In a world that venerates achievements and applauds record-breaking feats, Afua Asantewaa emerges as a paragon of determination and focus, striving to break the Guinness World Record for the longest vocal performance. As I tuned in to my TV on December 26th, 2023, to witness this extraordinary endeavour, I found myself contemplating the profound beauty of Ghanaian culture, particularly within the realm of gospel music.
Afua Asantewaa’s Singathon not only showcased her extraordinary vocal abilities but also served as a jubilant celebration of Ghanaian musical heritage. The presence of Ghana’s Vice President, His Excellency Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and the enthusiastic support from various celebrities, particularly musicians, underscored the unity and pride that Ghanaians feel for their cultural identity.
Yet, as a Christian and an avid lover of gospel music, a subtle absence caught my attention — where were our gospel songs in this grand musical journey?
While Afua masterfully sang an array of Ghanaian songs, the gospel genre seemed to recede after the initial stages of her performance. This prompts a pivotal question: Why aren’t our beloved gospel songs taking center stage on such significant platforms?
Let’s delve into the heart of the matter. Ghana boasts a rich musical heritage, replete with an abundance of beautiful songs and melodies. The fusion of African beats and imported tunes in Afua’s Singathon vividly displayed the diversity and vibrancy of Ghanaian music. However, the gospel genre, an integral part of our musical identity, appeared to fade into the background.
For Christians, gospel music is a source of solace, inspiration, and joy, serving as a powerful tool for worship, reflection, and connection with our faith. Therefore, the apparent scarcity of gospel songs in such a momentous event raises crucial questions about the current state of gospel music in Ghana.
Is it a matter of insufficient production of gospel songs, or are our talented gospel musicians not releasing enough material? Afua Asantewaa’s performance suggests that she diligently learned the available songs, so where are the albums and compositions that should be resonating through the airwaves?
This piece aims to ignite a conversation about the status of Ghanaian gospel music, encouraging introspection within our musical community. It is an opportunity for gospel musicians to step into the limelight and showcase the wealth of beautiful compositions that can resonate with both the youth and older generations.
From a biblical perspective, music has always played a pivotal role in worship and expressing the joy of faith. The Psalms, for instance, are a testament to the power of music in connecting with God. In Psalm 150:4 (NIV), it states, “Praise him with tambourine and dancing; praise him with the strings and pipe.” This illustrates that diverse musical expressions, including gospel, have a place in worship and celebration.
In conclusion, Afua Asantewaa’s Singathon issues a call to action for the Ghanaian gospel music community. Let us not only cherish the diverse musical landscape that Ghana offers but also ensure that our gospel songs rightfully claim their place on the world stage. Through collaboration, production, and promotion, we can rekindle the flame of our gospel music, ensuring that it continues to inspire and uplift the hearts of all who listen.
Written by Daniel Kwabena Mantey (TV Anchor, Pent TV)