Elikem writes: Remembering Ebony, my Ghana bleeds!

A year ago, on 8 February 2018, we woke up to the shocking news of the sudden demise of arguably the fastest-risen dancehall artiste in Ghana, Ebony Reigns. It was a Thursday and the airwaves were filled with news of the death of the 20-year-old singer who died eight days to her 21st birthday with glowing tributes pouring in for the young woman who was barely two years in the music industry...


A year ago, on 8 February 2018, we woke up to the shocking news of the sudden demise of arguably the fastest-risen dancehall artiste in Ghana, Ebony Reigns. It was a Thursday and the airwaves were filled with news of the death of the 20-year-old singer who died eight days to her 21st birthday with glowing tributes pouring in for the young woman who was barely two years in the music industry.

Ebony, known in real life as Priscilla Opoku Kwarteng, together with two others, Franki Kuri and Francis Atsu Vondee, was on board a Jeep with registration number AS 497-16, travelling from Sunyani to Kumasi when a head-on collision with a VIP bus heading towards Sunyani from Kumasi occurred.

The driver of her vehicle escaped death, however, the artiste died later at the Bechem Government Hospital after they were rushed there.

Though chastised a lot while alive, Ebony suddenly became everyone’s favourite female artiste. The hypocrisy of human beings, not cherishing people while they are alive but celebrating them in death. Ebony’s story was not different. All of a sudden, her semi-nude style of dressing which we had kicked against no longer mattered. We missed her already, she became bigger in the eyes of Ghanaians after her demise and, so, it continued till she was laid to rest. And today, I’m convinced that even in death, she remains a star in the eyes and hearts of Ghanaians.

A year on, my question is: Have we dealt with the situation that led to the loss of a young rising star and the two others? What is the state of the Mankrasi road? What happened to the contractor who left the heap of sand on the road? In 2003, after an event at Akuafo Hall, University of Ghana, another rising artiste, Terry Bonchaka, lost his life the same way Ebony did. Actress Suzzy Williams followed in 2005. Movie producer Kwame Owusu Ansah also died in an accident on the Accra-Tema motorway in 2008 and dancehall artiste Vybrant Faya in 2016 also died in a motor accident.

Obuor, Nana Ama McBrown and some others have all had a feel of road accidents but survived. What have we done as a people to improve the condition of the roads in our country? People spend hours in traffic just to reach their destinations daily. A journey, which would have been made in thirty minutes now takes an hour and more because of the poor state of the roads in our country. Enough education has been done on speeding and is still ongoing but what are we doing about the poor state of the roads?

Recently, a friend told me the story of how his community members came together to contribute towards constructing the road in their neighbourhood just so that they could access their homes easily without having to replace their car tyres every week. He was suggesting other communities do the same instead of waiting on the people in charge.

It looks like not much is working in my Ghana except holding elections every four years, but that’s my opinion because it seems elections are the only things that actually work. Hospitals can lack ambulances and beds to admit patients in order to treat them; buildings and facilities can be disability-unfriendly and children in deprived areas can sit in muddy structures in the name of getting an education but our ballot boxes get the most attention. Only because the electorate get to queue to vote to put people’s fathers and mothers into office where they can ignore the needs of the masses because they drive in V8’s and other dilapidated road-friendly vehicles.

Most of the people we put in charge of our country’s affairs tend to forget why they were put there once they ascend their positions. It takes the masses or the electorate to remind them that they were put there for a reason when by voting them out of power. The bad roads are everywhere; outside the capital and in the capital where some people have resolved to shut up and watch. People are really tired of complaining because it looks like we got our priorities all wrong as a nation. We would rather put up huge billboards to wish constituents a happy new year and ignore the very issues that bother them.

Disasters occur in this country and we do not even have the appropriate equipment to rescue victims other than a team of experts who are not physically and mentally equipped to rescue anyone. A disaster organisation that distributes rice and sugar better than doing the needful. The rainy season will soon set in, have we done anything to ensure there is no repetition of the annual occurrence of floods that claim the lives of the masses?

Young lives like Hilda Halidzi, 38 and her son Daniel Halidzi, 2, and Dr. Aya Hayfron and others, were lost when the floods occurred in June,2018. What has been done about the bridge on the small river called Naa Pra and the roads in Teshie where Dr Hayfron lost her life? We are certainly waiting to lose another Dr Hayfron to fix the problem before the rains set in. After all, all we do is talk and talk after such occurrences and do absolutely nothing, that’s my Ghana.

The police are killing people in the name of fighting armed robbery. From the Asawase gang of seven who were shot to death by the police on the back of allegations that they were criminals to Nungua, where the police shot a 25-year-old Divine Akuinor alleging he was an armed robber and even have gone ahead to carry out an autopsy without involving the family of the deceased. So armed robbers do not deserve to have their families present during postmortems because of their status, even if they were? Do you carry out an identification parade and shoot the suspect instantly? Nothing has been done till now as the young man’s body still lies in the morgue except for some police statement telling Ghanaians that he was an armed robber. Nobody is holding the police accountable for their actions. Nobody is investigating that shooting incident.

Divine is not the only person who has been allegedly shot to death by the police and his family has not got an explanation except the one-sided police story claiming he was a criminal. Other young lives have been lost through such reckless acts of the police who never give an explanation for their actions. Who is checking them? My Ghana is bleeding. How do the masses live in the Ghana that has hurt them, when it deprives them of their loved ones and breadwinners without an explanation and offers them no closure.

We are rather eager to protect ballot boxes with heavily armed men and have time to call people ‘bloody widow’ instead of sending the same people after our kidnapped Takoradi girls. Shame on my Ghana! Such lawlessness and misplaced priorities at the expense of the citizenry.

The people of my Ghana are tired of all these, we are tired of losing innocent lives through the silly and petty mistakes of others. Fix our roads, bring back our girls, stop killing innocent people, give us a better disaster management and rescue mission force. The masses are the ones who make up the electorate, the masses make our Ghana, the masses put you in positions which you occupy and overlook the little big things that hurt the citizenry and claim innocent lives.

Even as we remember the 90’s bad girl, Ebony, today, and the two others who lost their lives in that car crash, I want the bus driver of my Ghana and the bus conductors to know that my Ghana is bleeding and wants to heal. She wouldn’t want to lose another one of her sons or daughters through avoidable or preventable occurrences. We cannot afford to lose any more talents due to carelessness and selfishness on the part of some people.

Let’s stop her from bleeding, Ghana must heal.
God bless our homeland Ghana.

In spite of all these issues, my Ghana is still a beautiful place to live and invest.

Ghana misses you, she wishes you were still here,she still dances to your songs Ebony Reigns. Rest in peace, 90’s bad girl.



By: Elikem Adiku / Journalist



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