Kofi Okyere Darko (KOD) has revealed that he was instrumental in brokering a Glo ambassadorial deal for highlife musician Gyedu-Blay Ambolley in 2009.
Ambolley was among a number of Ghanaian celebrities who were signed as ambassadors by telecommunication network Globacom when they first started operations in Ghana in 2009.
Other celebrities that selected as ambassadors were Reggie Rockstone, Manuel Agogo Junior, Pat Thomas, Amakye Dede, Edem, Asem, Tinny, Kwabena Kwabena, Irene Logan, Shariffa Gunu and Wutah, Van Vicker, Nadia Buari, Jackie Appiah, and Paapa Yankson.
KOD made the revelation in a new Facebook post after Ambolley earlier described him as “shallow-mind” on Adom TV.
Describing Ambolley as a “charlatan, KOD recounted how he supported Ambolley’s career.
“Lee [KOD], the small boy supported him for almost 30 years of his career & made sure he was not left out when he facilitated the legend’s Glo signed up when they came to GH (he shouldn’t forget his insincerity with how he handled himself in that space). I always knew this day would come somehow… That’s how I know him; a charlatan,” the broadcaster stated.
In the post, Kofi Okyere Darko also chronicled his contribution to the highlife genre and the role of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards in projecting Ghana.
“Lee won’t sit on the VGMA Board (in & out for over 20 years) & allow Hilife to die when he’s played, produced & managed some of the best hilife songs & artistes for almost 30 years.
Celebrated Hilife musicians like Amandzeba, Bessa Simons, Okraku Mante, Andy Dosty, Diana Hopeson, Kiki Banson & many great music talents & proponents won’t sit/allow VGMA to be a curse to Hilife when they sit on the Board.
It will take only an ungrateful artiste to ever suggest VGMA is a curse to Hilife,” he wrote.
KOD also intimated that old age is not synonymous with wisdom.
“Wisdom is not a preserve of old age & grey hair. There are older men in communities/families but children often rise to lead,” he added.
KOD’s comeback jab is in response to Ambolley’s recent statement on Showtym with Andy Dosty on Adom TV.
Ambolley lambasted KOD for berating him regarding his comment on the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards being a curse to highlife.
“I see Okyere Darko as a child. He is shallow minded, the reason why he said those things,” he said.
He also said in the interview that he had toured the world with his music and that KOD, also a fashion designer could not do same with his clothings.
“I am going on an European tour in May next year. My music, Gyedu Blay Ambollley’s music and in June, I will be back on tour. So when he sits and talks, can he take his clothes on tour as a designer like the way I’m going on tour with my music?
“Can he take his DJing on tour like the way I am going on tour with my music? If these people talk, you know they are shallow minds,” he said.
Background to feud
Ambolley in an interview with Graphic Showbiz said that the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) has vitiated the highlife music genre.
He said giving the topmost awards to artistes in other music genres in the VGMA has affected the fortunes of highlife.
He also raised concerns the quality of artistes nominated in the Best Highlife Artiste of the Year category of the awards.
“It is unfortunate that people think when you sing in Twi or Fante over a Dancehall or Reggae beats it automatically makes it Highlife music. That is not true but it has become the norm over the years because these are the kinds of music VGMA rewards.”
“Today, if anyone wants to have an idea of what Ghana represents in terms of music, I bet the person will not count any Highlife artiste since all the perceived big acts currently are not doing Highlife.”
“We have buried our own and pursuing Dancehall music and the likes and interestingly, the VGMA has been promoting the agenda by rewarding such artistes with the topmost prizes,” he said.
KOD’s first reaction
Ghanaian broadcaster, Kofi Okyere Darko (KOD) has expressed his disappointment with a recent statement made by veteran musician Gyedu-Blay Ambolley about the current state of highlife.
In his reaction, KOD described Ambolley’s assertion as “nonsense.”
He intimated that the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards has contributed greatly to the Ghanaian music industry.
“Which awards scheme has projected our music industry like VGMA since independence? How many have projected our musicians beyond GH. How many have consistently done more than 10 years?” he wrote on his Facebook timeline.
He said Ambolley should rather lay the blame on radio stations.
“When was the last time he released an album? He should be blaming some of the radio stations who don’t even play our music.
When was the last time or how often do you hear highlife on radio? VGMA cause am?,” added.