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    How Breezy blazed brouhaha

    by TheGHMediaGuy
    posted Thursday, 14 March 2013 14:16| 1 Comments

    Last week Tuesday the new Minister of Finance, Mr. Seth Tekper went to parliament to present the 2013 budget to the people we have elected to represent us in the nation’s legislative assembly to enable them scrutinize how the executive intends to spend our money this year.

    That same evening there was a concert very close by parliament house where one of the nation’s leading ICT companies was hosting a concert to climax a multi-billion dollar project the president had launched for them a day earlier.

    This concert, held at the Accra Sports Stadium, was headlined by one of the world’s leading young hiphop/R&B artistes in the person of Chris Brown who is better known by his fans as Breezy.

    As you would know if you had not been hiding under a rock these last 8 days or so a lot has transpired since the rLG sponsored and Charterhouse produced Hope City Concert took place.

    A lot has been said about whether Chris Brown really smoked marijuana on stage during the concert or that he simulated the smoking of marijuana although he smoked a cigar or an electronic cigarette (depending on which of the two official responses you believed) and what should be done if indeed he smoked that or even regardless of that.

    I have to say, before I proceed to say anything else, that many things have been said about this matter on radio, on television, written in the press and on social media and many have taken sides on what they think the real matter is and what ought to be done.

    The issue generated so much brouhaha that there was practically little or no place for adequate discussion on the budget presented earlier by the minister of finance to know what financial ramifications would be faced by us if parliament approves the budget.

    Again, the talk about Breezy’s stage antics overshadowed the intension of the sponsors, which from the outside looked like bringing attention to the multi-billion dollar Hope City Project and the benefits it would have for Ghanaians.

    Indeed this seems like a flogged carcass and one would mind his own business not talking about it, but that would be tantamount to Messi coming to town and I didn’t have time to take a glance of him. Having be busy properly placing the tassel on the cap of my “academic pomposity” and therefore couldn’t make it to radio and TV discussion, this is my opportunity to say what I think about the matter before it runs too cold.

    Some very important people in this country have condemned what Chris Brown did regardless of whether he smoked marijuana or pretended to be smoking same. Some believe it is an affront on the laws of this country and the police should have arrested him on stage or after his performance.

    Indeed some people who have spoken about the matter have gone as far as suggesting that the police should ensure that he is returned to this country to face the laws of the land he violated on the eve of our 56th independence anniversary celebrations.

    Some say both suggestions are absolutely hogwash and that the gentleman was only acting on stage what other actors do in movies all the time and if the police have not arrested Majid Michel then they have absolutely no business attempting to arrest Brown.

    So what do I think about all these? I have just two things to say about all the issues that have taken over the entertainment discussion platforms over the last week.

    One is that I think it was absolutely unnecessary that he would pull that antic on stage and get away with it.

    The event producer must know what he intended to do and should have had a say about it. He may or may have not smoked real marijuana (and I am being consistent in my use of marijuana) however, the songs and his comments (which we have all become privy to) preceding the act had a lot to say - the bigger influence that singular act could have is the issue at the heart of this matter.

    Since this issue came out some have made some very strong arguments one of which is that there are currently no laws banning the smoking of marijuana in Ghana and that even if Brown was arrested there would be no law on which to charge him.

    Well, that must be some very bold assertions to be made by anybody because I grew up in Madina and I cannot count the number of times the military and police have swooped marijuana smoking hideouts and the molestation they have taken suspected smokers and peddlers through.

    Again, if that argument holds then what was the police thinking when they arrested radio and TV presenters Countryman Songo and Ben Brown when they were alleged to have been involved in some marijuana usage somewhere in Accra?

    There must be a law somewhere in our books against the usage of marijuana otherwise the police would have acted unlawfully in all those times that they had accosted people in many circumstances over the years when they had been suspected of cultivating, peddling and or using marijuana.

    Having said that I must add, the police are the sole determinants of whether they would want to proceed with a criminal action or not. Although it would be foolhardy on their part, in my view, to even think about pursuing an American celebrity to America with the aim of bringing him to justice in Ghana, if you know what I mean.

    The second point I would like to talk about is the manner with which the organizers of the event, and by that I mean the event production company Charterhouse and the client rLG, handled the post event issues leaves much to be desired. It is for me as a student of public relations a very good case study of how to handled issues like that when they come up.

    Charterhouse said what Brown smoked on staged was cigar and not marijuana. The client said what Chris brown smoked on stage was electronic cigarette and not marijuana. It did come off therefore that they both “knew” was not marijuana but confused about what exactly it was and the public was left to make meanings of their own.

    That is not good PR as both should be singing from the same hymn book as to whether they both want to say it was cigar or electronic cigarette, whatever the latter is. The public interpreted that to mean that both parties were trying to explain the issue away and taking them for a ride.

    Some people close to the event that I have spoken with think that the best PR would be to concede that what Brown did was not right and go on to apologize. That they believe would not have opened the can of worms that was done after these explanations.

    Now Breezy has come and gone, he has done what he thinks is worth the million dollar he was paid (if you believe what has been circulating) and he would be spending some of that money somewhere. I think it is time for us to move on with our lives.

    I am sure though that my two-week theory of handling issues is still in force and so give or take the end of this week the Chris Brown marijuana brouhaha would die out completely and we shall move on to the next big issue.

    My hope is that no other frivolous issue would rear its ugly head to prevent us from putting the spotlight on the budget Mr. Tekper presented to parliament so we can see how our money would be used, hopefully.

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