Shatta Wale: Another case of self-sabotage Pt.I

I recently wrote a piece on Gifty Anti and her self-sabotage at springboard. Perhaps I should mention that these articles are not meant to attack any personality but to analysis the conduct of very visible individuals and how it affects their occupational and life performance. In effect they are performance analysis and it is hoped that readers will learn a thing or two from the situations.

Barely a fortnight after the Gift Anti article, the self-sabotage alarm bells went off again. This time, it was a bigger catch or is it. Shatta Wale have managed to get himself sued for 10 million GHS by entertainment event giant Charterhouse. Doesn’t sound good but believe me it is worse than it sounds. Even if by some miracle Charterhouse decides to drop the charges, Shatta Wale would have had a close encounter with bankruptcy barely two years after his breakthrough. It is not fun by any stretch of imagination and it could actually mean career death.




Anybody who lives in Ghana knows that Shatta Wale although extremely, talented only just started peaking after so many years of obscurity in the industry. His contemporaries; most of who are in possession of only a fraction of his talent left him behind as he struggled to gain the recognition that he truly deserves. Many years ago, I was flipping through radio stations when I heard his voice verbally assaulting an ace producer. That was the first time I heard him speak and got my own helping of his famous venom. He is not a very nice guy when he is unhappy. It takes a specific kind of person to release such insults on a well-respected public figure especially when the whole world is listening. Shatta Wale is that guy and he left no stones unturned and he dealt with Mark Okraku Mantey.


Not too long ago I started hearing his voice on X fm as a regular on a show hosted by one Mr. logic. They donned the dancehall “badman” badge and proclaimed its manifesto complete with the extreme negativity and profanity that characterizes the Jamaican dancehall. In the midst of the cacophony they called radio broadcasting, Mr. Logic constantly chanted praise to Mr. Wale as he pointed the whole world to his talent and the authenticity of his rebel mentality. He projected Wale as the true dancehall artist as he has  not only the talent but also the attitude. They had fun for a while but nothing lasts forever.


The two apparently got into a misunderstand for reasons I have not bothered to find out. But it wasn’t long before Wale’s constant appearance on xfm or perhaps the magic of Mr. logic’s management skills paid off. His Dancehall king single took the whole country by storm and before one could say Ananse; Shatta Wale is off the ground. But there was no Mr. logic with him. Then came the dis songs and the counteractions. Lyrically and musically the two were at each other’s throats and apparently it hasn’t ended.


I have deliberately decided not to mention his well know brawl with Samini for obvious reasons. It seemed Shatta Wale is not a very patient man and that in more than one way accounted for why it has taken him so long to get off the ground when talent wise he had more than it takes. I saw some of his famous videos on YouTube. The same videos that have earned him a 10 million GHS law suit and I struggled to understand what he was getting at besides the obvious burning passion to abuse charterhouse and its owners. He seemed very good at it which can only be the result of years of practice – you see being disrespectful is a mainstay of the Jamaican dancehall. They even have competitions about it. If you can’t dis, you are not cool.


Wale epitomizes the self-sabotage phenomenon- building something you treasure with a lot of hard work over a long period of time and by your own action destroying it in a day. There is no negative behavior that results in positivity and those who do not understand this little moral law tend to row against the tide when they can sail downstream aided by a strong yet gentle breeze.  But to understand these moral laws are the realm of structure. In my work I have talked extensively about the important influence of structure on content and how it is structure that determines the direction of content. Our friend in question obviously has a weak structure though he carries great content. That he is a very talented individual cannot be challenged. He generates a lot of power applying his gift but he has a problem knowing how to use this power. This is what has made it possible to use it against himself coming close to destroying everything he has built over years of struggle.


Think about it this way; when the ordinary person records a video abusing a powerful institution, it doesn’t really attract that much attention. But when a person with as much power at his disposal as the founder and life president of the SM movement does it, it attracts a law suit. So he does have power but what can he do with that power. But let’s just assume that he doesn’t understand these things; how is it that those who have a commercial interest in his work did not know better as their cash cow is on the path of self-destruction. If indeed his managers are capable, we must see a tactful handling of the matter and a resulting drastic change in behavior. Otherwise they may all need the service of a life coach who might help them answer the questions concerning how your regular activities will determine how your life will ultimately pan out.


From where I stand, Shatta has a few problems; wrong thoughts that will without fail lead to wrong behavior, lack of emotional intelligence leading to a low level of socio-emotional competence and a weak structure to manage the great content he has. A weak structure is like a cracked glass trying to hold precious water. The solution to his problems is a simple one, he needs more than his managers, he also needs a life coach.

About Markus Kennedy Katey

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