None can dispute the fact that Ghana is a blessed country. Gold, bauxite, cocoa and timber are some of the natural resources which exist in Ghana. Beyond that, over the years, Ghana has also been responsible for exporting its human resources overseas, particularly, people in the creative arts sector.
Here, we take a look at some of our celebrities who have raised the flag of Ghana high overseas as far as music is concerned.
Dancehall artiste, Livingstone Etse Satekla, popularly known as Stonebwoy / 1GAD needs no introduction. Here’s how he’s made us proud:
In 2015, he won the Best International Act: Africa Category at the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards. His ‘romance’ with the BET Awards didn’t end there as in 2017, and he was nominated for the same award he won in 2015. However, this time, he lost out. But two nominations in two years was a testament to his level of consistency.
In 2019, he won the Best Male Artiste and the Best Reggae Dancehall Artiste during the African Entertainment Awards USA and the AFRIMA 2019 respectively.
This year, he also won the Best African Reggae/Dancehall Entertainer during the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA).
He has performed in Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy et al. In 2016, his Canada-America tour saw him play in New York City, Philadelphia and Ontario. In that same year, he also performed in Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sidney which are all cities in Australia.
During his second tour of Europe in 2017, he travelled to Denmark, Sweden and Finland. He has also performed in globally acclaimed events such as Reggae Sumfest, the Afro nation festival in Portugal, Rotterdam Reggae festival, Uppsala Reggae Festival and the Rototom Sunsplash.
Charles Nii Armah Mensah Jr. needs no introduction. Despite his love for controversies, he is definitely one who cannot be bypassed when we’re talking about celebs who have raised high the flag of Ghana overseas:
In 2014, he won the award as the Best New Entertainer during the IRAWMA. Just like his one-time rival Stonebwoy, Shatta Wale’s level of consistency remained, and in 2015, he was nominated during the IRAWMA for the Best Music Video with the song “You Can’t Touch Me”.
In 2017, after an electrifying performance in Worcester, USA, the Mayor of Worcester, Joseph Petty presented Shatta Wale with the Key to the City. The Key was also given to Shatta Wale in recognition of his contributions to the Arts industry.
On 18 March, 2018, Shatta was presented with an honoree award for his outstanding contribution to reggae both globally and in Ghana at the 37th Annual Chicago Music Awards (CMA), in conjunction with the 36th IRWAMA.
On 11th May 2018, Wale was given an honoree award at the Obaland Royal Awards in Nigeria. The plaque which was given to Wale was valued at $34million by specialized anthropologists and museum critics in Benin City. The awards were held by an entertainment firmed in Odo State – Benin City which is owned by King Ewuare II.
There’s a lot to be said about Michael Owusu Addo (Sarkodie). He was trolled on several occasions for rapping in Twi, his native language. Some even doubted his prospects and said that he would find it very hard to make it on the international stage. However, Sarkodie wrote his own story and now:
In 2014, he was ranked sixth by MTV Base on its list of the Hottest African musicians. In 2015, British news portal, the Guardian listed him as one of its top 5 hip hop acts on the African continent. Again, in 2015, he was ranked 8th on Forbes and Channel O’s list of the Top 10 Richest/Bankable African Artistes.
In 2012, Sarkodie shamed his detractors who used to label him a local champion by winning the Best International African Act during the BET Awards. He maintained his consistency so, in 2014 and 2015, he received a nomination at the BET Music Awards for the Best International African Act.
Again, in 2012 he was nominated for the Best Worldwide Act during the MTV Europe Music Award. In 2016, he won the Best Entertainer at the EMY Awards.
Derek Andrew Safo (Sway/Sway DaSafo) is a Ghanaian rapper based in the United Kingdom. His contributions to music in the United Kingdom have been outstanding, and as a result, he has won awards such as the Best UK Hip Hop Act during the BET Hip Hop Awards, the Best Music Act in the Screen Nation Award amongst others.
Emmanuel Andrews Samini, formerly known as Batman, has also put the Ghanaian flag on a very high pedestal.
In 2009, he won the Best Performer during the MTV Africa Music Awards. In 2011, he won the Most Gifted Reggae Dancehall Video Artist during the Channel O Music Awards.