If there’s any class of people in Ghana who make suing or going to court to seek redress over criminal and civil torts cheap, it’s largely entertainers or players in the art and showbiz industry.
A stark illiterate (no disrespect) fisherman by name, Benjamin Eyi Mensah dared to sue the Electoral Commission of Ghana after the latter disqualified him at a District-Level election. He went ahead to sue the latter, and won.
In the case of the entertainers, it’s as if threatening or saying ‘Meet me in court, ‘You will hear from my lawyers,’ or ‘I will sue you’ is like giving notice of attending nature call. The noise over going to court has characterized our industry since God created talent – yet, majority of such cases just petered out.
We mostly don’t hear, read, or witness opening of trial, adjournments, which party won or lost. The conclusions of those stories were shrouded in secrecy and up till date, bewilder the public. Read a number of showbiz-related cases that went to court but we never heard any proper conclusion.
Wutah-Flavour: Disbanded Hiplife duo, Wutah, made a strong point to sue Nigerian singer, Flavour N’abania for intellectual property theft. According to Wutah, they were not pleased with the striking resemblance (chorus, rhythm, rhyme and the opening saxophone beat used in ‘Kotosa’) of Flavour’s ‘Kwarikwa’ song with Wutah’s award winning ‘Kotosa.’
At the time, Wutah Kobby said they were consulting their legal advisers and will pursue Flavour in the right way. Kotosa, produced by Appietus, was released in 2008 but before the two could fight for their ‘burning desire’ of going to court, Wutah split in 2010 – giving Flavour a field day to release ‘Kwarikwa’ in 2011. The case just died – perhaps, pending Wutah’s reunion for resurrection.
Van Vicker-OMG: Van was reported to be heading for court (he actually filed) over a report by online portal OMG.com which sought to declare in plain words – “he (Van Vicker) had contracted the dreaded Ebola virus and had been quarantined in Liberia.”
He sued OMG for defamation and subjecting him and his family to public ignominy – putting his acting career in danger. The energy with which he said he will sue them, many thought he meant his words – as to what made him ceasefire on the case, we never heard anything.
Ruff N Smooth- Guru: Ruff N Smooth was in the news to take Guru to court for performing their ‘Send Your Fire’ single in Gabon sometime ago. The duo wanted Guru to pay them about $10,000 for performing the song without their permission. After all the conceited threats on several radio stations, we never heard when the case was opened in court.
Mzbel-Showbiz: Mzbel and her management team had expressed strong reservations about the publication of what they described as the artiste’s nude and private photos – published by Graphic Showbiz and other sites.
They accordingly instructed their lawyers to go to court over the publication of the said photos. The same Mzbel promised the media of suing Smirnoff Ice.
According to her, she drank an expired Smirnoff Ice before she hit stage one time on ‘Music Music’ show. Instead of walking her talk, Mzbel is rather chilling off in America now and circulating pictures for attention.
Blakk Rasta-NDC: Blakk declared his intention to drag the then opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to court for using his song on the party’s political platform without his approval. “I went to court and the papers are being processed. My lawyer thinks we have a good case…” he told Beatwaves.
After making all the noise of seeking justice over copyright infringement of his intellectual property, he failed to deliver, rather, went on to accuse MP’s of smoking weed, and ended up being dragged to parliament under the regime of the same NDC he once pardoned.
D-Black-Kingdom Herbal: A long press statement from Black Avenue Muzik and management of feared-dead musician Castro, announcing to sue Kingdom Herbal Ltd for unlawful use of the hit song ‘ Seihor’ in commercials for Kingdom Herbal products.
“Legal action is set to be taken in the coming days against Kingdom Herbal Ltd” is a caption in the said press release. After stories on the said law suit went viral, nothing was heard again about the case.
KK Fosu-4Syte: Manager of K K Fosu, Mel Kwesi Davies and renowned Gospel trio, Preachers once threatened to take legal action against organizers of 4Syte Music Video awards for gross insolence shown to them. After making threat their pride, both parties sunk into nothingness.
