Was combing on facebook yesterday and happen to chance on this personality profile which caught my interest, so gave it a shot by reading through then i realized the profile was about the Bass Guitarist wooow mine oo mine with all this history Mr Kwaff as we call him walks and carries himself as if he’s not left a legacy at Presec Legon and the live band music at large, i believe my friends and i know not all that is below about Mr Kwaff.
I must admit that i’ve known this man for few years most especially at church and his humility beats my imagination, i don’t only like his dexterity on the bass but his personality and the fact that we both have the same english name “Edmund” i’d say read about the Groove man written by his Junior at Presec Legon. Enjoy…
Odadee Personality Profile: Ace Instrumentalist Edmund Kwafo Offei aka Kwaff
1977 was the epoch year. The ruling Supreme Military Council (SMC) had appointed members to the Koranteng-Addow Committee to seek the view of Ghanaians on proposed Union Government. Professional bodies led by Prof Adu Boahen & Gen Afrifa, held strikes in opposition to Military rule. Yellow Corn food aid was on the market to alleviate the near famine that was being experienced. Ghana Football Association had a one round only Novelty League underway and prolific scorer George Alhassan of Great Olympics was leading the goal king chart.
It was a typical Saturday Presec afternoon. Engmann House boys had engaged a groundnut seller; patronizing her boiled groundnuts whilst lusting after her good looks. In Clerk House, students made their way to Mangoase to exchange Rexona & Lux bathing soaps for fried yams with fresh pepper; a reenactment of barter trade. In Kwansa House Dormitory D, Kwaff sat on his bed feeling lazy from an extra plate of his favorite RED RED meal. Reaching for his guitar and adjusting his pillow for back support, his fingers went to work producing melodious strings to the ear.
God gives gifts and talents but in Edmund, He must have impacted a double dose. By age five, he was on keyboards. Apart from the ability to play musical instruments such as Keyboards, Guitar (Lead and Bass), Drums and Percussion, Edmund’s dexterity on guitar made him a sheer genius with unmatched skills.
When you are imbued with talent, and you are conscious of that talent, it becomes inevitable and imperative for you to take proactive steps to bring that gift to the fore by sharpening your skills. That was exactly what Kwaff and his friends did as they adopted all tricks to train. Eric Antonio had the key to the Music room so on the blindside of Music Master Mr Ayi aka Ayi-Ton, they trained there only to take to their heels when he approached!!!! As if not enough, these boys would take advantage during break in performances during Saturday Entertainment Night by bands like Bisa Goma, B-Soyaya etc to horn their skills.
The venue for Inter Schools Band Competition dubbed Anansekrom was the Accra Arts Center. The competing bands were from many secondary and tertiary institutions notable amongst them were Adisadel, Mfantsipim, Achimota, University of Ghana, University of Science and Technology, Accra Academy and many more. The Presec seniors dominated band was Abaluya Muzuta led by Senior Aryeetey-Adjin aka Stormay. They had registered earlier to represent Presec but Kwaff and his friends had formed Muri Sundiata . Since the organizers would not allow a school to have two bands in the competition, and determined to showcase their talents, Edmund and his band members(Eric Antonio -Keyboard (Labone House), Osei Amankwa aka Aport – drums( Labone House), Apim Paul aka Pim-Polo- vocalist( Clerk House) Yaw Nyadu Offei- background vocalist( Engman House) Walters Ayettey aka Erosion – bass guitar(Kwansa House) Jacob Owusu- congas (Riis House) and Bernard Koranteng -vocalist (Riis House) approached the Headmaster of Sanful Missionary College at Kaneshie and ‘begged’ to represent that school. The headmaster without any hesitation accepted. Such was the determination, resolve and fortitude of Kwaff and his Muri Sundiata band members. Presec thus technically had two bands in the competition!!!!!
Ghanaians flocked to Accra Stadium in February 1969 with great expectations to watch Pele and his Santos Club play Hearts of Oak. In the same vein, Presec boys turned out in their numbers to see their ‘two’ bands play expecting nothing but superlative performance. They were not disappointed. The Test Song was “M’adamfo pa by Kofi Ani Johnson and its perfect rendition by Kwaff and his Muri Sundiata band sent the vociferous Presec fans into frenzy. If Luciano Pavarotti’s performance in 1977 Metropolitan Opera production of La Boheme gave him the recognition he sought, Muri Sundiata ‘s special composition ‘ Wɔtsɛ Gbeho’ dedicated to the late Philip Gbeho composer of the Ghana National Anthem, swayed the judges and separated Muri Sundiata from the pack to win the competition. In the final round, Edmund possessed by Apollo the Greek god of music, put up a performance Bruce Springsteen THE BOSS would envy.
Ladies love success and gravitate towards achievers. Was it therefore any wonder that when Kwaff lifted the two prizes: Kofi Antobam Shield for winning the competition and Ephraim Amo Cup for best composition, well-endowed (Chicks) from Accra Girls, St Marys’ and Accra High Schools begun falling over themselves to shake hands and offer ‘full scholarship’ to the victorious band members? Little did these ladies know that the band members were budding Presbyterian eunuchs? Oblivious of himself, an excited Presec student had his trousers partly down(Otto Pfixter) exposing his multicolored underwear. Strangely, this multicolored ‘supporter’ drew more excitement from the ladies.
Professionally, Odadee Edmund has in the past 3 decades been consulting for many artists and producing many up and coming musicians as well. A visit to his office shows many including other non-Ghanaian African artists waiting in the cozy reception to be attended to. No rush here as each project is handled professionally and in the Odadee hallmark of excellence. Edmund has in the past collaborated with local highlife stars like Bob Pinodo and the late Alhaji K Frimpong and coproduced the gospel hit:”adea Yesu ayɛ amame” with Essibons Records in 1980 on which he played the Bass Guitar. He is also into live performances; leading his own Rhythm Masters Band with performances on specific days at Golden Tulip and Royal Fiesta hotels in Accra. If you are lucky and get a booking, Rhythm Masters Band will play at your social gatherings. One highly talented keyboard player Odadee Eric Antonio who does big time studio sessions for International stars like Kojo Antwi, Miatta Fanbulley and occasionally plays with Steve Wonder when he travels abroad, was nurtured by Edmund.
Yet for all this success, self-fulfillment takes the better part of Edmund and his Aburi Presbyterian humility keeps him from ‘running his mouth’. On his appreciative mind everyday are Kojo Offei, a senior brother, Cousin Eric Boadu and Antony Wood a family friend who though not Presecans, played important roles in his music career.
Senior Edmund Kwafo Offei, we celebrate you and members of your Muri Sundiata band.
Akro House 76-83
Nii Adu thank you soo much for making available all these rich chronicle of the bass guitarist in my church, Mr Kwaff. No wonder when he isn’t at church we feel his absence and you’ll know there’s something missing in the sound that is produced.
Mr Kwaff , myself , Nii and prince and on behalf of the church celebrate you and proud of you as well.