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Samini Deserved Better. Not Even A Substandard Saminifest Concert Could Mar A Two-Decade Glory

If one story can best describe Saminifest this year this is what it would be - that 20 years on after 1999, Samini had gone for a home run; but for his wits and finesse, everyone would have gone home with sore memories.

Saminifest over the years has become Samini’s personal gift to the people behind him, more reason the idea of bringing it home to Dansoman - the very grounds that has seen and nurtured his talent could never be misplaced.

This year's edition was themed around Samini's twenty years in music, as all event paraphernalia  and promotional materials proudly had Samini's active years in music '1999-2019' embossed  on it. Some fans knew less, but for most folks who have loved the Samini brand all through its Batman, Batman Samini then to Samini transitional periods, they knew they had backed the right horse and they came prepared for it.

This year’s edition, met a lot of avoidable challenges. The show started too late for anything good to come out of the homerun edition. As at 8:00 pm on Saturday the 21st of December - lights, sound, and to a large extent nothing was ready. 

After about 45 minutes past 10:00 pm, the first show went live. There were several show opening performances, from younger artistes (none from any female) who went through too much stress just to survive an over pressured event coordination staff. A little too often, some artistes jumped on stage weary of this opportunity, and had to rush everyone through their set, adding up to the stress of an audience waiting to be thrilled by a music catalogue that stretched as far back as 20 years. 

After a long preparation for the grand entry of Samini and a long pause stemming from technical issues, there came a parade of black and yellow highgrade embossed flags. Samini's presence was everywhere, his entire glory preceded him even before the shining lights hit his pito-calmed face. The time had come, we were all waiting to see Samini. 

Five minutes passed, the anticipation was building up. At first it felt as if the long wait to usher Samini on stage was all part of the grand entry. But after one too many 'hello hello's and testing mic one two's, it was clear Samini was not satisfied with the sound. Some folks who had patronised previous editions of Saminifest, blurted out
"Samini paa dey come stage dey do hello, hello" said one. "I know Mighty, he bore already, but he no go make you see" went another. The Samini they knew would have started a skit of witty freestyles lifting the vibe to the roof even before he hopped on stage.

People who had been the happier because Saminifest was coming to Dansoman, never saw it coming: they were losing a home match, and there was nothing they could do about it.

Eventually Samini's voice poked through. This climaxed the chilling moment which began when the event audience welcomed the flags. Samini gracefully did his witty freestyle intro on stage this time around and brilliantly continued with records like Survival, Obaa, Old man's Radio all off his latest reggae project Untamed - which was adjudged the best reggae album of  2018 by Reggaeville.

Samini managed his situation with so much ease that after he was done with his first round of performance, serving vibes off the Untamed album, no one seemingly had memories of any flaws. He was ready to go back into time to bring back Batman and Batman Samini characters. 

On more than one occasion, Samini looked back to his event staff hoping he could get a much better microphone situation. A whole Samini was not very audible, his voice was under-powered and this drained him, so much that he drank more pito and water than he did last year or any other Saminifest under review.

On Samini's third round, he was joined on stage by artistes who had come to pay their respects. For Saminifest 2019, Samini reached deep into his era, drawing from the best of Ghana’s league of legends like T-Blaze whose ‘Wo Sisi’ still needs no introduction. Sharing the stage with Rocky Dawuni - a brother by music, legacy and tribe - was a spectacle to behold. 

And then there was the Prince Bright episode which established Samini's glory even among his own cohorts. Prince Bright doffed his hat, but that was not enough for him. He laid prostate before Samini, like Moses, you'd think he could not witness a god's glory with his mere mortal eyes.

Samini's glory was all over the blocked Dansoman high-street which he had gotten permission from the necessary authorities. The current Minister of Communications Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful who had invited to wish Samini a happy birthday on stage enjoyed every bit of her existence in the presence of Samini's glory.

More and more artistes were invited on stage to pay their respects. Kidi, Kuami Eugene, Ameytuz and a host of others took turns to perform with Samini on stage. He was well in his fifth hour at this point, at about 3:00 am still looking poised to give his all for the very people he does this.

It is quite unclear if this Saminifest with all of its flaws would be the climax of Samini's 20 year legacy in the music industry. Regardless, Samini deserved better.

However, after all is said and done, one story that best describes Saminifest 2019 would be summarised as: "20 years on after 1999, he had gone for a home run, but for his wits and finesse with his set, everyone would have gone home with sore memories". SAMINI deserved better.

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