Why Tzy Panchak’s ‘self-made’ video is appropriation of Grassfield culture!

The masquerade is to those of the grasslands, a sacrosanct being, one reverrred and even feared.

Blu Nation singer, Tzy Panchak is back to his ways, lending a hand to upcoming and less influential acts. This time around, the ‘Na so’ crooner used two stones to shoot one bird, incorporating the Belaire drink for which he is ambassador, into the piece.

The song titled ‘self-made’ features Vivid, Cleo Grae, J Kree, Vancy and the incredible Phido. The song talks of how far they have come to be what they are today. Tzy on his verses, brags to be a self-made man, crushing every obstacle that ever found its way on his path.

The lines add to his list of lyrics and utterances that have left fans and music lovers divided in recent times. He evoked similar sensations on the song ‘grind’ when he mentioned the line ‘chilling with the devil for all kind style, this is the life I choose’.

His hit song, ‘l’homme est mauvais’ featuring Salatiel, Vivid and Cleo Grae once more, is not exempt from this trail of controversy. This, sparked by his line ‘touch me for lass you go see shit’, a line he uses to describe his humanity and predisposition to errors.

But the ‘self-made’ video has unlocked new levels of how far the singer is willing to go, to stay edgy and on the news, even to the detriment of a people who hold their culture so dear.

The clip features a masquerade getting soaked in Belaire as he dances to the rhythm. He goes on to pour some of it into his clay pot filled with herbs. And still, that is not the most outrageous aspect. The masquerade is further portrayed nearly frolicking with a half-naked lady who covers it with pecks, before it falls to the ground as if to say affected by her sly show of affection.

Extract from Tzy’s ‘Self-made’ video where masquerades rubs shoulders with half naked ladies

Every singer (even hardcore rappers) know there are lines best avoided. Even Ghana’s lyrical Joe got his lesson after his remarks on the Lake Nyos gas disaster, a botched attempt to diss New Bell Music boss, Jovi.

The masquerade is to those of the grasslands, a sacrosanct being, one reverrred and even feared. Despite its public displays and sometimes jovial nature, the masquerade remains a being not touched by just any commoner, let alone half clad ladies with provocative sexual gyrations. They are to a people, the representation of their supreme beings, an outward display of the innermost chambers and secrets not to be toyed with.

Blu Nation’s soldier and even the Belaire brand should know better. And while such misrepresentation could easily appear to go under the radar, it sticks as a testament of their role in the appropriation of a people’s culture, taking that which they hold dear and sacrosanct, and making gest of it.

It is taking that royal authority they command and represent, and throwing it with infidels as a master would a bone to a dog.

It would be dishonest to admit the use of masquerades for multiple media works and even clips. It would be a dishonest thing to do, to accept the fact that they can be portrayed in the media and in clips. But the manner of their use is where the bone of contention lies. In those 20 seconds, the major principles of respect, physical distance and purpose of the masquerade were disregarded.

Director Pointeh who shot the clip should have known better.

Giyo Ndzi

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