I happened to chance on one of Ghana’s showbiz enthusiast and former artiste manager, Paa Kwesi Lebaron at a coffee shop on the streets of Vancouver in Canada during a visit to . I have known and followed his works since his days with Ekow Shailo, Obrafour, Tic Tac, Castro and Nana Boroo and his seemingly look alike with Sarkodie.
I called his name out loudly; Lebaron!!! and he turned with a funny look on his face as if to say to me, “where do I know you”? I quickly mentioned to him; I am from Ghana and I knew him as a showbiz personality. He then opened up and I got the chance to steal about 15 minutes of his time in a conversation that turned into an interview captured below;
Nana Akosua Smith: What have you been up to in the last few years?
Lebaron: Basically, I decided to upgrade my personal and professional life. So I first came to Canada to look for the opportunity to school, build my capacity and be exposed to leadership, entertainment management and event consultancy based on my aspirations and that went very well. One thing led to the other and another and I fell within a network of like minded business personalities through which I have been exploring new opportunities and doing more of events consultancy here in Canada.
Nana Akosua Smith: Are you gonna come back to settle in Ghana anytime soon?
Lebaron: Certainly, Ghana is home, I was in Ghana in December to have a firsthand information and knowledge about the entertainment industry particularly with events production and management. I was in South Africa in March and will be in Nigeria and Ghana this December again as I prepare to launch a series of both public and private entertainments event in the Diaspora with focus on African showbiz.
Nana Akosua Smith: Wow, that sounds interesting, would you want to tell me more about it.
Lebaron: Sure, there is more to be told but we are currently still developing the blueprints and so once we are at least 70% through, we will tell you more about it.
Nana Akosua Smith: How would you describe the music and showbiz scene in Ghana now?
Lebaron: It looks very interesting and profitable now .New talents keep popping up everyday giving the old folks and most of the artiste I worked with a run for their money. At least there are investors now pushing their money into the game and that is what we fought for.
The only issue I could possibly raise which is debatable is that our content and branding is still not very solid and professional enough. We are still not penetrating the international market as our brothers from Nigeria and that is why some of us will be bouncing back to continue what we started some years ago in leading the path for our artiste to get some form of international exposure to increase their market reach, their brand and also make some money.
Nana Akosua Smith: Looks like there is something in the pipe line.
Lebaron: Yes there is and it will be sooner than you can imagine. For starters we have a project coming up which will bring more Ghanaians artiste to Canada and the US than never before….
Nana Akosua Smith: Tell me about it?
Lebaron: You know what, I have to go now, I came into place an order for my birthday next week Friday, 15th June so I have to run, pleasure meeting you, regards to the folks back home and lets continue this conversation some other time.
Nana Akosua Smith: Happy Birthday in advance Paa Kwesi.
Lebaron: Thank you and join us if you will still be in town.
Nana Akosua Smith: I will be gone by then … And this was how our close to 15 minutes conversation ended.
Nana Akosua Smith