Ghanaian drummer of international repute, Okyerema Asante, has expressed strong disappointment at seeing a picture of American music act, Justin Bieber’s picture used on the cover page of a school exercise book in Ghana.
In an exclusive interview with Presspeep.com all the way from USA, Okyerema Asante, famous for performing all parts of a traditional five-person drum group by himself, stated how crestfallen he was to his fears.
“It is sad and discouraging for me to see that, as I have dedicated my life to the cause of promoting Ghana and Africa around the world. If I come home to see this, I take it very personal, disrespectful, and disappointing.”
Apparently, The Master Drummer (as he is fondly known), who is based in USA, visited Ghana and needed to scribble a poem that came to his head and so decided to buy an exercise book – only to be banged in the face with an exercise book bearing picture of American music superstar, Justin Bieber, on the front cover page.
“I felt like writing some poetry during my recent visit to Mpraeso on the Kwahu Mountains in the Eastern region of Ghana. I walked into a small shop to look for a note book and I found this. Justin Bieber on the cover of the Ghana schools exercise book.”
He continued, “Some of us have dedicated our entire life to promote our rich culture and to instill the love of our culture in the youth, to fight the serious infiltration of foreign culture on our land, and I walked into a shop in Kwahu District of Ghana, and I found this. Are we losing the battle?”
With a country (Ghana) that has a history of colonial rule and its excesses from slave trade – and a world where the white race considers itself superior, the site asked if his concerns are somewhat influenced by racial sentiments.
“No sir. The fact that I believe in myself and respect and proud of my culture, does not make me racist. Some of my best friends and associates that I respect are whites and they all know that I don’t look at the color. Always remember that color can deceive you” he said.
Okyerema Asante however admitted that no one else is to blame for this subliminal programming, but us (Africans).
“….I have seen that the enemy is within. We cannot blame anyone but ourselves” he told Presspeep.com
Ending, he urged the folks, stating, “This is a prove that the fight is right here, so we cannot relax and pretend it is not there. We all have a duty and responsibility to ask ourselves if we are a part of the problem or on the part of solution.”
Profile – Okyerema Asante
Okyerema Asante is a master drummer from Ghana, famous for performing all parts of a traditional five-person drum group by himself. He attaches percussion instruments to various parts of his body and simultaneously plays drums, a balafon and many other instruments.
He has as many as 85 instruments in one performance. Coming from a family of drummers, Asante is an expert of traditional Ghanaian talking drums.
Okyerema has toured Africa, Europe, Canada, United States, among others, and had performed on the same stage with some of the world’s most celebrated artistes such as Miriam Makeba, Paul Simon, James Muddy, Jackie Maclean and a host of others.
Asante is also known for playing with legendary Paul Simons on his ‘Graceland’ album – and has also performed alongside Cuban-born piano virtuoso, Benito Gonzales before.
WATCH Okyerema Asante in his elements