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With the exception of one, I have been to every single Danny Nettey concert ever since I became self-aware. I am more than what you would typically call a “fan” or “celebrity stalker” as far as Minister Danny Nettey is concerned. I know every single one of his songs WORD FOR WORD. Including the ones he never released and/or is yet to release. (There are quite a lot of those as well) At the just ended Celebration of Faithfulness (A concert that was organised in honour of Danny Nettey for having chalked THIRTY YEARS in ministry), I sat in the middle floor of the National Theatre. (Can I call it “middle floor”? Well, whatever it’s called, I sat there) There was a couple sitting right in front of me, and as musician after musician came on stage and powerfully ministered Danny Nettey’s songs, I would sing along to each and every one. And with every single song, they would look back at me shocked and I imagine they were asking themselves how I knew all the songs.
I had the special privilege of being birthed as the eldest direct nephew of Uncle Dan. And from what I’m told we had an instant connection. He would be the one to always carry me around the yard. Only God knows the amount of words and songs he ministered in my life as a little boy. And he did this so much so that a very ridiculous rumour begun to spread. According to the “area boys”, Uncle Dan had given me to mum to hide the fact that he was my real dad. As is common of all lies, it fizzled out. At a point, people who had only just met us were even speculating I was twins with my mum.
My earliest memory of him is one of nostalgia. We (me and my other cousins) were playing in the yard, when he came out with his guitar and sat under the pear tree in front of the garage. He would play and sing a little, pause and scribble something, and then continue playing. Eventually I went to him and as he played the song to me he paused at a portion and surprisingly, he asked me what words to put there. In my little boy head, I could only come up with “merry-go-round”. A few years ago, I realised he actually put it in the song. Seeing as it was on his 1995 album, Positive Change, I couldn’t have been more than 5 at the time. He is so gifted and dynamic. I quite remember one day we were watching a video feed from one of his shows and he got up and excused himself. After about 30 minutes, he wasn’t coming back so I decided to go find him. He was on the keyboard in the “boys’ quarters” when I found him. For the 30 minutes or so that he left me in the room, he had written 2 songs. One of them is MOKO BE, which features Nii Okai and Pastor Josh Laryea on the album, I BELIEVE and the other is a worship song which you haven’t heard yet. Hahaha.
LESSONS LEARNT FROM DANNY NETTEY
I have learnt plenty from this great man of God. I will only share three of these with you. Not everything is for public consumption. :-p :-p
Lesson Number One: WE LIVE TO REFLECT GOD’S LIGHT.
One Christmas, I went to Uncle Dan and said; “for my Christmas present this year, I just want to hang out”. So the plan was we would go out, have lunch and then watch a movie at Silverbird. We wanted to walk to the mall to watch the movie. It was close to where we had lunch. Between lunch and our movie, everyone wanted to talk to him. It was incredible the number of times our conversation got interrupted. We had to get a taxi to avoid missing the movie entirely. Later I said to him, “that only happens when you’re walking with a star”. This was his response; “I like to think of myself as the moon. I have no light of my own. Like the moon, I only reflect God’s light”. This has been ringing in my mind till date.
Lesson Number Two: IF WE OBEY THE VOICE OF THE HOLYSPIRIT, EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT.
Uncle Dan organises quarterly worship services which he calls SECRET PLACE. This particular Sunday afternoon, the worship service was at a church I had never been to (somewhere in Adenta I think, I can’t remember the venue) When I got to the venue, I called him on the phone. And he started showing me how to find him. “Do you see that storey building to your left?” he started. “Yeah”, I replied. “Walk towards it”, he said. As I was going, he stopped me and said “take the path to your right”, so I did. Less than a minute and he stopped me again. “Take another right” he said. “That leads back to the main gate” I protested amidst laughter. “I know” he said. I figured he was messing with me. He’s fun like that. I did a 360 but didn’t see him anywhere so I started walking in the direction he had asked me to. It went through the car park. Suddenly he said “Stop”. I stopped. At that moment I had laughed so much I was starting to tear up. I heard a knock on the window of the car I was standing by at the time. He was in the car so I went around and sat next to him in the front passenger seat still laughing. He said something to me I will never forget: “THIS IS HOW MAN IS SUPPOSED TO LIVE. IF WE OBEY THE VOICE OF THE HOLYSPIRIT, EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT. HE WILL LEAD US RIGHT TO THE PLACE WHERE WE NEED TO GO”.
Lesson Number Three: HOW DO YOU CHANGE A PEOPLE WHO DON’T KNOW THEY NEED CHANGE?
At the time, I was at a church where the choir didn’t like to learn anything new. Anytime I introduced something new, all they would do was kick against it. So one day I asked Uncle Dan what to do about it. He gave me a strategy. “Pick a few of them out, teach them and occasionally minister with them. The rest will see what you’re doing and start to wonder what you’re doing differently. They will realign themselves”. “Don’t forget to pray” he added as I got called away.
I am doing this because of what my friend and big brother calls the “akrantie nkwan” theory. All across the world people only eulogize the dead. Ghanaians praise the akranti3 soup even though they have no respect for the actual live grasscutter
I choose to celebrate my legend while he lives.
UNCO DAN, YOU INSPIRE ME.
THANK YOU. I LOVE YOU.
YOU HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE IN MY LIFE.
INDEED DANNY NETTEY IS A LEGEND