It is official. Any event organiser who wants to engage Ghana’s fastest rapper “Obidinpobede” Sarkodie should brace himself to bear the cost of at least an additional five people who make up Sarkodie’s crew. These five extra people are his Manager, DJ, Personal Assistant, Personal Stylist and a Bodyguard. This, according to Sarkodie’s manager, Sammy Forson, has been the required rider anytime the Baby hitmaker has to perform at any show.
Manager Sammy Forson was responding to allegations that have been making rounds in entertainment circles this week about Sarkodie’s “ridiculous” demand to have organisers of the Ghana Music Awards Europe to finance eight members of his crew to London last week. It was said that, Sarkodie, who had earlier agreed to perform at the London show backed out at the last minute because the organisers could not meet his demand of getting his crew and sister to accompany him on the trip.
But speaking with Graphic Showbiz last Tuesday, Sammy Forson denied the allegations and labelled it as a “lie” and “public deceit” on the part of organisers to gain public sympathy for the poorly organised event. He told Showbiz that prior to the event, his team had spelt out their terms and conditions in a contract which they presented to the organisers in the UK.
The contract included the provision of travelling arrangements for Sarkodie and five crew members to which the organisers agreed to. However, they were surprised later to learn that the organisers had stopped working with their original UK based agents in favour of a local agent, Akwasi Aboagye, who contacted them to make another arrangement to facilitate their trip. “Only two members out of the six we agreed to in the contract were given visas because according to the British High Commission, only those people who had been invited by the organisers qualified to be given visas.
“Sarkodie cannot travel alone without his crew because should anything happen to him, who would be held responsible? Sammy Forson asked..
“I made the organisers understand that my artiste travels with a crew of five which is professional because most of these international artistes travel with their crew for events and that is a standard practice. The safety of Sarkodie is our priority and that was what we demanded of the organisers”, he stated.
He said the last straw that even broke the camel’s back and discouraged them from honouring the engagement was the inability of the organisers to secure working permits for them.
“We wanted to be professional in our dealings. This is not the first time Sarkodie is travelling outside the country to perform. We had a similar show in the UK last year and had all the five crew members on board. It is time for event organisers to recognise and appreciate the talents of artistes and pay them their due” he said.
Meanwhile reports from London on the Ghana Music Awards Europe show indicate that the event was a flop. The reports say none of the advertised artistes showed up on stage, the event started as late as 1am, the stage design was below average, none of the winners of the awards was there to receive any of the statuettes, and most of the nominees’ videos played on the big screen without any sound.