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“Ebony Reigns broke grounds and hearts”
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“Ebony Reigns broke grounds and hearts”

Ebony Reigns ruled Ghana’s airwaves in recent months, writes Michael Gyekye, 25, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Ghana, until a tragic accident plunged the country into mourning over a lost talent.

“Young and talented and beautiful and intelligent and sassy and beloved.” No words could better do justice to the fast-rising young Ghanaian music sensation, Ebony Reigns, real name, Priscilla Opoku-Kwarteng, than those from the Yale-educated head of the influential Centre for Democratic Development, Prof. H. Kwasi Prempeh. His words echoed many a Ghanaian’s thoughts.

She’d have been 22 a couple of days after Valentine’s Day, but she had already turned a legend before this birthday.

Posterity would learn that she was that irrepressible wannabe whose controlling passion for showbiz inspired her to swap high school classrooms for the music studio.

She was the youngest ever and first person of her gender in Ghana to release about eight major music singles in a year.

She demolished the proverbial glass ceiling by becoming, once more, the youngest person ever and the first of her gender, to lead nominations for the prestigious and highly coveted Artiste of the Year prize in the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards 2018.

She inspired the budding Ghanaian feminist movement with her charming stage costumes and performances that gave her male contemporaries pause.

Yes, Ebony reigned.

Alas, a day ahead of her scheduled music tour of Europe, she died in a ghastly motor accident that spared none of the four persons in her car but the driver. She was returning to Accra after visiting her mother and relatives in Sunyani, a town in the middle belt of Ghana.

Ghana went numb the following day – February 9. Shock and grief took over the nation.

President Akufo-Addo would lead tributes to the lost Queen of the Airwaves with his comment, “Saddened by the news of the death of the young, but extremely talented female artiste, Priscilla Opoku-Kwarteng, aka Ebony Reigns. By all accounts, she had a very promising music career. My deepest condolences to her family, and to the families of the two others who died in the tragic accident.  #RIPEbony”

Former President John Manama would also eulogize the dancehall empress:

“RIP #Ebony.
A talented life cut short.
My favourite track on domestic violence and relationships, “maame hwe”.”

A tribute was also paid to her in Ghana’s Parliament.

Her soaring fame would further mean the BBC would help let the world know what it had lost. (See video)

Ebony Reigns was a richly talented and versatile rising musician whose powerfully-themed songs and arresting lyrics employing a mix of languages that thrust her among the elite Ghanaian musicians in record time.

Her boldness and sense of destiny buoyed her charisma and inspired her fans and critics to defend or denounce her cause with equal vehemence.

Despite her short music career, her legacy is both an inspiration and a challenge to young dreamers of showbiz careers in Ghana, particularly female artists, to keep hope alive and dare to defy stereotypes to fulfill their potential and ambitions.

“Ebony Reigns broke grounds, broke hearts and built hope” – her epitaph may read.

I join her fans and admirers to bid good night to this departed baby legend.

Reach me on Facebook at Michael Adu Gyekye

Photo credits: courtesy of Michael Gyekye

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About me: I aspire to be a communications, management and policy development consultant. I am a graduate of B. A Political Studies from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. I am especially interested in politics, business, technology and sports. I love to read, write, facilitate programs, offer analytical commentary and travel.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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