Do you just fall in love from the heart? Or do you also rely on your mind? Find out why in the poem I composed about a made-up city named Logan in my previous post. Men in The City of Logan avoid daytime travel for fear of falling in love.
In today’s post, I’d like to highlight the talent of a promising young individual who is creating waves in Ghana’s creative industry! His debut commercial show in May 2023 will go down as one of the most unusual shows in the entertainment industry.
Talents abound in Ghana
Ghana’s creative sector has blossomed more than at any previous period in the country’s history. Every day, young creatives stun the country and the entire world with their unique talents. The music industry, in particular, has certain obvious favourites. Afro-music gained a new flavour thanks to artists like Lasmid, Camidoh, and Black Sheriff. The great Reggie Rockstone once stated that Black Sheriff’s style of music is so distinctive and unrivalled that he has to create a new genre to seal his style of music. Another notable development is the booming comedy scene, which has seen the likes of Clemento Suarez, OB Amponsah, Lekzy De Comic, Oh Joo, Jacinta, Putogo, Jerry Ashinwonyo, MJ the comedian, Jeffery Nortey, Augustin Dennis, Real Papayaw, James Brown, Khemical, and Kwame Obed, to mention a few, emerge.
The guy on TikTok
Another creative recently generated some buzz on social media with his one-of-a-kind talent. Numerous influencers and celebrities could be seen awestruck by his unusual talent in his Tik Tok videos. Miss Vee, Kwabena Kwabena, and even Ghana’s Vice President, H.E. Dr Mahumudu Bawumia, have attested to his unique talent. He’s also performed for former French Ambassador He. Anne Sophie, EU Ambassador H.E. Irchad Razaaly, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, Kuami Eugene, CEO of MTN Ghana, MzVee, Giovanni, Naa Ashorkor, and Nasty Blaq.
In the creative sector, this skill is fairly novel (maybe an accurate phrase would be “untapped”). As a result of making magic his full-time career, he will likely be the pioneer of that sector in Ghana. If you’ve seen his Tik Tok videos, you might recognise him by his stage name, Bernard The Magician. Bernard Badu Arkoh is his full name. Bernard’s magical heritage is very inherited. His father was a magician who used magic tricks to educate his church members about how tricksters may pretend to have extraordinary abilities and solutions. Bernard’s father wanted to expose so-called magicians who employ trickery while claiming to have extraordinary powers by executing these magic feats.
The fact that Bernard had witnessed his father doing magic acts for members of his church undoubtedly affected his decision to pursue magic. He discovered his own passion to develop his talent and wow people with his abilities. Bernard The Magician is no ordinary street magician. He graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. At the American Embassy in Ghana, he is a qualified tutor for the US Standardised Aptitude Test (SAT). Bernard is a genius. He also prepares elementary school kids to compete in Math Olympiads.
The million-dollar question is: why would an electrical engineer abandon the world of engineering and embark on the hazy path of becoming a magician? To what purpose, Bernard? In his own words, ‘I want to show to myself that I can be anything I want to be.’ What else could a magician have said? Indeed, by announcing his first magic show, Magic Within Me, he demonstrated that his passion was more than a passing interest in the world of magic. His first magic show took place on May 20, 2023, at the auditorium of the Association International School at the Airport Residential Area. This is perhaps the first commercial magic show in Ghana. I was looking forward to it with glee. What type of magic was I about to witness?
Magic Within Me
My desire to see the magic act was further stoked by the other comedians on the line-up. I was the first person to arrive at the venue. I didn’t want to miss a second of the show. I couldn’t help but see myself tapping my feet to Bogo Blay’s songs as I prepared my mind for the performance in the well-lit auditorium. Bogo Blay won the 28th edition of the Vodafone Icons in 2019. He’s a talented musician whose peppy melodies are danceable. The blend of humour and language switches captivates his listener’s attention. In addition to his smooth rap rhymes, Bogo Blay has a lovely voice. For me, he was the icing on the cake. The crowd gathered at the auditorium’s entrance became larger as the show’s start time approached and the sky darkened. I recognised Bernard’s friends from Presec, KNUST, Toastmasters, and his church among the attendees. They had all gathered to celebrate this new prodigy, who is proudly displaying his magical abilities. As usual, for a shutterbug and early bird, I passed the time by capturing as many shots as possible.
