Bogo Blay performing at Vodafone Icons

The crooners crooned.

The rappers rapped.

The singers sang.

The carollers carolled. 

The murmurers murmured.

by fiifi DZANSI

And the Vodafone Icons 2018 Rep Ur Hood edition came to an end.

It was such a breathtaking competition to watch, from the auditions through to the finals. The show never limped along with unnecessary behind-the-scenes, such as contestants in a home eating fried rice and chicken. 

The focus was on the music.

And it was great that way. 

 I got some hope that highlife, the thumbprint of Ghana music, isn’t dying any moment soon. At least not in my lifetime.

The way the finalists performed the various Highlife songs was respectful and dignifying.

When Evance worked out his last song of the competition with a honeyed voice, from the beginning, I was dazzled. And when he ended mellifluously, hope for a better future for highlife music filled me to the brim. 

What stood out for me, though, is the competition’s eventual winner, Bogo Blay.

He was such a sensational singer who put a smile on my face every time he leapt on stage. He was unique and brought a flavour that I yearned for in years. The judges were awed by his unmitigated creativity and stage presence. They threw praises, adulations and compliments all over him like confetti.

His last performance was a deviation from the usual. From a calm and solemn introduction, he set free his well-thought-out words. It was like a one-on-one conversation between an old woman and her granddaughter. 

As the tempo got larger, messages of faith, appreciation, hope, success, strength, confidence… all fluttered out and filled the stage. Ultimately, it all dipped down, and like a fallen feather descending stairs of the wind, the Hallelujah song ended it all. 

That was the song of a winner.

Three things made Bogo Blay special.

He’s a storyteller

His songs contained lyrics that made sense. And you could follow the storyline to the end. This is what many current young singers lack in Ghana. 

Some only string bits and pieces of other people’s songs. Others also draw on unrelated subjects and lace them with some danceable rhythms. They get the hits on social media, parties, funerals and in trotros

Maybe, they make money and become popular among the youth. However, you can’t quote such lyrics in a speech, neither can you find them in books that inspire generations.

Bogo Blay’s delivery follows the steps of the Griots that lived in ancient West Africa, who helped preserve our history. And whenever artists, musicians and poets tread this path, success opens up her arms to them. 

Everyone has a story to tell. But how we tell our story is what makes all the difference. Find fascinating stuff about yourself or business that are worth sharing. Perhaps, you might need to look for a new perspective to an old thing. Or find a new way of delivering an old story that can intrigue your audience. 

Tell your story genuinely, yet interestingly enough, so others would want to listen to it and share with others. 

He has a great sense of humour

Bogo Blay sang some of his songs in a funny Twi accent. His pronunciation of certain words was deliberately hilarious. 

To make people smile and occasionally laugh about human fallibility is a plus. 

Humour, when done right, draws people and thaws up a frozen atmosphere. 

Include humour in your story when appropriate and people will never forget you.

He’s original

Bogo Blay never tried in any way to be like someone else. 

This made him comfortable, happy and courageous enough to make his act look effortless. 

Aspiring to be the next ‘somebody’ is a pitfall. 

People have had enough of those who are already successful on the world stage. 

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

– Oscar Wilde

To be original doesn’t mean doing things nobody has ever done before. It means doing things your own unique way.

So in a typical Bogo Blay style, I’m pointing the microphone at you in the audience, 

and with my right hand cupped around my ear, Lemme hear you say, Bogo Blay…!