Sizzla is scheduled to perform in Ghana next month to mark the West African country’s independence celebrations, the Ghana news agency has announced.

The singer is expected to perform on March 5-6 at the Accra Sports Stadium and the Kumasi Stadium, respectively. He will also launch his new album, Crucial Times, on March 6, the day Ghana celebrates its 53rd year of independence from Britain.

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Crucial Times was released in January by Greensleeves Records.

According to a statement from the government agency, the shows are being organised by Paa K Holbrook-Smith in collaboration with music production firms, Lalibela Music Productions and Aduanaba Promotions.

second appearance

Phillip Burrell, Sizzla’s longtime manager and producer, confirmed the dates which will be the roots performer’s second appearance in Africa. His first took place in late 2008 in The Gambia.

Cheesy Wailer, a leading Ghanaian reggae act, is down to support Sizzla at both shows.

Sizzla, who is best known for songs such as Black Woman and Child and Just One of Those Days, is reportedly one of the most popular reggae acts in Africa which remains largely untapped, despite a long history of ties to Jamaican popular music.

He would be the latest new-wave reggae artiste to perform on the continent in recent times. Anthony B, Beenie Man, Brick and Lace, Morgan Heritage and Shaggy have done shows throughout Africa in the last three years.

Ghana has become the epicentre of sorts for reggae in Africa. Rita Marley, widow of reggae legend Bob Marley, owns a home in Accra, the capital, and has produced the popular Africa Unite shows there to mark his birthday in February.

Marley was a hero to African freedom fighters during the 1970s and was invited to perform in Zimbabwe in 1980, to commemorate that country’s independence. Peter Tosh, Third World and Jimmy Cliff also did shows in Africa during the 1980s, as did Gregory Isaacs and Yellowman.

Independent reggae record companies cited the African market as potentially lucrative during the 1980s and 1990s. Rampant piracy, however, ate into their profits and forced them to stop distribution in the region.

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