Ambulley-MUSIGA: Afro jazz singer, song writer and performer, Gyedu Blay Ambulley, also threatened to use legal actions against MUSIGA president, Obour, for allegedly ‘chopping’ the union’s money and making attempts to thwart he, Ambulley’s, chances of contesting the MUSIGA presidential polls.
“As a law abiding citizen, l will use legal means to battle out my case,” he promised. Till date, he couldn’t even file the suit, not to talk of serving Obour the writ to meet in court.
Joyce Blessing-Joyful way: Gospel artiste, Joyce Blessing, faced a copyright infringement suit over claims that significant portions of her hit song ‘Nyame Egwamaa’ were taken directly from Joyful Way’s song, ‘Wahenni To Rentwa Da’ which was recorded in 1994. After all the noise, the case went into oblivion.
Anita Afriyie-MTN: Gospel musician Anita also sued telecom giant MTN uploading her songs on MTN Play and Caller Ring Back Tones platform without her permission or any financial gains to her.
“We will proceed to court over the matter” her manager, DANKAY, promised. She actually served MTN the writ – but till now, no court hearing came off on the case.
DKB-Akoo Nana: Hiplife musician, Akoo Nana, boasted in his song – Yawa – that he has flirted with the girlfriends and wives of some key entertainment personalities including D-Black, DSP Kofi Sarpong, and comedian DKB.
DKB, who boiled and promised of dealing with Akoo Nana – dared DKB to serve him a writ so they meet in court and harsh things out, could not make gain his threat. “I swear if I listen to the song and it’s really true, he will hear from my lawyers,” DKB said – the big question: where is the writ?
Gifty Osei-Starbow: Gospel Diva, Gifty Osei, and a number of other passengers on board local flight, Starbow, made an emergency landing at the Kotoka International Airport – resulting in herself and some passengers sustaining injuries.
Gift promised heaven and earth that, her management and lawyers led by Maurice Ampaw are working on serving Starbow Airlines a court suit. As to whether she was compensated to drop the case or not – the public never got to hear of the case till date.
Jon Germain-C. K Morgan: Jon was reported to sue C.K. Morgan over a breach of contract on a song collaboration – the latter then also promised of suing the former, making both parties suspects in one case. Nothing was heard of their law suits after the huge media reports.
Nicholas Omane-KK. Fosu: Ghanaian gospel musician, Nicholas Omane Acheampong, also threatened to sue highlife artiste, KK Fosu for alleging that 99 percent of Ghanaian musicians smoke marijuana. The ‘Tabita Kum’ hit-maker granted all the interviews on his reported legal action – in the end, no show.
Yaa Pono-Peace Tour: Yaa Pono was reported to have been sued by an Event organizer for not turning up for a show at Asamankese during the Easter festivities. The organizers petitioned the court for Yaa Pono’s management to pay GH¢20,000.00 as damage cost. We never heard when the case was opened to take Pono’s plea – not to talk of full trial.
Going to court or suing, is indeed becoming a too cheap an action to take – kind courtesy, entertainers in Ghana. As a matter of fact and with all sincerity, I don’t condemn going to court to seek redress over issues –neither I’m I or will I encourage heading to court over issues.
My point however is, if you know you are not ready to pursue an issue in court, just don’t come out and declare your intensions of doing so! Don’t make news run on it and later go silent – or better still, if you had a change of mind, then get back to the same media and inform so as you did earlier.
Just a hand few – Mzbel-KNUST, GHAMRO-Nana Ampadu and 100 other musicians, lawyer Ampaw-A-Plus, gave us a proper accounts of how their law suits fared. And of course some are still in court – Rex-Omar-Joy Dadi, Shatta Wale-Charterhouse, Wisa Greid-State, and others.
I dare hazard that, a time is coming in our showbiz industry when if one says he or she is going to court, the fellow would be described as being; a joker or wasting ears, or making a clown of him/herself. Just shut up, if you are not ready for court! Until then…MOTWUM!!