In 2016 when Yvonne Chaka Chaka, the Princess of Africa, graced the African Legends Night stage, patrons were so entertained that they were asking how the 2017 edition could be better than the 2016 one. Little did the patrons know that the organisers, Global Media Alliance (GMA) had something up their sleeves.
Last year, the stage was set for Kanda Bongo Man, the Congolese musician who revolutionarised soukous music with his hip wriggling ‘Kwassa Kwassa’ dance rhythm where hips move back and forth while the hands move to follow the hips.
With another unforgettable night with Daddy Lumba, Amakye Dede and others thrilling the patrons, the audience, again, asked, how can it get better, or which African artiste is coming next since the likes of Hugh Masekela, Freddy Meiway, Femi Kuti, George Darko, Ben Brako, and Steve Bedi have passed through, some of them multiple times?
Little did they know that there will be no artiste coming from the continent because this year’s show was an all home-grown talented legends who have gone international but still have the strong local presence to fill any hall anywhere in the world.
With a change of venue to boot from the Banquet Hall to Kempinski Hotel, the audience, who have never been disappointed by the show since it began almost a decade ago showed up in their numbers with tickets sold out a week before the event, to enjoy a party.
The night had three great legends: Kojo Antwi, Daddy Lumba and Samini with the evergreen Wulomei serving as the opening act.
Opening the show, the indigenous Ga band, Wulomei took the audience back to their root with great old tunes. In front of a near full house, Wulomei, dished some of their best songs to the eclectic audience with virtually everyone singing along including the young ones to the surprise of the old members of the audience.
By the time the Maestro, Mr. Music Man Kojo Antwi climbed on stage, the dancing floor had no space as the music legend thrilled them with his love songs from reggae, highlife and other genre. The music legend performed songs such as Emrika, Music Man, Tom and Jerry, Medofo Pa etc.
Kojo has always yearned for such a platform where he joins his quintessential brother Daddy Lumba on one stage. The last time the two performed together was in London. Kojo Antwi brought his energy and simply shook the house for over an hour with nonstop music as the crowd sang along.
Patrons, dripping with sweat, couldn’t hold the excitement long enough and had to be paying frequent visits to the washrooms just to keep cool in the musical heat.
As though that is not enough, Kojo’s hour and a half on stage, was apparently the teaser to what the Dagarti boy, Samini, was to bring. The Reggae Dancehall God, who humbly considers himself as a young legend, was on fire.
Right from his first song, the audience stood without taking a single seat and he performed hit after hit songs from Linda to Iskoki, Gyae shi, My Own, Where My Baby Dey, to his new tune Obaa. Samini also played songs of Nana Kwame Ampadu, Bob Marley to pay an ode to them for their contribution to music.
As usual, he interaction with the audience is second to none and to many patrons, Samini was the best performer on the night by a mile, to say the least.
Marking his 54th birthday on the night of the show, Daddy Lumba gave out something special. He gave the fans the opportunity to sing their favorite Lumba songs backed by himself. The lover boy was presented with a special cake by the organizers, Global Media Alliance and headline sponsor, Vodafone joined by Former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings. Ending the show, Lumba thanked Ghanaians for supporting him and Ghanaian Music.
Only God knows what Global Media Alliance (GMA) has in store for the 8th edition. Looking at how they have continued to surprise their patrons for seven straight years, only a Thomas will doubt the organiser’s ability to offer something special again.
As for the patrons, they wish this was a monthly show, or at least twice a year. But they do have the patience to wait for another September night to have another great show, irrespective of the venue or the artistes on the bill.
In its 7th edition, the Vodafone African Legends Night is an event that celebrates great music acts from the soil of the continent. It also creates a platform where these legends have direct encounter with their fans.
African Legends Night was sponsored by Vodafone, Alomo Bitters, Eden Heights, Alisa Hotel, Phoenix Insurance, Sun Seekers Tours, Global Cinemas and Silverbird Cinemas with media support from YFM, Happy FM, Citi FM, Starr FM, ETV, TV3, GHOne, Ghanaweb, Archbert Premier Media, Daily Guide, B&FT and Graphic Showbiz.