The African Legends Night – 10th edition – was a sight to behold as despite all the odds, thousands of patrons turned up in their numbers to be thrilled to unlimited music from a selection of the country’s finest musicians. Over the 10 years, this high-profile concert, which recognised and celebrated African musicians who are considered living legends, has always been an opportunity for lovers of good music and fans of these stars to reconnect and have unlimited fun.
This year’s event, which was slated for December 2, 2022, felt like the perfect day for the event as almost every African was optimistic that the Black Stars of Ghana, who were in action against Uruguay for their last group match of the Qatar FIFA 2022, were going to qualify and achieve their 12-year long-awaited revenge against Suarez and the La Celeste.
Noreover, this day also happens to be a holiday (National Farmers’ Day). It was destined to be a good day for every Ghanaian to be excited and have fun until the odds turned when Ghana lost again to Uruguay in the afternoon, and the rains also set in just around 8:00 pm when the programme was about to kick start.
About an hour into the start time, turnout was quite low as many were still gathering the courage to overcome the shock of defeat suffered by the Stars and step out to console themselves with some music. The rains then set in to cut short the red carpet and even make the half-empty 5,000-capacity auditorium look much hollow and scared some patrons present that the programme was going to be a flop for the first time.
While it was still raining cats and dogs, just within the second hour into the show, the Grand Arena, AICC became full as if it were magic, to the surprise of the early comers.
The highly enthusiastic audience did not leave any stone unturned to ensure their enjoyment was at equilibrium. Jamming and singing to every familiar tune, clapping along, jumping and making all noises as well as dancing both on and off-beat moves, just name a thing one needs to do when the music is on to gain satisfaction and it was present that night.
Main party time
The main show started with an opening performance from the female vocal sensational and multiple awarding-winning artiste, Efya. As an opening art, she had the difficult task of drawing the attention of the audience who were drenched by the rain to party and set the atmosphere right for the night, and she delivered.
She trilled the fans with her powerful vocal prowess, performing popular songs such as One of Your Own, Best in Me, African Woman, Forgetting me, among others. Her last song performance, Best in Me, was what got the audience in their party mood – a moment that can be described as the spark of the night.
Taking over from the curtain raiser, Rex Omar indeed showed his true legendary status. The veteran Highlife musician’s intro with his high-tempo Gospel Jama song, titled: ‘Maba (Onyame Bofo)’ literarily got the audience on their feet, a perfect take on from where Efya left off.
Hit track Didada Dididi followed, releasing electrifying energy that charged the auditorium and put the party in full gear. Abiba came and was something else, every single person was chanting along. At this point, the auditorium was full and the euphoria was just superb.
Soon after, it was the turn of Reggae Dancehall Artiste, Samini, and oh my God (OMG), it was indeed a moment to reach cloud nine. The Rain God stepped up the show and got the usually gentle VIP guest jumping on their feet like mad, forgetting their health and class for just the moment.
He performed a collection of his back-to-back hit songs on the live band that he is revered in terms of performance. My Own, Linda, Gyae Shi, Where My Baby Dey, Obra, among others, all did magic. Though it was still raining at the time, the dome was hotter than fire, with no free space without a dance move. At this moment everybody was the best dancer.
Abrantie Amakye Dede climaxed the night, producing a lot of thrills with some classical and timeless highlife tunes from his collection. The ‘Iron Boy’ was as solid as a rock. Irrespective of his age, his performance was so inclusive that he managed to move from the stage to almost every corner of the arena to dance and jam with the patrons.
The extraordinary performance from the maestro sent everyone to cloud nine. He performed for hours and even when the show closed, some in the audience were still demanding more of the legend. It was a fun-packed night despite all the odds earlier in the day, an indication of the quality of organisation and production put together by the organisers – Global Media Alliance.
African Legends Night Hall of Fame
As part of celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of the African Legends Night, Global Media Alliance introduced the Legends Hall of Fame initiative to celebrate music legends who have left an indelible mark in the industry over decades.
Rex Omar, Samini, and Amakye Dede were inducted into the Music Legends Hall of Fame on the night, after their respective performances. The highly revered musicians were presented with a special citation in recognition of their contribution to the development of Ghana’s music industry. The Legends Hall of Fame would become an annual induction list of all legendary musicians who have performed at African Legends Night.
MC Foster Romanus
The master of ceremony (MC) for the night, Stand-Up Comedian and Comic Actor, Foster Romanus, didn’t disappoint as he occasionally fused his comic skills and singing abilities into giving the audience hilarious rib-cracking moments
He skillfully manages to troll gospel singers in the past single for singing through their nostrils. A norm he said was influenced by Nigerian gospel musicians but how current singers are doing amazingly well. Again, miracle-working pastors were not left out. He got Samini back on stage with a captivating freestyle of his Gyae Shi and creatively used it to announce his upcoming comedy show on December 26, just like that of Samini’s show on December 24th.
Everything that has a beginning has an end, but when the show came to an end, some patrons were unwilling to go home and wanted to continue their unclassified excitement all-night. Maybe it’s because it was still drizzling at the time. In groups, friends and families kept discussing how their favourite artiste was the best on the night or how some moments made their night perfect. Others could not hold it but make a mockery of the dance moves of their colleagues.
A high-profile patron in the VIP section, interacting with the B&FT after the show, mentioned that he was sceptical at the beginning, especially when it started raining and the place was half-empty, but he was overwhelmed at how it turned out to be exceptional. “I am short of words to explain how I feel right now, it feels like Christmas is tomorrow; the performances were top-notch by all standards,” he said.
Another, by name Ebenezer Tetteh, said: “I don’t remember the last time I had so much fun, I was on my feet for over an hour dancing to Samini and Amakye Dede, and this feels like heaven”.
“African Legends Night has not only thrilled or presented fans with entertainment, but has also been intentional in celebrating and recognising the work of African music greats over the years, promoting our music heritage as well,” Ernest Boateng, CEO of Global Media Alliance, stated.
“This year’s edition, being our 10th year, has indeed been special. We just didn’t need to celebrate them, but we also carved their names in the history books, inducting these music legends into the Music Legends Hall of Fame. The crowd was beyond excited. This is truly an unforgettable experience,” added Mr. Boateng.
The 2022 edition of the African Legends is the first to be hosted in December, offering a new ‘December in Ghana’ experience for Ghanaians and the Diaspora.
The show was proudly sponsored by HD Plus, Ghana Gas, Ghana Tourism Authority, Beyond the Return, Perception Management International Dosh, Dstrk 24 Restaurant, Alomo Bitters and Silverbird Cinemas, with media partners – MX24, eTv, Citi FM, YFM, B&FT, Happy FM, Daily Guide, Ghanaweb, AmeyawDebrah, NYDJ Live, Oman FM and Net2 TV.