Samini was in a Twitter beef last Friday. Not really. Okay, really. Really really. It start like all Twitter beefs start, with a meme. He posted “What’s up? It’s Friday, chale. How did the weed go?” @sergiomanucho1 replied with a meme of an old woman with pipe in her mouth with the caption, “‘If You Want To Live A Long And A Happy Life, Smoke Weed’ – Says 95-Year Old Woman”. It seem like a screenshot of a news article. It was accompanied by the caption, “Hmm…travelled saa tryna search this old lady but no dey see am, wanna live long o Natty”
Samini retweeted the meme with the comment, “She dey my house with the pipe and everything inside it… I’m trying to grow old wai.”
Twitter is full of people who can’t help it but try to take the sting out of a joke. One of them retweeted Samini’s comment with “useless advice”. Samini should have let him wallow in his foolery but he didn’t. He replied, “Wasn’t meant for you Mr Useful guy. Go put your usefulness to the benefit of mother Ghana. Thanks for your long nose but pinokio (Pinocchio) got that swag.”
The exchange went on with @kotokuom saying, “Blessed love for your constant highlighting to consider legalizing marijuana” to which Samini replied, “There’s a huge economic fortune for farmers, should the legalization “of cultivation for medical and industrial use” of marijuana happen…and as a farmer I want my share of the cake. There are credible online articles to further enlighten you on this.”
I don’t have to add how much I agree with Samini, I have a whole article to prove that. I am just impressed with Samini’s maturation into a marijuana legalization advocate. It hasn’t been an easy journey.
The first ever music concert I ever attended outside of church was in 2004. It was the Saturday before Mother’s Day 2004. Kyekyekule organised a kids show at the Kumasi Golf Course sponsored by Nido. It was headlined by Samini (then Batman) and the god Okomfour Kwaadee. I have been a lifelong fan of those since then. That’s why even though, I don’t remember the newspaper, I remember the news story. The story was in 2005. One of Ghana’s many entertainment newspapers said reported that, their reporter was attacked by Samini. According to the news story, Samini was offended by the reporter asking him about smoking weed. Samini was so offended by the question, he attacked the reporter and took his recorder and broke it.
In 2010, Mugees released a song called Burn. He recorded over the Trigga Riddim Samini created with JMJ. Mugees sang about the need to legalise marijuana on the song. He featured Samini. Samini spoke about police profiling and harassment of people with dreadlocks.
I was working with Samini at this point. My boss, Verus Nartey, was organising all Samini events at this point. Verus’s newspaper, Hi Newspaper, which I wrote for, had teamed up with Samini Music to organise a day tour of Accra to make the release of his fourth album, C.E.O. It was a novel idea at the time. It started with an album launch at Golden Tulip Accra. He activated a retail tour which saw him take his new album directly to his fans at the Osu Oxford Street, Melcom Plus at North Kaneshie, University of Ghana (specifically Volta Hall) and the Accra Mall all on the same day. He ended at the Aphrodisiac nite club later in the night.
Samini granted an interview to Hitz FM (I think it was with Okyeame Qouphi), the day before the tour. In the interview, Okyeame Qouphi asked about Mugeez’s Burn. He replied that, he created the Trigga Riddim with JMJ. He added that he wasn’t responsible for what Mugeez said on the riddim. Natty distanced himself from his protege’s call for legalisation.
In December, 2011, I was working with Samini more closely. He had just signed a management deal with Phamous Media Group. Hi Newspaper joined force with Phamous Media Group to create a TV show called Phamous TV. I was a producer of the show. The MVP writer that I am, I also worked as Samini’s publicist. That’s how I found myself in Samini’s star-studded private birthday party. I remember Ramsey Nouah performing for Efya. He said it was unfair that Efya was entertaining the guests while the guests were eating. He elected to perform for her while she ate. This Yoruba demons are corny. He performed Bruno Mars’ Grenade.
This birthday party was the first time Samini publicly threw out the idea of a yearly concert, which became Saminifest. Let me hasten to add (Atta Mills Voice) that my performance at the 2014 Saminifest was the first time a Ghanaian poet was performing before a 15,000 audience. I killed that. Okay, back to matter. Samini talked about his early hustle days at this party. He talked about smoking weed and cigarette in his youth. Koo Emma, as he said to called that night, added that he quit smoking cigarette and now drank pito instead. He didn’t anything else about smoking weed. He left it unsaid.
In 2018, on the best album of the year, Untamed, Samini dedicated a whole song to legalizing the cultivation of marijuana. He even talked about being a weed user himself on the song, Boom Draw. This shift to embrace his role as an advocate for marijuana decriminalization and legalization started in 2017 with his Starr Chat interview. He has continued to call for the legalisation on every platform.
Embracing who you are and calling public acceptance of who you are, is a sign of maturity. Samini has matured.