The ‘Local Champion’ goes International


In what is said to be a “love letter to Africa” and seeking the best talents from Africa, thoughts of why Beyoncé chose controversial dancehall artiste, Shatta Wale to feature on her latest album “The Lion King: The Gift” remains miraculous news to Ghanaians and the  music industry.  Africa over the years has seen great talents  in wonderful musicians  like Angelique Kidjo, Femi Kuti, Yvonne Chakachaka, Kojo Antwi and many others. I was fortunate to have witnessed these musicians deliver their best of talents which not only entertained but spoke volumes of our culture as Africans. To many, Shatta Wale who is described as rude, arrogant, rowdy, mean, trouble maker and tagged as a ‘local champion’ shouldn’t be listed among talented musicians in Africa. Just as Jesus said to his disciples that he didn’t come for the righteous but sinners to repentance, I see “the second coming of Jesus” in this new collaboration where african artistes and the least expected Shatta Wale has won the heart of Beyoncé Knowles and as such been given the pedestal to showcase more of their talents. Even though it may seem a sign of vindication from the tag of being a local champion some still  believe Shatta was just fortunate and he isn’t the ideal artiste to represent Ghana for that matter Africa at the international level in such a big album which is dubbed as “love letter to Africa”. It’s obvious there must have been an outstanding talent which many Ghanaians couldn’t realize in Shatta Wale aside his rowdiness . I’m not surprised either because as humans we always judge people based on their bad features and bury the good ones. In an interview, Beyonce said she did not “ … just use any other sound and demand interpretation of it. I wanted it to be authentic to what is beautiful about the music in Africa”. This actually projects the African beauty to the world through these award winning artistes. I believe Shatta Wale featuring as the only Ghanaian among other Africa artistes should send a message to the music industry and Ghanaians that they need to do more as a country to put their artistes in competitive positions with international artistes. Big ups to Sarkodie, Stonebowy, Samini, Manifest and  all other artistes who congratulated Shatta Wale but then as to whether those were genuine; well that’s not for me to analyse. While the excitement continues with Shatta Wale, his fans and other artistes, we shouldn’t forget this is just a stepping stone and he is serving as a trail blazer for artistes, producers and directors from Ghana to work on themselves, their career and ensure there’s peace and unity in the music industry. Their personal differences shouldn’t be dragged into their career. I’m glad Shatta Wale didn’t see this collaboration as a credit to himself but all other artistes. “ I said it 2019 go be beautiful. Thank you God for the revelation. Thnx to my fans especially .. And to all Ghanaian artistes, this is not just for me but for all of us!!! Thanks to NAM1 & Fantasy Entertainment Zylofon music’, he said in a radio interview. The album entitled “The Lion King: The Gift” will be released on Friday, July 19 and aside featuring international artistes, it features numerous African artistes like Yemi Alade, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Burna Boy, Mr. Eazi, Shatta Wale, Moonchild Sanelly, Busiswa and Salatiel. By: Josephine Aku Selorm Gator||Ghana]]>