As part of measures to fight against the transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Ministry of Communications mobilized some entertainers in Ghana to spice up launch of an app to encourage people to test for the virus and also track individuals infected by the virus or who may have come into contact with COVID-19 patients.
The app dubbed ”COVID-19 Tracker” was launched amidst performances from Dancehall artiste Shatta Wale, Hiplife singers Kuami Eugene, Fancy Gadam, Highlife singer Kaakyire Kwame Appiah, gospel musicians Diana Asamoah, Isaiah Kwadwo Ampong affectionately called Great Ampong among others.
Following the event, there were rumors of agitations between the artistes pointing out that some of them have registered their resentments over the payment made to them to perform. Some of the artistes are said to have been underpaid while others like Shatta Wale received higher amounts.
Shatta Wale was quoted to have been paid about GHC 100000 and the rest received GHC 40000 to GHC 5000, making the artistes with low payment furious and calling out the Ministry of Communications for somehow cheating them.
Addressing the issue, the Minister of Communications, Ursula Ekuful-Owusu debunked claims of paying the artistes, stressing the Ministry didn’t give them a dime to perform during the launch of the COVID-19 Tracker app and Shatta Wale has also dismissed reports that he was given a performance fee.
But in an interview with Akwasi Aboagye on Peace FM’s ”Entertainment Review”, Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Hon. Rockson Nelson Dafiamepkor called on the Ministry of Communications to come clear on the issue and be transparent with Ghanaians because, to him, the Ministry has lied to entertainment fans and the entire nation.
He divulged that he is privy to the details of the event and stated categorically the launch of the Tracker app cost Ghana a whopping GHC 1.4 million.
He asserted that the Ministry paid all the artistes and the Television station that hosted the event, GH One TV.
”They spent 1.4 million. They gave money to the musicians…The whole event cost 1.4 million and it is a waste of money”, he alleged.
He further corroborated claims that the artistes who were billed for the event are at each other’s throats over the unfair amount of monies paid to them.
”I want the Ministry of Communications to make the account public…I know some collected 100000 and others received 40000…I can forward information to you…What we’re saying is that the Ministry should be transparent and give an account of the event’‘, he told the host.