Here is a review of Samini’s “Mama Ghana” featuring Kofi Kinaata by Kwame Dadzie.
Samini, one of the biggest artistes in Ghana has released a song to campaign for peace prior to this year’s elections. While some are debating the relevance of such peace songs, others are also assessing the quality of the entire song.
As I usually do, I scoop out the entrails of Samini’s ‘Mama Ghana.’
Instrumentation: ‘Mama Ghana’ has a mid – tempo groove that would make heads nod, fingers snap, toes tap and bodies swing.
The beat is the ordinary one Samini has been using of late – the usual ka ka ka ka ka ostinato that has been typical of most of his songs for the past few years.
The song is done in key F# major. ‘Mama Ghana’ leans more to Afro beat; it is not a dancehall song – neither is it high life nor hip life.
Vocal Ability: Samini with his unique husky baritone voice never disappoints when it comes singing. In fact, what makes it interesting to listen to him sing is how he varies the melodies. Samini knows how to sing high or low notes so he doesn’t sound monotonous. I also wish he harmonized the chorus – the soloing of the chorus did not bring out its beauty.
I also found out that with the bit where he did few bars of ragga (where he said from Wa to Bolga to Tamale) he sounded quite jaded. Yes, he has used that style of ragga in most of his songs and hearing it again on ‘Mama Ghana’ makes it boring.
Lyrical Content: ‘Mama Ghana’ basically carries three (3) messages: encouraging electoral participation, admonition to refrain from violence during election, and praying for Ghana for peaceful election.
Democracy, although expensive, is the best of all the worst forms of government and it is important that to make it work especially in our part of the world, we educate the populace to understand it and participate in it. Election being a major component of democracy, it serves the nation best when its citizens go out in their numbers to take part in deciding who rules them. On that score, Samini’s call for people to go out to vote in a fledgling democratic country like Ghana, is a good one. It is therefore, not surprising that the Electoral Commission of Ghana has endorsed it.
He also admonishes all voters to vote peacefully and leave the voting premises. He says voting is a decision making whose power is reposed in the thumb and not about fights.
Samini also touches on the need to pray for Ghana. For those who believe in prayers and the fact that prayers could forestall any untoward unrest before, during and after the elections, this is another good call by Samini. But did he say Koftown instead of KofCity? Somebody tell Samini to be current. Koforidua is no more Koftown.
Kinaata’s Rap: Kinaata is a good rapper. He nailed it in this song too. His message is succinct and straight to the point. It encapsulates all the three thematic areas I have stated above. My only problem is that I find it quite difficult to enjoy rap of musicians whose flow looks like previous ones they’ve done. Rappers should try hard to vary their flow. Mind you, I am talking flow here and not style. Kofi Kinaata should learn hard to vary the arrangement of metres of his lines.
Rating: ‘Mama Ghana’ is an ordinary song. From instrumentation to melodies to message, it has not any wow – factor like a typical Samini song would have in the past. I’ll rate it 65%.
Conclusion: Songs that create awareness about electoral participation and preach peace are not useless songs. Music is a form of communication and I personally commend Samini for this project for reiterating the message of peace to Ghanaians.