Soon, the ushers ushered us to our seats so that the show could begin! Remember that this was a night of magic. Guess who the MC of the night was? Clemento Suarez was the MC for the night, so I knew I’d have a fantastic time. Without wasting any time, Clemento introduced several performers onto the stage since he was also eager to see Bernard perform. Instead of introducing the night’s first performance, Clemento randomly selected an audience member to do so. Clemento caught sight of a stunning woman wearing an exquisite African outfit. She wasn’t sure she could do it. Perhaps she was shy. We did, however, support her. Nothing could go wrong tonight.
The show begins
Clemento explained the simple assignment to her as she ascended the stage. She was given the honour of introducing Bogo Blay. She said she had never done anything like this before. It took some convincing from Clemento before she gathered the courage to introduce the first performer, Bogo Blay. I was thrilled to see Bogo Blay take the stage! In his baggy shirt and matching pants, he danced effortlessly and rhythmically to his vibrant melodies. He sang Django, one of his popular tunes. I was hoping for a surprise performance by Bogo Blay because Clemento was the MC for the evening. I bet a lot of people didn’t know Clemento was featured on the remix of Bogo Blay’s Zoom.
Sonny Rhyme's beautiful rhymes
Rhyme Sonny followed with a stunning spoken word performance. Imagine Rhyme Sonny being the centre of attention on stage if you’ve never attended a spoken word event. Out of his lips came words that had been carefully chosen, spoken flawlessly and purposefully with pauses, a lot of emotion, and a penetrating glance at his audience. His tanned pink suit almost blended with his fair complexion. Sonny’s spoken word was a message about moving from grass to grace and appreciating each step of the road. At the end of his performance, I believe everyone in that audience will conclude that Rhyme Sonny is a man in tune with himself. His speech was an unashamed, impassioned expression of his life. Vitus, another prominent spoken word performer, was around two seats behind me. Vitus was a classmate at Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School. He is one of Ghana’s most sought-after poets. He’s shared the stage with poets such as Hondred Percent. Vitus wasn’t on the bill that night, but he’s worth seeing at any poetry event.
The comedians are good!
We were entertained after Sonny’s performance by a comedian with possibly the largest head in the comedy industry. I hope you guessed correctly. Almost all Ghanaian comedians have big heads. Consider our MC for the evening. And then there’s OB Amponsah. When DKB, Ghana’s headmaster of comedy, gave us a political satire on numerous national concerns, we exploded with laughter. We were laughing so hard that we probably forgot it was a magic show.
My wallet is not safe
I was unprepared for the next act of the evening. Clemento suddenly pointed my way and beckoned me to join him at the front. I assumed he was referring to the guy sitting behind me, so I turned to confirm. Recognising that all eyes were on me, I returned my bewildered gaze to the MC, who returned my attention with a firm order to join him on stage as soon as possible. I had no clue what would happen. As I made my way to the front of the stage, I prayed I’d be able to deliver whatever Clemento had in store for me. Clemento had previously told the crowd that he could also do magic. He asked me for a fifty cedi note, and that’s when I realised what was about to happen. I was grinning and giggling. Comedy, not magic, is Clemento’s talent. My left hand groped for my wallet in my left rear pocket. My heart was racing! Was my fifty-cedi note about to vanish? Clemento’s command to lay the fifty-cedi note in the palm of my left hand stopped my thoughts.
My wallet disappears!
The plot thickened as I was putting my wallet back where it belonged, per Clemento’s directions. Clemento, the magician, summoned an audience member to serve as his assistant. While Clemento gave me my next set of instructions, the assistant’s job was to keep my wallet safe. I handed over my wallet to his assistant. It was time for the magic to happen. Clemento said, ‘Now, look up. You look up. Say the word ‘go’ three times. Go, go, go.’ I echoed after him, “Go, go, go.” My eyes were closed. The audience’s raucous laughter at this point made me wonder whether there was a problem nearby.
Had the fifty-cedi note vanished? You can have both the fifty cedis and your seat, he said after allowing me to open my eyes. I didn’t want it to happen, but you commanded him to go, so he’s gone.’ That’s when I noticed the assistant and my wallet were no longer on stage. I grinned as the audience cheered for my naive obedience to the MC’s orders.
