Bisa Kdei was said to be Nigerian in Dubai and I was shocked - Mark Okraku-Mantey

Mark Okraku-Mantey says noise by Nigerian musicians is putting Ghanaian artists behind because it leaves Ghanaian acts with less credit and attention for their works globally.

Mark Okraku Mantey

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture said this whilst he recounted an experience in the United Arab Emirates.

Mark who was speaking on how Afrobeats and Nigeria’s dominance in the music market have drowned the identity of Ghanaian music.

The former music executive, said in an interview on Joy FM‘s ‘Super Morning Show’ on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, that he travelled to Dubai and heard a shop attendant describe a Bisa Kdei's song as Nigerian.


The man was Moroccan and he thought the music was [from] Nigeria. And I have experienced a lot of these things where Ghanaian hard work is going to Nigeria. Because they make so much noise such that there is a perception every music you hear from Africa is from Nigeria. And we made a mistake by also accepting that we are also performing under Afrobeats,” he said.

Mark added that Nigerians quickly claimed Afrobeats (with the “s”) after it became a term for music produced in Africa.

The word Afrobeat itself was coined by Fela Kuti years ago, without an “s”. So the moment you hear Afrobeat, the owner of that word is Fela. Then overtime, the West said Africa has too many rhythms so why don’t you call of them African rhythms. Because we were known for highlife and we were bullying them with our highlife, quickly they opted for the Afrobeats. Unfortunately, my brothers and sisters went to joined them. They don’t know that all their hard work is actually going to Nigeria because the perception about Afrobeats in Nigeria,” Mark added.

I heard Camidoh’s song in Tanzania, Arusha, and people around thought it was from Nigeria. And that is why Nigeria is getting the buzz they are getting. Everybody is thinking that almost at the music you hear from Africa now are from Nigeria,” the Deputy Minister noted.


Mark Okraku-Mantey is a Ghanaian music producer and politician. The 49-year-old is the founder and chief executive officer of Slip Mark Entertainment. Mark Okraku-Mantey has worked with several Ghanaian musicians including Lord Kenya, Kumi Guitar, Oheneba Kissi, Daasebre Gyamenah, Akyeame, and Adane Best.

Okraku-Mantey started out as a disc jockey in the 1990's at Joy FM till he rose to the position of Programs Director for Hitz FM both under the Multimedia Group Limited.


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