As the MTN Pulse Concert draws Â close, Jamaican entertainerÂ Alkaline's Â inclusion continues to divide opinions and generate debate.
Known for his bleached skin and body as well as eye tattoos, he is often viewed as a negative influence on the youth.
The Rastafari Council Of Ghana has issued a statement warning Ghanaians to be weary of the youth man.
To Whom It May Concern
Dear Sir/ Madam,
My attention has been drawn to an event which MTN corporation is sponsoring on the Independence Day weekend holiday dubbed â€œPulseâ€. It is advertised that three Jamaican Dancehall Artistes will be gracing the occasion. They are â€œElephant manâ€, â€œAlkalineâ€ and â€œKraniumâ€.
I write to express my sincere disappointment in the choice of artistes MTN have agreed to sponsor. This event is going to be held at a time when the nation naturally has a few days off to reflect on its journey since independence and often the challenges we face as a country receive impartial analysis from the general citizenry at large. One of the biggest concerns to society today is the obvious and accelerated degradation of social values and principles especially among the youth.
MTN as a corporation which seeks to portray itself as a socially responsible entity in Ghana should as a key stakeholder recognize the negative value and consequent social impact of sponsoring such artistes whose achievements and character leave much to be desired. One of these artistes, Alkaline is known for his tattooed eyeballs, tattooed body and bleached skin.
The degradation of women in the songs sung by Alkaline, eg, â€˜Things Me Loveâ€™ and â€˜Live Lifeâ€™ would only encourage more young boys to degrade young women and cause more young women to feel that there is nothing wrong with acting out what is being asked of them in the music, as that is what the young boys would expect.Their music celebrates the violence of gangster-ism and street life.
As role models for our youth, I would love to suggest so many more progressive international artistes to come to Ghana. Next time around please consider artistes who would on our Independence Day weekend leave the minds of our youth thinking on how to continue the great sacrifice and gains made by our hardworking ancestors instead of perpetuating the backward slide and loss of our rich indigenous culture.
Alongside the other good initiatives you do as a corporation in terms of social responsibility we expect that such investments in your marketing and advertising spend would compliment your progressive principles.
I cannot tell you how many parents in Ghana dread their children coming to ask for permission to go and attend such a concert. It would be a sign of great progress if companies such as yours only patronized the services of artistes who carry themselves as responsible creative entities to the point where their association with your corporate brand would not be detrimental to your social ratings.
Certainly your choice of entertainers for this event leaves many questions to be asked and a bitter taste in many mouths because we expect you as a company made up of Ghanaian mothers and fathers who also have children to be more circumspect next time in your choice of whom to associate with and support. At some point a decision must be taken in the interest of the future welfare of this nationâ€™s youth weather or not we continue to feed them with what they want or weather we take the tough decisions now for a more prosperous future.
We are by this letter also copying the Speaker of Parliament, the South African Ambassador, The Ministry of Communications, The Ministry for Women and Childrenâ€™s Affairs, The Ministry of Chieftaincy & Culture and the Christian Council of Ghana, the Office of The Chief Imam and the Ghana Pentecostal Council whom clearly have a stake in the future welfare of Ghanaâ€™s youth.
I trust that the issues dealt with in this letter will be considered by our most senior internal stakeholders to avoid a more public backlash should this sort of socio- cultural mediocrity be endorsed by your brand in the future.
Ras Aswad Nkrabeah
Rastafari Council Of Ghana