Foreign | 1 December 2012 07:47 CET

How does Nigerian music become very popular in Ghana?

By Osarfo Anthony-Flexghana

How does Nigerian music become very popular in Ghana while Ghanaian music remains contraband commodity in the former's country? This is a big question that requires serious necropsy by entertainment pundits.

Give or show a Nigerian movie to the average Ghanaian in the 90's and he or she will spurn it. At that time, Ghanaians loved Ghanaian movies to Nigerian movies. Starting the new millennium, Ghana was deluged with an influx of Nigerian movies. The table then turned; Ghanaians developed a strong predilection for Nigerian movies and ever since, have not looked back.

In the 90's, rarely would one hear a Nigerian song being played on radio. By the year 2004, Nigerian songs or music started gaining foot in Ghana and ever since, Nigerian songs have steadily become popular in Ghana and Nigerian artistes for that matter, have also become popular as well.

A colleague art writer went to Nigerian recently to cover an entertainment event and after his return, narrated his observations on the Nigerian music industry. He said barely would one hear a Ghanaian song being played on radio.

The only Ghanaian songs he heard being played was songs produced by VIP and R2Bs. Kesse, the male vocalist of this year's Vodafone Ghana music awards after participating in the 'project fame' music reality show in Nigeria, returned to also say he never heard any Ghanaian song played on any medium for the period he spent there.

Currently, Nigerian songs or music have very popular and so are their artistes in Ghana. Nigerian songs have become so popular that some Ghanaian musicians even copy their lyrics, accent, composition, songs or style of song engineering. Ghana and Nigerian are not enemies; neither is this feature attempting to brew an unhealthy competition or antagonism between them.

It wouldn't have become an issue of discussion or to worry about if Nigerian music are popular in Ghana and Ghanaian music are also popular or doing creditably well in the latter's country.

The facts on the grounds are that Nigerian songs are far popular in Ghana than Ghanaian music is in Nigeria. This is a big challenge to our music industry because Nigeria has a bigger market Ghana can tap into. It's obvious the media in Ghana is the main tool that has made Nigerian songs popular in Ghana but the questions that require answers are; how do the Nigerians influence our media for their songs to become popular in Ghana? Is it that they pay 'fat payola' to the Ghanaian media than the Ghanaian musicians?

Do they have special agents here who do promotions for them? And why are Ghanaian songs not that popular in Nigeria? Could they (Nigerians) be sabotaging our music on their soil? Or is Nigerian music better than Ghanaian music?

MUSIGA must come in on this issue on a way to make Ghanaian music popular in Nigeria. MUSIGA can propose a treaty with the Nigerian music union to promote Ghanaian music there. The Nigerian population is big and that gives them a bigger market than Ghana.

However, I certainly don't think any measure such as banning Nigerian songs in Ghana is or will be a panacea. We must be tactful.

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