Watch full video below
The next performance came as a complete shock! The audience member who assisted Clemento in vanishing my wallet was called back. Clemento had a quick interview with him. It turns out that the assistant was a comedian named Papayaw Ataamle. When he claimed that he was a comedian, Clemento allowed him the opportunity to show us what he had. Papayaw Ataamle, the comedian, hit us in the gut with his jokes. If you want to laugh as hard as we did, you can discover him and other comedians at Comedy Express. During the last round of comedy at Magic Within Me, seasoned comedians General Ntatia and OB Amponsah had us in tears. Lekzy De Comic was also there to entertain us with his lovely jokes.
Time for magic!
The moment has come for some magic! Clemento Suarez presented Bernard The Magician, the man of the night. He entered with haste while flaunting his twin-puffed ponytail that resembled the crown of a tree in his fitted black shirt and black trousers. The four symbols featured on a normal playing card were stitched into his attire. A red heart was stitched on his top left. A yellow spade was located just beneath the heart. On his right, next to the spade, was a red diamond. Let me leave it to you to guess the colour and position of the last symbol.
A round of mind reading
Bernard began his first session with a series of mind-boggling antics. In the first act, he appealed to any couple to volunteer and join him on stage. He positioned himself between them. The lady on his left and the spouse on his right. Bernard swore he had synchronised the pair after requesting that they close their eyes for a while. Bernard tapped the lady’s left arm with his finger, still with their eyes closed. Then he told the couple to raise their hands if they felt a touch. The woman raised her hand, and her partner followed suit! The audience was taken aback! Bernard then requested that they indicate the location of the touch. As though we were watching in slow motion, they both moved their right hand over their right elbow and touched their left shoulder! This was just incredible! Bernard then touched the lady’s face. When asked if they felt a touch, the pair nodded once more.
3 perfect guesses
Bernard selected three people at random from the audience. Kabutey Ocansey, the legendary master of ceremonies, was among the three. If you watch the National Math and Science Quiz finals, you might recognise him. The couple, who were still on stage, had been asked by Bernard to choose one word each and make a mental note of it. The word was only known to them because they were not allowed to say it aloud. The three volunteers were then instructed to choose a word and make a mental note of it. Then, in one swoop, in reverse order, Bernard guessed the words. The volunteer would have to take a seat if he were right. Bernard was hailed by the audience when all three volunteers sat down.
The couple's words
“Are you thinking of something sweet?” Bernard asked the gentleman on stage. The man regarded Bernard with a blank expression as if the query had briefly rendered him blind. He nodded his hands akimbo over his waist. How did Bernard know that what he was thinking was sweet? Bernard claimed to have known the man’s thoughts in advance. Bernard turned to address the crowd, promising that the word the gentleman was thinking was on our phones. We took out our phones. Bernard directed us to his Instagram account. There was a video of Bernard at an ice cream stand in Dubai. Bernard then disclosed the word. ‘You’re thinking about ice cream,’ Bernard told the gentleman. The gentleman was dumbfounded, so he could only keep nodding his head, trying to process how the magician got into his head.
There was one more guess to go. Bernard had to guess the word that the lady on stage had chosen before the feat of guessing could be completed. Bernard claimed that the word she had in mind was even in our possession. ‘Do you recall when you entered the auditorium, the ushers offered each of you a little pouch containing sweets?’ Bernard patiently waited for us to retrieve our pouches. “You’ll find tonight’s event card in the pouch,” he said. Flip over to the dark side. There is an inscription written in chic red cursive. I know what you think you’re seeing is the word “magic,” but take a closer look. Examine it carefully. That’s the word our lady on stage is thinking.”
Magic turns to Dream
He went to the lady and asked the question we had all been waiting for. ‘What word do you have in mind?’ Everything came to a standstill. The auditorium was unusually silent. Our eyes were riveted on the wording on the card, and our ears were perked up to hear the response. When she said ‘dream’, it was like a dream. The sophisticated lettering on the card, which originally read M-A-G-I-C, suddenly looked like D-R-E-A-M. We were entirely immersed in Bernard’s magical world.
