Ghanaian highlife legend Amakye Dede has opened up about the reasons behind his decision to crown Kuami Eugene as the ‘King of Highlife’ for the next generation during the 2019 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards. In a recent interview on Asaase Radio, Amakye Dede disclosed that he was compelled to confer the title on Kuami Eugene after the young artist won the Highlife Artiste of the Year award.
While acknowledging the act of crowning Kuami Eugene, Amakye Dede clarified that it was not his personal choice but rather a decision imposed upon him. He stated, “Although I did that, it was not my will to do that but they forced me to crown the boy. That’s the reason I did that.” Amakye Dede even revealed that he delegated the responsibility of placing the crown on Kuami Eugene’s head to someone else, but it was later given back to him to perform the ceremonial act.
This revelation marks the first time Amakye Dede has publicly commented on the matter, although his manager Kwasi Aboagye of Peace FM had previously given a similar explanation when the incident occurred. According to reports from Kwasi Aboagye, Kiki Banson, a member of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards Board and an event coordinator at the time, had requested Amakye Dede to carry out the crowning.
The crowning of Kuami Eugene sparked controversy within the music industry, with figures like Zapp Mallet and Bisa Kdei expressing their disapproval of the act. Critics argued that while Kuami Eugene showed promise as a hardworking highlife artist, he was not yet ready to bear the title of ‘King of Highlife.’ Many believed that bestowing such a title prematurely could have negative implications for the future of the genre.
In response to the backlash, Kuami Eugene addressed the rumours surrounding the crowning, stating that it was not planned and instead viewed it as a blessing bestowed upon him.