Dancehall artiste Shatta Wale does not need to get away with the treatment he meted out to one of his bodyguards if our laws work.
But you don’t need to look far to know that Ghana is another lawless nation, where laws exist but they’re not respected. We sometimes expose ourselves to public ridicule when we naively confuse the presence of laws to mean that they work.
So there are laws here but they are there to serve as sweeteners for speeches of judges when they’re sentencing a poor man for stealing a goat.
But they don’t work when it matters most.
And in this case, it was supposed to matter minutes after dancehall artiste Shatta Wale slapped one of his bodyguards in public for driving away a fan from the stage. All those who watched the video, published on several online news portals, will tell you that they felt the pain of the bodyguard after the slap was delivered.
But for some reasons, the bodyguard has chosen faltering loyalty over his safety when he told Ghanaians to mind their business in a post-event video.
I don’t think the state needs the bodyguard to report the incident to the police before something is done about it. The police must act swiftly as they did when they arrested artiste Wisa Greid for allegedly showing his manhood in public.
Shatta Wale has said he is a ‘god’ and that those who follow him understand the Shatta Movement (SM) code. Does this include one endangering his life? Maybe yes.
The dancehall artiste has come out with another explanation, saying the incident was staged to drive publicity for him.
“We wanted an act for that night, we thought of a choreography, Shatta Wale coming to dance with a whole maybe 15-man squad doing the same dance, for people to get shocked because people have not seen Shatta Wale dancing before,” he told Andy Dosty on Accra-based Hitz FM, Tuesday.
But his latest theory is as disingenuous as having him invited to the Flagstaff House to share a moment with president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
If there is any artiste who has successfully turned his fortune around, effortlessly, it is Shatta Wale and this is commendable. But he is becoming too violent in public.
He needs to be tamed and made to understand that his actions are constantly jeopardizing public safety. Shatta Wale had a month ago fired a gun into the air in public, perhaps to demonstrate how impotent our laws and law enforcement agencies are.
In the video that went viral on social media, the dancehall artiste was seen firing warning shots allegedly directed at some Nigerian artistes namely Wizkid, Patoranking and Timaya. The Police Public Affairs Directorate has said Shatta Wale’s action contravenes the law, but they have not done anything about it.
His growing notoriety has to be addressed without delay before his actions cause further damage. Shatta Wale can be a ‘god’ in his room, but outside that, the law is, and he has to worship it without fail.
If we want to succeed in the campaign to stop all forms of assault in the society, the police and Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) need to initiate actions against the artiste to serve as a deterrent to others.
The Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) needs to rein in its members who are becoming violent, notorious and indecent these days. Sanity must be given a chance.