Ruddy Kwakye, Executive Producer of Afro Nation, an urban music festival held from December 27 to 30 last year, has recounted the gross losses incurred following the applications of injunction on the proposed venue of the event by some parties who claimed ownership of the said area, stressing that the attendance, among others, for Day 1 was not as envisaged.
After an earlier action from real estate developers, Wonda World Properties Ltd, seeking to place an injunction on the use of Laboma Beach, another application for an injunction by Waterfront Development Ltd and Coastal Property Holdings Ltd hit organisers of the event, worsening their plight.
“The effect of the pendency of the Motion for Interlocutory Injunction is that Afro Nation cannot access the land in dispute including Laboma Beach nor can it hold any event from the 27th to 30th December 2019 until the Motion for Interlocutory Injunction which has been adjourned to 15th January 2020 is heard and the Court orders otherwise,” attorneys for Waterfront Development Ltd and Coastal Property Holdings Ltd, Minkah Premo & Co reportedly said.
Although calm was restored and the event saw the light of day, Mr. Kwakye in an interview on 3FM’s ShowBuzz said the effect of the back and forth was profound.
“It did affect us from a psyche position,” he stated. “You saw the numbers; those were our international customers. Ghana technically didn’t show up. That’s the reality. All our partners, sponsors were worried. We had to assure everybody that [it will happen]. It may be jokes to the people that were doing it but it wasn’t to us. It did cost us. And especially in a market where purchase decisions are last-minute, that’s a disrupt right there.”
“Day one was cruising to be the smash. It was cruising to be the smash from sales from ten months ago but there was a massive decrease because everybody was watching to see what happens. You know the saying ‘bad news travels half-way around the world when good news is trying to lace their shoes’. By the time all of these supposed concessions and settlements went out, you may have made the option. Let’s not forget there was a calendar of options. If I sense something is gonna happen, I’m not gonna come,” he added.
Kwakye told host, MzGee, that in the midst of the brouhaha, he was not disturbed because his outfit had not engaged in any wrongful acts.
“We weren’t shaken because we knew we will have a big target behind our backs,” he mentioned. “We had to focus and deliver… and the other thing is just to make sure that we don’t break any laws, we’re not usurping anybody’s authority or taking advantage of anybody.”
“The Ghana Tourism Authority obviously solidified the position but there are merits and demerits. I don’t want to go into that because there are legal conversations and a lot of them, we sat with them to talk. That land has a lot of supposed issues… there’s been an occupant of that land for a minute and they are there. That’s the other thing. This is not something we stole our way in; there was always somebody we spoke to and everybody that came out with a claim, we met and spoke with them.”
While expressing delight that “sanity and reasoning prevailed with all the claimants and obviously the occupants,” Kwakye hoped “they get to actually solve their claims and issues.”