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Mac Tontoh explains Osibisa''s absencs from Ghana @ 50 Show 7/16/2007
Mac Tontoh, a member of world-acclaimed Ghanaian Afro pop group, Osibisa, has disclosed that the group did not stage performances during the Ghana @ 50 celebrations because it was not invited.

According to him, even though the group was willing to perform, the Ghana@50 secretariat rescinded its decision to invite them, without any concrete reason.

He explained that before the celebrations he personally had a meeting with Dr. Charles Wereko Brobbey, CEO of the Ghana@50 secretariat, for the group to perform but unfortunately that did not materialise as their invitation did not come till everything ended.

Mac Tontoh said these in an interview with Beatwaves last Wednesday in Accra when he and Gyedu Blay Ambolley, one of Ghana?s acclaimed musicians paid your authoritative DAILY GUIDE a visit.

Mac Tontoh stated further that he was not offered any reason why Osibisa was listed out of the bill even though he had been informed earlier that the group would perform.

He said what was appalling about the issue was that after meeting with Dr. Wereko Brobbey he went all the way to England to organize the group and arrange for equipments to use, but all that was done in vain.

He said though the group incurred loss any time it performed in Ghana, except in 1977 when it performed at Kumasi, it was more than ready to perform at such a glorious occasion.

He added that ?Osibisa performances during the festival could have made the event entertainment-wise, and some guests who came to witness the celebration came asking me why there were no Osibisa gigs during such a celebration.?

Mac Tontoh, who is the chairman of the National Commission on Culture, said the group had been invited on number of occasions to festivals in different African countries and places around the world to perform but in their own country it was left out.

According to him, Osibisa had Ghana in particular and Africa as a whole at heart and that was why it sang to market the Continent to the outside world.

Mac Tontoh however thumped at the recent national honours awards given to some musicians in the country. According to him, he did not see why such world-renowned group as Osibisa was left out of the awards as was done to them during the Ghana@50 celebrations.

?I don?t know why if there is an award Osibisa should be left out. I don?t know, they could have remembered some guys as Osibisa. People were even calling my phone asking why we were not there for awards,? he decried.

He thus questioned how the recipients of the awards were selected.

Some of the recipients included Ofori Amponsah, Cindy Thompson, Dinah Akiwumi and Grace Ashy. The rest were Faisal Helwani, Alhaji Sidiku Buari, Pat Thomas, Agya Koo Nimo, Nat Brew and Nana Ampadu.

Gyedu Blay Ambolley added his voice: ?How can you call musicians? award and leave Osibisa??

Many who have had the opportunity to see Osibisa perform live on stage have a lot to say about the band which promoted real African music on the international music scene.

Daily Guide

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