HISTORY : Over 100,000 Ghanaians Storm Stonebwoy’s “Ashaiman Festival”.
ASHAIMAN, GHANA Fashionably punctual, Livingstone Etse Satekla, professionally known for his musicianship as Stonebwoy :30am to entertain patrons who trooped in to see him perform at the Saka Saka Park, Ashaiman. It’s the the Ghanaian Reggae/Ragga & Dancehall artiste 6th consecutive outdoor show, dubbed, Ashaiman To The World Concert (ATTWC), but the set-up and sound was surprisingly advanced. His name and image glistens on screen in a retro font as his full-piece band, The BHIM Band start up, and he appears, as glammed to the smitten and record breaking 100,000 crowd.
“HERO”, wasn’t chosen solely for its party-starting funkiness. Having primed us, the multiple awards winning reggae artiste immediately turns the tables and ripples through a set that highlights both artistry spiced up with activism. In the second category, Stonebwoy has a tendency to fill the gaps between songs with rote, let’s-love-ourselves exhortations. In the first is his uncontestable talent, displayed in fluid runs and a melody-enrobing baritone, which makes him admirably suited to the playing of his songs.
Throughout the evening, a range of surprise appearances sends raptures through the crowd. BET Hip pop award winner, Sarkodie, enthralls with his street anthem “Bleeding” and Rising star of Ashaiman Larruso garners a similar reaction with Killy Killy, while Quamina MP tipped the atmosphere towards frenzy with Party, Amanfour, and Wiase Ye De, Obrafour, King Promise, Eshun blessed the atmosphere with their spectacular sets. The evening’s biggest surprise was reserved for the last stretch; Shatta Wale emerged to the pensive instrumentals of his Only One Man tune and, for a few minutes, two of the continent’s biggest stars dance together, the ecstatic crowd thrilled and stunned at the unexpected union.
Man of the moment interweaves old and new on Saturday night, with an epic, Reggae/Ragga & Dancehall-filled set, including two just-released anthems (Shuga featuring Jamaican Super Star, Beenie Man and Ololo featuring Nigeria’s Teni). Invoking his distinctive onstage persona, and throughout, Stonebwoy manages to apply a newfound scale to himself and his music, and in doing so, reinforces his position as an unstoppable entity on the brink of another new, exciting chapter. This year’s concert, as far as attendance, Sound, Stage Lightening and Crew are concerned, is the biggest outdoor event in Ghana, and Legendary Obrafour made similar on confession on stage.
On stage, it’s evident that Stonebwoy deserves his seat at the top of the Afrobeats, Reggae/Ragge & Dancehall scene. He’s a magnetic performer. Songs such as People Dey, Run Go, Hero and Mama Stories, underpinned by snapping drums and jittery choruses, send feet stomping through the park filled with humongous souls. Elsewhere, the crowds sway as he croons the softer, more melodic offerings of Tuff Seed. With energy at a high point, Stonebwoy brings the curtain down with Wame, the enchanting drums and biographical lyrics leading the crowd into sermon, topping a night that epitomises both his and Reggae/Ragga & Dancehall’s continued ascent into the mainstream.
BHIM Concert Is up next on the 21 December, 2019, Tamale