Why Ghana Should Accept South Africa's Visa Waiver Offer Now - Comedian OB Amponsah

Russell Nketiah Tannor


Why Ghana Should Accept South Africa's Visa Waiver Offer Now - Comedian OB Amponsah

The hilarious and heartbreaking story of how one of Ghana's finest comedians missed a golden opportunity to perform at a comedy festival in South Africa due to visa issues.

If you are a fan of comedy, you might have heard of OB Amponsah, the witty and versatile comedian who has been cracking ribs with his jokes and satire. He is one of the most sought-after entertainers in Ghana and beyond, having performed at various shows and events across the continent and beyond. However, he recently missed a chance to showcase his talent at a comedy festival in Bloemfontein, South Africa, due to visa complications.

OB Amponsah took to Facebook on September 2, 2023, to share his frustration and disappointment with his fans and followers. He revealed that he and his colleague, Lekzy De Comic, were booked to perform at the Bloemfontein International Comedy Festival on Saturday, September 3, 2023, but could not make it because they were denied visas by the South African embassy.

He explained that he had been working hard to establish himself in the South African comedy scene, having personally funded several trips to perform at different clubs and venues in the country. He said he was excited when he got the opportunity to perform at the comedy festival, which would have been a huge boost for his career and exposure. However, he was shocked when he was told that his visa application was rejected, without any clear reason.

He lamented the difficulties that African artists face when trying to travel within the continent, especially when it comes to visa acquisition. He said it was unfair and frustrating that Africans have to go through such hurdles to share their work and talents with their fellow Africans. He also wondered why the Ghanaian government has not accepted the 90-day visa waiver offer that South Africa has extended to Ghanaian citizens.

According to Aviation Ghana, South Africa's Department of International Relations and Regional Cooperations tabled the offer more than a year ago so as to facilitate trade and investment between the two countries. The offer would allow Ghanaian ordinary passport holders to enter South Africa without a visa for up to 90 days per year. However, Ghana is yet to accept the terms, reportedly asking for 180 days instead. Additionally, Ghana says it has to table the arrangement through Parliament before it can give effect to it.

OB Amponsah urged the Ghanaian government to consider accepting the offer as soon as possible, saying that it would benefit not only artists but also other sectors of the economy. He said that such a visa-free arrangement would enhance cultural exchange, tourism, education, business, and diplomacy between the two countries. He also appealed to the government to support and protect the interests of Ghanaian artists who are making waves internationally.

He ended his post by thanking his fans for their support and prayers, and promising to bounce back stronger from this setback. He also congratulated Lekzy De Comic, who managed to secure his visa and perform at the comedy festival.

This incident highlights the challenges that African artists face in accessing opportunities and markets within the continent. It also raises questions about how governments can facilitate and promote intra-African travel and cooperation. As OB Amponsah awaits his next chance to make people laugh in South Africa, we hope that his plea will be heard by the authorities and that Ghana will accept South Africa's visa waiver offer soon.

What do you think about this issue? Do you think Ghana should accept South Africa's visa waiver offer? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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