VIP and Kwaw Kesse's beef... The inside story
Following the fracas of events in the Night with the Stars show held last weekend, VIP’s management issued an official statement condemning any violent actions by over-excited fans.
Unconfirmed reports of violence backstage during the show and continuing in another venue after the show to certain entertainment personalities triggered the need for this statement.
Night with the Stars, built on the concept of a lighthearted competition between the talents that have emerged from both Accra and Tema, pitted Kwaw Kesse against VIP.
However, what was meant to simply trigger an exciting competition of lyrical style and wit, turned sour at a point when quick tempers were sparked.
The Accra versus Tema rivalry, which has always just been verbal and lighthearted became quite physical that night, sparked by an action of Kwaw Kesse’s.
During Kwaw Kesse’s performance, he brought in two flags bearing the labels, ‘ACCRA’ and ‘VIP.’ Both flags were put on the ground, supposedly symbolizing Kwaw Kesse’s defeat over Accra, as a representative from Tema.
It was further alleged that Kwaw Kesse trampled on the flag marked ‘VIP’.
His action may or may not have carried any symbolic meaning, but VIP who was next to perform did not take his actions lightly and interpreted it as an act of gross disrespect to their brand, and proceeded to be very offended by it.
This led to a rant on stage by VIP expressing their anger in very unpleasant words.
This bad blood was carried backstage after performance where unconfirmed rumours allege that certain rowdy persons, supposedly fans of VIP, went angrily searching for Kwaw Kesse who had already left the premises.
Doors were allegedly broken, and cracked glass was swung around in anger, taking place in the room where Sarkodie and R2bees had been camped.
Apparently, things got so violent that R2bees and Sarkodie, for fear of their safety, decided not to perform at all and left the premises.
Further allegations stated that Promzy of VIP’s car was vandalized at the venue.
Security at the event was apparently inadequate to deal with the crazy turn of events.
These rumours of backstage violence were confirmed by a statement Sarkodie’s management released on Monday stating that, “A group of armed individuals broke into the changing room of Sarkodie and R2bees threatening to get violent if we did not reveal the whereabouts of Kwaw Kesse.
We noticed a movement of several armed groups into the main auditorium and backstage for reasons we are yet to know.
That became a huge concern for me and members of my team, fearing what could happen when Sarkodie mounts the stage.
Fearing the escalation of the situation as there wasn’t enough security personnel to bring the situation under control, we indicated to members of the Joy FM team our concern.”
An official statement released from the management of VIP asked its outraged fans to exercise maximum restraint, as well as heavily condemned and absolved itself from the violence exhibited from some of their fans on the night.
An excerpt of the statement is as follows: “The management of Ghana’s award winning group, Vision in Progress, popularly known as VIP is calling on its fans across the country and beyond who are outraged by some unfortunate developments that occurred at the Night with the Stars show organized over the weekend by Joy FM to calm down and exercise maximum restraint no matter the level of provocation they may encounter.”
Referencing an alleged attack on Kwaw Kese’s hype man after the show by fans of VIP, the statement continued, “VIP has received reports of an alleged attack on some persons.
Though without any evidence whatsoever, some persons have accused fans of VIP of being responsible for the attacks.
If indeed it was true that VIP fans were behind the attacks, VIP categorically condemns such incidents and is calling on its fans not to engage in such behaviour.
VIP does not subscribe to using violence in any form for any reason.
The group believes in dialogue as the best means of addressing challenges.”
The statement goes on to assure its fans that, “We would not do anything to compromise the respect the brand has earned over the years.”
In connected developments, Kwaw Kesse’s management released an official statement explaining the symbolism of his actions and entreating all for peace: “In the spirit of creative ‘competition’ of the show which was dubbed ‘Accra vs.
Tema’ and which pitted Kwaw Kesse against VIP, Kwaw brought on stage a banner with VIP written on it.
Kwaw stood on this banner to depict that in Ghana’s entertainment industry, he was a true VIP too.
“For some unfortunate reason, VIP took this creative expression out of context and resorted to violence, with members of their entourage violently demanding that Kwaw go on stage to apologize for his act.
In order not to interrupt the event and also to ensure that sanity prevailed, Kwaw and his entourage left the premises of the Accra International Conference Centre Dome.”
The statement also further urged for peaceful settlement of the issue, calling on VIP to condemn the violence:
“We at MAD TIME are calling on VIP to condemn these acts perpetrated by thugs affiliated to them.
We are calling on VIP to affirm their belief in creative competition without the need to resort to barbaric violence.
“…Violence begets violence and retaliation and in the run-up to our national elections, we urge musicians and every other sector of society to denounce and eschew violence and rather seek peaceful dialogue to resolve any differences they might have.
“We urge Ghanaians who were not in the shoes of Sarkodie and R2Bees not to insult or denigrate them for their refusal to perform in midst of intimidation.
We also urge event organizers to ensure adequate security at all events to ensure that no unruly thug can threaten the life of a musician just for his or her creative expression.
We must learn to appreciate showbiz and entertainment as an area that has no space for violence in this day and age.”
The efforts at putting a lid over threatening violence by both teams of Kwaw Kesse and VIP are very commendable.
Event organizers should take an important cue from this event that security is of the utmost importance.
It was definitely a woeful situation that security was so poor two artistes billed to perform had to leave for fear of their safety.
It is fervently hoped that this issue would be adequately resolved.
It should be understood that the created divisions between Accra and Tema do not exist.
It is essentially one industry, the Ghanaian Music Industry.
By Nana Korantema/citifmonline.com/Ghana