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Burna Boy & Stonebwoy steal show at Afro Nation Ghana; A day 1 review from Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh

The biggest Afro festival, Afro Nation finally made its debut in Ghana after Months of publicity, Weeks of set up and days of uncertainty due to the number of court issues the organizers faced for using the Laboma Beach as the venue for the prestigious event.

The organizers were hit with multiple injunction notices by persons claiming the coastline or portions of the coastline. However, Organizers braved through it all and went on as planned.

After the success of Afro Nation Portugal, you cannot blame ravers of setting the standard high; very high if I am to be honest and the initial stages felt like Ghana wasn’t going to match Portugal.

Ahead of the first day, Afro Nation had lost the pre-hype to Mr. Eazi’s Detty Rave, but that didn’t mean we were not going to turn up at Afro Nation with a Star-studded line up being headlined by the Grammy-nominated Burna Boy and Africa’s finest reggae/dancehall act Stonebwoy.

At 4 pm gates were officially open and ticket buyers started getting in, after verification and security checks.

Speaking to some of the people, I realized they were mostly made up of People from the UK, Europe, Nigeria or our brothers and sisters from the various Francophone countries.

On the on-set the crowd turn out wasn’t encouraging, probably because we expected an overflow of people from the get-go, however, like every party it takes time build-up and at the end of the day, the place was full, with people being denied entry from around 12 am.

The Set up had 2 major stages, The Main stage and the second stage meant for VIP ticket holders but unfortunately, VIP on Day 1 of the festival, just felt like a status symbol but it didn’t reflect in getting the desired treatment; Hopefully Day 2 will be different, as it still felt Organizers were still in set-up mode.

Stage Hosts for the festival, Eddie Kadi and Shopsydoo were energetically amazing, as they entertained the crowd, with their wits especially at certain moments when the show felt like it was dragging a bit.

Technical issues began to pop up when the ‘hottest’ & ‘richest’ queen Wendy Shay mounted the stage to begin performances for Day 1. With 30 minutes of performance time, Wendy Shay’s performance was marred by poor sound, though she did receive a major reception from the crowd who were beginning to amass in front of the main stage.

I’m not usually excited by a Wendy Shay performance but she did great on stage despite the technical challenges.

My only issue with her was accusing the organizers of trying to sabotage her when she was facing the technical issues, which plagued the whole night with poor sound output.

Wendy was supposed to be followed by UK rapper Sneakbo but he didn’t show and no one made a fuss about it. I didn’t hear one person ask where was Sneakbo, in fact, I was the one asking and I was informed He couldn’t make it.

Nigeria’s FireBoy came on stage and gave fans single from his album, though I failed to watch his performance, I based my review on crowd reaction and it was great.

The ‘Ghana Boys’ living in the UK, The Compozers wowed the crowd with their set, the energy levels were off the chart, as the Compozers can be credited for setting the tone for Afro Nation with such an electrifying Day 1 performance. I watched their set from beginning to the end and I still wanted more, big ups to the Compozers.

Ghanaian singer Becca came on, begun on a high note but mid-way through her performance it was obvious some fans wanted her off the stage rather than continue to perform, but she gave a great account of herself and she wore an amazing outfit.

Tion Wayne followed up with his set, he did his thing but the High point was bringing out Darkoo to perform her monster hit single ‘Gangsta’. Seeing Darkoo perform was conversation myself and Derrick (MuseAfrica’s Social Media Guru) had days ahead of Afro Nation and it seemed we spoke it into existence.

Arguably one of the most consistent Hitmakers in Ghana, Medikal came on stage and gave fans back to back performances of his hit singles, however, he made it a habit of dropping the song for fans to sing along, when we really wanted to just jam to the songs and have a vibe, however in the words of one lady I standing by ‘Medikal spoil there’. Also typical of recent performance, his Girlfriend came on stage to perform with him and they shared a kiss on stage.

Following Medikal was Not3s, he had a good time that is all I can say, the crowd didn’t really jam as much but it was good.

Falz had a great time on stage especially from the time his hype-man joined him on stage. It was energetic and the crowd really enjoyed the performance from the Lawyer turned musician.

Stonebwoy and Burna Boy ended the show on a high with their live performances which got the crowd moving throughout their respective sets. Stonebwoy performed almost all his hit singles as Burna Boy took the crowd on a ride chauffeured by the Africa Giant himself and fueled by amazing stagecraft.

Gates were initially expected to open at 2 pm but due to the extreme heat, the organizers pushed back the opening time to 4 pm.

 

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