The planning committee for Ghana’s diamond jubilee celebration has justified headlining Don Moen and other foreign artistes for the mega gospel concert to mark the country’s 60th independence anniversary.
Some stakeholders in the music industry have criticised the decision to make Don Moen the main artiste when there is a pool of local gospel singers to choose from.
But speaking at the launch of the gospel concert in Accra on Thursday, 23 February, Pastor Josh Laryea, gospel musician and member of the committee representing the gospel fraternity, said the foreign artistes were booked years ahead of the anniversary.
“This is one concert that has created a lot of controversy. For those of us who organise events, especially when you are bringing the international act, you can testify to the fact that it takes several months or even more than a year to bring in the gospel act. And, therefore, from 7 December until today cannot make such a concert happen. So you can see that it’s something that some of us as individuals have been planning for all these years to happen at Ghana@60 no matter the political colour,” he explained.
He disclosed that Don Moen was not the only foreign artiste invited but that organisers would be bringing in Darlene Joyce Zschech, whom they began speaking to four to five years ago.
“We are the same people who organised the Ghana@50 when we brought Don Moen and Israel Houghton. Right after that we wanted to bring Darlene Zschech who has contributed a lot when it comes to the worship life of the church but she got ill and because of that she couldn’t make it, so it stalled that event. After four to five years when we contacted her she was well again and she said she would come, so we started planning towards it. So, for your information, it is not just Don Moen – we are bringing Darlene Zschech, Don Moen , Nathaniel Bassey, Sinach, Sony Badu, all of them on one stage,” he revealed.
Eight Ghanaian gospel musicians – Joe Mettle, Daughters of Glorious Jesus, Koda, Francis Amo, Pastor Josh Laryea, Jomobi, and Jackie Mpare – will also be on stage.
“Jomobi and Jackie Mpare are not known but what we normally do is that at such events we bring in artistes that five or 10 years on, we look back and say this stage gave them the opportunity and this is what they have become,” Pastor Laryea explained
He asked the media to support and publicise the event to make it a success.