“Sarkodie Did Not Create Azonto!”

At a seminar organised for some selected arts writers in Ghana at the University of Ghana campus not too long ago, a music lecturer educated myself and my colleagues on the foundations of Azonto. He said the new phenomenon called Azonto did not just come into existence by itself or by accident. It was traced to a traditional dance called Kpanlogo of the people of the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. Due to the above, we can collectively forgive pugilist and ‘comedian’ Braimah Kamoko aka Bukom Banku when he told Ghanaians sometime back that Azonto originated from him. But we cannot forget how Sarkodie recently deceived the whole world on a BBC Africa show about the invention of Azonto. Records must be set straight. Sarkodie did not create Azonto! In the interview with BBC Africa’s Paul Bakibinga, Sarkodie spoke about varied issues, highlights of which were centered on Azonto, a dance he categorically stated that he invented but other people are gradually taking to the next level. On BBC Africa, Sarkodie said, “You know Azonto was meant to be but I was lucky to be the first person to bring it out. I gave birth to it but now people are taking it to the next level.” How did Sarkodie bring the Azonto out? How did he give birth to it when he only helped to popularise it? Sarkodie, please come again. It would be appropriate if he came back to correct that fallacy since he has become a laughing stock for saying that but knowing how is he, I doubt if he would do that. First of all, Azonto is not a genre of music. It’s a form of dance. It is an expressive type of dance, dance with an attitude which involves rigorous body movement to mimic everyday activities. The basic body movements of the dance include washing, ironing, driving, boxing and shaving. Why rapper Sarkodie will lay claim to ownership of Azonto is beyond my understanding and perhaps that of many well meaning Ghanaians who have been following the Azonto craze. Ever since he made that assertion, the reaction to that has been met with mixed feelings. Sarkodie himself is learning the dance from the public because he doesn’t even know how to do the dance he claims he invented. Growing up, the term Azonto was used to refer to a lady who is promiscuous. I cannot readily name or pinpoint the person behind the creation of that term but certainly I know it’s not Sarkodie. Prior to Sarkodie’s release of his You Go Kill Me song which had him thinking and boasting of creating Azonto, Ghanaians were dancing the Azonto to Cash Unit and Castro’s song Ayoo and other songs like African Girl by Castro featuring Asamoah Gyan. I believe we all remember Asamoah Gyan’s dance at the World Cup whenever he scored a goal. It was also during that time that, Gasmilla released his Aboodatoi video but then people were busy learningAsamoah Gyan’s dance which has resemblance to the current Azonto and to some of us, it’s not surprising that, it has metamorphosed into Azonto. When Gasmilla dropped his Aboodatoi song and video coupled with his crazy Azonto dance, it became like another level of the dance, so people started doing all the moves. Due to its growing popularity and the demand for it, Ghanaian producers started taking advantage of its rhythm, produced similar beats that go with the dance and it has spread to every part of the continent and even beyond. Gasmilla is a good “Azonto” dancer. I believe Ghanaians first saw the dance as it is now from Gasmilla. How was Gasmilla able to do the Azonto dance so perfectly? I don’t know but certainly, he didn’t learn it from Sarkodie who doesn’t know the movement and was by then still learning. I think he’s still learning. Sarkodie cannot even say he made Azonto go international. Fuse ODG featuring Tiffany on his song titled Azonto can take that credit for that any day. The Azonto dance was on the scene before Sarkodie released his video. So how did he create something which was there before his song and video? Who is he trying to deceive? The dance has been there long ago. Sarkodie only made the term Azonto popular through his music because he’s bigger than the artistes who started the movement musically. But then making a term which was already in existence before he was born popular doesn’t mean he “created” or “invented” it. For me, it was the public that virtually named the dance Azonto because by then his song was a hit and went well with the dance. Sarkodie must know that, there is an extent to which an artiste can boast and he must not go beyond that because all of us cannot be fooled at the same time.


Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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