Even the driver of the affairs was left in the dark, just as the fans who had thronged the Accra Sports Stadium to see the Afrobeats star, Wizkid.
Days after frustration poured over the non-appearance of Wizkid’s headline show in Ghana, the MC for the day Kojo Manuel has been revealing details of mishaps.
Like the fans that Saturday night, Kojo is not enthused about the treatment he was given right from the jump.
From access to the venue, booking issues, communication challenges and disrespect of the audience, the list as he enumerated on 3Music TV’s Culture Daily was endless.
Right from the time he got to the gate, all was not well. According to him, the pass for his entrance had been handed to another friend of his by personnel manning the gates of the stadium.
So despite arriving on time, he had to wait for another hour to get issues resolved. But as an experienced commander of the crowd, the show had to go on. After all, Wizkid’s appearance and organisers remuneration at the end of the day would calm his nerves.
But the worse was yet to come. Any partygoer in Accra knows of the energy Kojo Manuel brings to each party. He took the audience along from artiste to artiste, stepping in during brief breaks and hyping up the crowd when occasional miscommunications left the stage hollow.
But on this specific occasion, Manuel seems to have had it up to here, and for very valid reasons.
The event organised by LiveHub Entertainment which was scheduled to start at 6 pm delayed but eventually, it picked up as opening acts did their bits to entertain the fans.
Mainstream musicians followed up including Asakaa Boys, Efya, Gyakie, among others. In between performances, unsolicited delays forced every inch of improvision from the MC to rectify.
The night was dragging without a sign of Wizkid and the audience grew frustrated at the MC who was himself livid but had a reputation to protect; so the show went on.
However, something rubbed off Kojo Manuel wrongly once Darkovibes finished performing.
Speaking on Culture Daily, the events MC and radio personality said he began to smell something fishy when the organisers made a request of him, which the MC found questionable.
He was directed to ask the crowd scattered along the flanks of the stadium to move towards the ‘fuller’ part to “make the crowd look bigger.”
Efya was one of the stunning stars who wowed the crowd on the night. Considering her close relationship with Wizkid and his team, Kojo Manual said it looked assuring that the artiste Wizkid would pop up at some point. It was way beyond midnight at this point.
This, coupled with the fact that the Kempinski Hotel was a few minutes’-drive from the stadium, led him to believe that there would be light at the end of the tunnel.
“So I also believed he was coming,” he said on Tuesday via a Zoom interview with 3Music TV.
However, more red flags waved and this is when Kojo Manuel made the decision to leave.
The crowd was getting so agitated that the MC was pelted with bottles while on stage. His only crime was continuously chanting ‘Wizkid we want to paaaarty’ to a frustrating crown who had read the room enough to know that the Afrobeats star was not going to show up.
Kojo understood the sentiment because “people saw me as a nuisance because I was there for way too long.”
Here is the straw that broke the camel’s back. First of all, it was not only the audience that grew worried but the backstage was also in a limbo. No one seemed to know what was happening.
At about 3 am in the morning, Wizkid’s official DJ, DJ Tunez, showed up and with the live band team, per Kojo’s account.
This brought some relief to patrons. Finally, was the Starboy about to honour his invitation? All guest artistes had performed except for R2bees, King Promise and the headliner himself.
“Tunez played for somewhere 30 minutes… He just played and at a point took a dig at the organisers… He said something about they coming correct,” Kojo Manuel added.
Judging from DJ Tunez reactions, it was clear that there had been a conflict brewing away from the eyes of the audience many of whom had given up and made their way toward the stadium gates.
Whether it was an issue of an inadequate crowd, or contractual mishaps, the die-hard fans had had enough.
In the end, Wizkid never showed up and neither did R2Bees nor King Promise.
Organisers, LiveHub Entertainment accused Wizkid of breaching contractual arrangements regarding the event in an Instagram post.
Nearly a day after the show had closed, Wizkid apologized to his fans in a rather vague social media post citing security and production concerns as reasons.
@theculturejoint 🛫Wizkid and King Promise on a private jet shortly after the duo shared their apology over Saturday night’s no-show at Accra Sports Stadium. #WizkidLiveAccra ♬ original sound – theculturejoint
That same evening, Wizkid and King Promise were spotted aboard a private jet en route to Abidjan where another show had been lined up for him to headline. He ditched that show as well despite another short promo video assuring the fans of his appearance. This triggered another drama in the Ivorian capital among fans who felt disrespected.
Subsequently, he jetted off to another show in Cotonou where he finally performed. He saved the best for last, I guess.
LiveHub Entertainment, on Tuesday evening, furnished the public with material debunking Wizkid’s suggestion against them.
LiveHub set out to clear the air on the situation saying all international security standards had been reached and could not have been a reason for the 32-year-old singer to ditch the show.
According to them, a minimum of 304 security personnel were also deployed in and around the stadium.