The big act of the night
Bernard’s next act was unquestionably the highlight of the evening. Everyone was a part of it. The magical moment occurred within us rather than on stage. Everyone received a distinctive set of four unique cards from the ushers. Bernard told us to rip the cards in half. The torn half was placed beneath the other half. We now had eight card pieces in our possession, two of each type. I was wondering when the magical moment would arrive. The first instruction was to shuffle the cards. Pick a card from any position in the deck after shuffling, then hide it under your seat.
We did as instructed. Bernard gave us the go-ahead to mix the cards once again until we were satisfied that the arrangement was completely random. The next instruction was a lot of fun. It was about a rule that had to be followed again and again. This was the rule: Pick the top card. Place it beneath the deck. Remove the new card from the top of the deck. Place the next card under the deck. Repeat the process until you only have one card remaining in your hand. We all reached the last card together since we were following the directions at each stage at Bernard’s call. Exactly what made this magical?
Magic Within Us
“Do you remember that you saved one card before we started shuffling the deck?” he said. “Pull out that hidden card and…” Bernard’s statements were interrupted suddenly by screams of ‘ooh’, ‘wow’, and ‘aah’ from the audience. When I looked back, I saw folks smiling at their cards. ‘If you followed my directions, the card you preserved at the start should be the mirror half of the card left in your hand,’ Bernard continued. I brought out my hidden card and flashed it along the other card’s ripped edge. That was magic within me! The two pieces came together to make a full matching card. The euphoria in the room was real. What a lovely way to conclude his first act!
Clemento the Magician
Clemento returned to the stage and attempted to recreate all of Bernard’s acts. To be honest, Clemento is a force to be reckoned with. If you didn’t know he was a comedian and walked into the auditorium when he was mimicking Bernard, you’d think he was a magician. Even Clemento claimed he was capable of pulling off a disappearing act! He then called for a volunteer from the audience. ‘I’m going to make this person vanish in front of your eyes, but first, please turn out the lights in the auditorium.’ We couldn’t help laughing so hard at this. Remember what Clemento did to my wallet when he urged me to close my eyes? We sensed what was going to happen. After the lights went out, Clemento gave us the command to begin counting down from 10. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1! The lights came back on, and the volunteer was nowhere to be seen. Of course, we knew what happened, but we were entertained by Clemento’s wittiness. After making us laugh, as was his habit and specialty, Clemento welcomed Bernard back on stage for his second act.
I feasted my eyes on the four men following one another, each wearing a white robe, as ominous music played in the distance. Their white-painted faces made them appear scary. As they marched from the right to the left, they abruptly turned to face the audience. They cupped their hands under a brown paper bag, which they placed on a simple four-legged table. The bags were arranged horizontally on the table. The four men in white exited the stage.
Then came Bernard the Magician, who was clad in a silky black robe that wrapped him from head to toe. His entry was frightening, and the darkness was deep. No one spoke in the audience. Not a single person even blinks. Any moment could be a magical moment. All we could see on stage was his thick crown of afro hair shining. He took off his robe and walked over to the table, where four white guys had already set up. He was still absolutely black. His black long-sleeved shirt was secured by a pair of black trousers. He effortlessly passed for a gorgeous waiter in a posh restaurant with the black vest that covered his torso.
The bags are shuffled
What might be in these brown bags? Bernard, unknown to us, was preparing a terrifying trip for us! Of course, four men in white robes with pale faces and eerie music in the background were not for nothing. The entire auditorium gasped in surprise when Bernard disclosed what he was about to do. To be honest, I didn’t think what Bernard was going to do was a good idea. I believe in his skills, yet this act might land him in the hospital. Bernard flipped over one of the brown paper bags to reveal what was inside. It was a sharp, long, pointed nail hammered into a small wooden block. First and foremost, this had to be completely random. Bernard invited an audience member to shuffle the positions of the bags. Bernard turned away while the volunteer shuffled the bags. After shuffling the bags to his satisfaction, the volunteer informed Bernard that his task was complete.
When Bernard turned to face us, he chuckled when he saw the look of dread on our faces and asked us to participate in the deed. Together with the audience, Bernard mentally assigned the digits 1 through 4 to each bag. