana news, it all died down.
NAM1 and his Menzgold scheme was also suspicious from day one. It reminded most people about Pyram, DKM, and many other get rich quick schemes. It took the SEC a long time to use their regulatory powers, but when they did, Menzgold went under and NAM1 got ‘missing’. Then there was the issue of some money he has locked in Dubai and some plenty things. To cut a long story short, people have died out of heart attacks, people have lost money. Some have given up on getting even their principal back. Others are still hopeful.
- Adenta Footbridge
A number of pedestrians lost their lives whiles crossing the famous Adenta-Madina road. The number of deaths varied. Regardless though, a single life lost was in itself too much. It got residents riled up and protests started. It provided one of the cutest soundbites as a Police spokesman stumbled on the world ‘helter-skelter’. Finally when some of the bridges were constructed, Ghanaians said it was too winding. A Madina Court also prosecuted some people for NOT USING the bridge.
- Western Togoland
Some of our brothers in the Oti and Volta Regions led by an octogenarian want their own country. They have chosen a name, state emblems, and it appears they even have an army of sorts. Well, Ghana is not allowing them to do what they want. At the same time Ghana is not stopping them properly either. This is a recurring story. 2019 saw them make the biggest push yet for their ‘independence’.
- Shatta Wale and Beyoncé collaboration
The Queen, Beyonce, gathered a number of Afropop artistes (from Africa of course) to work together on the Lion King project. Guilty Beats produced some of the beats. Some of our Naija brothers used Ghanaian words in their songs too. Perhaps the biggest news for Ghana was that the Shatta Wale collaborated with the world famous Beyonce. The song may have waned off a bit quickly but it was a good tune and Shatta and his fans naturally didn’t let us ‘hear’.
- Oswald Betting
Chale from nowhere, Ghana Twitter uncovered a ‘betting genius’. His odds seem to be working and he saw his Whatsapp group surpassing the 256 member limit quickly. Oswald then opened a Telegram page. H has seen his Twitter following shoot up from below a thousand followers to nearly 100K. Indeed the betting community is still worshipping him. But we know how this too will end, don’t we?
- Irbad and his Addresses
Our country of many experts had one of its ‘leading security experts’ decide to ‘address’ the nation from different locations. I am not sure what car Irbard drives, but it surely has room for his famous podium which he whisks out and stands behind to address Ghanaians like a boss.
- Shatta Bandle’s Rise to Fame
We woke up this year to find a new celebrity. Just as Thwo Toozin, Rosemond Brown, Rasheeda Black Beauty and many others had sprung up on us, a young rich nigga millionaire going by the name Shatta Bandle emerged. He is despised and liked in equal measure but he cares less about all that. He is enjoying his fame, women and ‘money’ and has had the pleasure of featuring in a music video.
- Owusu-Bempah’s Something Something with President Mahama
Reverend Owusu-Bempah is not very liked by NDC people. He is seen more of a friend of the NPP and Nana Addo. And this is Ghana, where if you are not for Party X, you must be for Party Y. So the two of them met a church programme and the handlers of the former President didn’t want their boss to shake the hands of one of the men they blame for his electoral defeat.
- CITI FM’s War Against Indiscipline
This exquisite idea was brilliantly executed by CITI FM. The crew with their camera and recorders positioned themselves along roads where the indiscipline Ghanaian will always use to cut corners. In the process, they caught very important people on camera breaking rules. Some of these big people got upset over the embarrassment caused them and that has eventually led to the collapse of that huge campaign.
- Contracts for sale – CEO PPA
The former Public Procurement Authority (PPA) boss was busted by Manasseh Awuni. He was caught selling contracts from a company that he owns. He got sacked. Sadly, he was not jailed.
- The Air Condition-loving former boss of the Ghana Maritime Authority
The boss of the GMA was fired after he had a crazy number of ACs fixed in his official residence. Of course he defended his actions with some long English. The President was not impressed and he showed him the exit.
- Sex for Grades
This began with what Nana Awere Damoah describes as ‘in Ghana, many issues start with the vim of boiling beans and end with the dignity of a fart’. The BBC hyped the documentary a bit. We all got excited that finally there was evidence to back what we have always known or suspected – that is, that some lecturers exchange atopa for grades. Alast when the documentary dropped, it fell short of what we expected but nonetheless put some professors in Nigeria and Ghana in big trouble. Needless to say it has put fear into the groins of those who have been doing the distin.
- Medikal x Strongman
We witnessed one of the juiciest beefs of our rap game this year when Medikal attempted to use his weight to muzzle a certain skinny man who just happened to be strong. Needless to say Strongman won the beef but it is Medikal who has entrenched himself as a mainstream artist. Oh the beef did get out of hand a bit though. The two lads attacking their respective girlfriends for the heck of it.
- Stonebwoy x Kelvynboy x Black Cedi
Stonebwoy had issues with his protégées, Kelvynboy this year. To be honest I am still not even sure what the issue with them is. I do know that all our big artistes who have other artistes on their ‘labels’ are doing a poor job at it. Not sure there is anyone of them who has seen the proper ‘blow up’ of their protégées. Well, so Stonebwoy sacked his able assistant Black Cedi and then parted ways with Kelvynboy, and both made the news.
- Sarkodie and his BET Hip Hop Award
BET introduced a new award category this year called Best International Flow. The first winner of that is our own Sarkodie. Yes, BET is not a Grammy, but it surely is an important one. Remember also that we love awards in Ghana.
- Needless Brouhaha in Ayawaso
The NPP MP for Ayawaso West Emmanuel Kyeremateng Agyarko sadly passed on on 21st November 2018. The EC then scheduled a by-election. It came off on 31st January. The wife (others too say ‘one of the wives’) of the late MP emerged victorious. Sadly some NDC MPs in parliamentary lost their heads and used her bereavement to mock her in the House. These ‘honourables’ and the dishonourable things they do sometimes eh.
- Ayawaso Public Hearing
Oh we remember the famous soundbites from the public hearings as well. All the mind-blowing and mind-boggling things that we heard from the police, and other witnesses, and the famous comments by my friend Sam George about being shot at several times but miraculously still managed to have walked off unscathed. Ghana dey bee.
- Senior Minister’s faux pas on Aisha Huang
The Senior Minister, Hon. Yaw Osafo Marfo, made some very sad comments in the US about the deportation of the Galamseyer and Chinese National, Aisha Huang. The whole world was shocked at the very amusing justification we heard on the comments. “Putting [Aisha Huang] in jail in Ghana is not going to solve your money problem. It is not going to make you happy or me happy”. That was what he said.
- RTI Bill finally saw the light of day!
After more than two decades, the Right to Information bill was passed into law. It did not look like this will ever happen, but alas it did.
- Leaked Tapes and the NDC Chairman
We love leaked tapes, sex videos and the like in Ghana. The very latest one is from Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah. Earlier in the year was one involving the NDC Chair, Ofosu Ampofo. His ended up in court, and is still in court, and may be in court forever.
- Alleged Coup Plotting
The alleged coup plot was busted by security apparatus and the matter is in court. It appears most people don’t think it is a serious issue but the matter is in court regardless and we all wait to see what will happen.
- Referendum Cancelled
After all kinds of confusion and confusing debates on what a Yes vote meant and what a No vote did not mean, the President called off the referendum that was to address a matter me and you both do not quite understand yet. The Unit Committee and District Assembly elections however came off nicely.
- Law students fuo abre!
After a mass ‘failure’ of students into the Law School, the students started a series f protest to open up legal education. Ghana Police showed up as always using a sledgehammer to kill an ant. The mater is still not solved it.
- #BringBackTaadiGirls and the HOPE CID Boss
Sadly the girls were found dead. It had started as a lot of run around with police giving all kinds of explanations and acting really busy and making us think they were making some good headway. Their Boss told the world at a presser that they knew where the girls were and will bring them home soon. She later confessed she had no idea and she was only giving the family hope when she said what she said. Crazy stuff.
- Oh Black Stars did their thing again
Oh yes, the Black Stars participated at the African Cup of Nations again. That’s all they have been doing since 1982 – participating in the AFCON and spending our monies.
Folks that’s it from top of my mind. I will update as and when I remember something else. Or add up if you like.