RICEWATER SERIES: The Reggie N Bollie Story –5 most important lessons

Aunty Aba’s daughter Maame Ama is so cute. She’s only 17years and has budded into a curvy figure a lot of men will admire. She often helps her mum sell at her breakfast joint.  This morning I overhead the ricewater seller advising her daughter to keep her virginity intact for her future husband as I passed by. She said most men will prefer marrying a virgin to somebody with sexual experience.

I smiled and asked myself if that is even true in the first place –that most men will prefer marrying a virgin to a ‘non-virgin’. But the rice water seller’s advice to her daughter reminded me of Reggy Zippy’s song ‘b3ma bia se )p3 virgin, asana wa y3 no wedding….’ translated as {every man wants a virgin before he weds her……}

If you have followed the Ghana music industry for some time, you will remember Reggy Zippy. That song was a hit! Together with his friend Bollie{most noted for his song  ‘you may kiss the bride’}  have rebranded to ‘Reggie N Bollie’ –international music artiste. Reggie N Bollie, caught the attention of the world on the X Factor reality show in the UK, which saw them garner a large following in the UK and around the world. The duo, now signed to Simon Cowell’s Syco Music, made it to the final of the X Factor 2015, but lost to singer Louisa Johnson -a 17 year old British girl…it’s a funny world…hehehe… same age as Aunty Aba’s daughter  but check out the disparity in their life achievement at age 17.

Mentored by Cherly Fernandez-Versini, Reggie N Bollie won the hearts of many people in the U.K with their energetic stage craft during the series. The Ghanaian duo is set to release their debut single on 6th May 2016.They are expected to arrive  in Ghana this week to shoot the music video of their debut single which is titled ‘New Girl’.

My name is Kojo Darko Sakyi-Gyinae, as I ate my usual breakfast, hot ricewater with plenty of milk afloat I thought it would be worth sharing my 10 most valuable lessons from the Reggie and Bollie Story.

  1. The magical element, God’s favour – And here I will sound like a preacher man. As a Christian I have always believed that the most important ingredient for a life-changing destiny is God’s favour .Reggie N Bollie are a living example of God’s favour. Just when they had given up on their music ambitions, God’s favour locates them. Reggie said ‘on a normal day I would be making sales’ and ‘I will be setting up rooms for conferences’-Bollie.

They were ordinary people working for their respective companies in the U.K. Today, Reggie N Bollie can’t go unnoticed in any part of the world. They probably will have to stop every minute to sign autographs. They have an international outlook and a massive fan base. They are Stars!! This is no doubt God’s favour! It only takes that divine favour to migrate from an ordinary sales executive to an international music artiste .I’m yet to meet Reggie N Bollie but I doubt they will disagree with me.

The Ghanaian duo affirmed this belief after they had been put through to the live shows by Cheryl who chose them as her final act during the 6 chair challenge stage. ‘To be on this stage today is a dream come true because from where we come from good things like this don’t happen to people like us ‘Reggie Said. Although some Ghanaians took offence to their comment, to me, it was absolutely true. Those words were simply to appreciate their rapid rise to stardom when all hope was lost especially given their background. And that is Favour!reggie n bollie 1

  1. Think Big – I always say if your dream is not big enough to scare you, then it’s not big enough. In one of Pastor Mensah Otabil sermons, ‘Thinking outside your immediate environment’, he said one of the challenges we have as Africans is thinking global. That is, thinking how to reach to the world and do things which have a worldwide impact. But interestingly Reggie N Bollie surpassed this challenge. They thought beyond the Ghana music industry. During their first auditioning Reggy Zippy said ‘our big dream is to crack the music scene in the U.K. It’s all about world domination and if you can make it in the U.K, you can make it everywhere’.

How can two young men from the streets of Accra think of dominating the world’s music industry-an industry which has the likes of Rihanna, Drake, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj ?And that is thinking big enough!

  1. Believe in yourself- The 2015 X factor auditioning saw several contestants sing ‘ballads’ or just say boring songs and created a gloomy atmosphere but when Reggie N Bollie turn up to be auditioned, they were full of life, energy and confidence.

‘We going to turn the energy up’ they said to the audience who burst into a frenzy .They believed they could get the crowd excited and happy after dull moments with previous contestants and that account for what they said ‘we are going to turn the energy up’. That is confidence! They did, as their performance got one of the Judges, Rita Ora wind her waist as she danced. You have no idea the kind of rave reviews they received from the judges after their performance.reggie n bollie

Rita Said –‘Men on Point, you are on point’! Cheryl said-‘your energy is infectious’ Simon said-‘I have a feeling with you it’s always going to be a sunny day’. Believing in yourself is always key for success.

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  1. 4. Be unique, Be original – Simon Cowell remarked ‘we have never seen an artiste like you before in this show’. Many X factor contestants with great vocals like Louisa Johnson, Che chesterman, 4th impact and Anton Stephens often sang slow songs .But how different was Reggie N Bollie from them? I call them ‘party bangers’. They had a dancehall flavour which I doubt had been seen in the history of the competition. They always got the audience jumping, shouting, screening and want to party.

They were often criticised for their poor vocals but their dancehall flavour, stage performance and chorography was their trump card. And that will be their unique selling preposition throughout their career.team work

After a not too impressive week 7 live shows performance, they were hit with probably the most unpleasant comment from a judge, Rita Ora. She said ‘I’m sorry but what I love about you is your originality. I hope this next song, I hear your free rhymes and your spit’.

I absolutely agreed with her! They lost their originality and identity in that performance. Lose your originality and you are out of business!

The same judge couldn’t help but wind her waist as Reggie N Bollie turned up to perform their original song ‘turn it up’ during their first audition. Often contestants prefer singing popular songs during auditions but again we saw the originality of Reggie N Bollie from the start. They chose their own song and that is originality!

Prior to the week 7 performance, Reggie N Bollie performed Silento’s ‘Watch me (Whip/Nae Nae)’, one direction’s ‘what makes you beautiful’, Walk the moon’s ‘shut up and dance’.

In all these performances you could hear and feel the Reggie N Bollie originality. And that’s what worked for them throughout the competition.

  1. Team work-There times talent and Passion isn’t just enough. Reggy Zippy and Bollie were solo artiste in Ghana. I doubt they would have been this big if they stayed solo. Teaming up and combining resources is always important if you want to move a step higher.

Having a good team is always a recipe for success. One major team member of the Reggie N bollie dream is Cheryl Fernandez-Versini who mentored them during the competition. ‘To be that person able to help them achieve it, there’s no words to describe how that feels’ she said before they performed in the week 7 live shows. You always need a good team who will be by you –cheryl was a key team member of Reggie N Bollie.

Other key but subtle team members behind the scenes I want to draw your attention to is their wives. I remember the week 5 live shows when Reggie’s wife, Edith and two little sons joined them on stage as they performed Silento’s Watch me (Whip/Nae Nae)’.

I noticed the colourful dancers who were always on stage with Reggie N Bollie completed their performance. I’m sure a number of you didn’t pay attention to them but trust me their energy was unparallel and as infectious as the Reggie N Bollie performances itself. Their input in the Reggie N Bollie success was subtle but always brought an extra excitement and bliss to their performance. Team work always produces positive results

Find the writer, on facebook Kojo Darko Sakyi-Gyinae , email:smilekojo@gmail.com.