The last time you saw Promzy, he probably had his shirt off, displaying his tattooed torso, holding up his crotch and belting out rap tunes in a performance with his group, VIP. But that must have been many weeks ago.
Recently, showbiz circle in Ghana was hit by the bombshell news that Promzy, who recently announced he was quitting the group, had turned to Christ and was looking at the prospect of becoming ‘a man of God’.
Surprising as the news might have been, the development was not totally unexpected. Musicians and showbiz persons finding God is not a new story. Quite a number have left the bright lights of the music and showbiz stage for the mellow pastel of the pulpit.
Among those who have done the ‘flip’ are Lord Kenya, the Sika Baa hit maker; Ofori Amponsah famous for his song, Otoolege; DJ Azigiza Jnr; K. K Kabobo, idolised for his Nyatse-Nyatse Girl song, David Kwasi Antwi of Antwi ne Antwi fame who is celebrated for the song, Sekina; Nana King, extolled for the song, Champion and Paapa Shee, widely acclaimed for the hit song, Atadwe.
Even though Ghanaians are highly religious and hold their clergy especially pastors in high esteem, raising some of them to pop cult status judging from their attitudes on billboards spread all over towns and cities, yet, it is difficult to strike a linkage between a pop star and a transformation into a maverick preacher.
Is the lure of bigger money be what drives many a showbiz person to become a man of God or is the move an escape from depression? What is it that drives seemingly successful musicians to “flee” to the arms of the Lord?
In a telephone conversation Showbiz had with Lord Kenya, preacher of about three years standing, it is all about the grace of God and the realization to surrender one’s life to a superior being, Jesus Christ.
“It is like what happened to Saul on his way to Damascus. Whenever the grace comes upon you, there is no turning back,” he said.
He said, for him, making money was not an attraction to become born again. “The money is in show business where people charge money to perform for say four hours. Where I am now it is not like that. I was redeemed for redemption purposes and so have to lead others to become redeemed as well. But I speak for myself, for others time will tell,” he said.
For his part, David Antwi, said it comes to a point in one’s life when he begins to think deep and questions what life is about in order to make amends. At other times, he said, the transformation is as a result of a calling which one can do nothing about but go serve God.
“It is a good thing to be called to serve God while one is alive, bearing in mind there will come a judgment day when each will be called to account for their life on earth,” he added.
He said he had nothing against people in showbiz, who he said are good but are made to look bad by the audience who attend their shows intoxicated from alcohol or drugs, and act in ways that rubs on the artistes.
He also dismissed assertions that the ‘changed’ artistes are doing so for money, claiming that if that was the case, the exodus would have been in droves and not the number we are seeing at the moment.
Surprisingly though, artistes who have become born-again and have tried their hands on gospel music have largely been unsuccessful with their music.
Showbiz went about town to ask how a sermon by a born-again showbiz person will be received. According to Gerhard Osei Owusu, a national service person, it depends on how mature the recipient of the message is in Christ. While an immature Christian will take it lightly, a matured Christian will treat the encounter seriously as encouragement to soldier on.
A journalist, George Ernest Asare, said he has been greatly inspired by Lord Kenya. He said he initially thought Kenya’s redemption story was going to be nine-day wonder but he has been proved wrong. He said he would receive a sermon from any showbiz convert with all seriousness, knowing that God can use anybody to turn people round to become part of the heavenly kingdom.
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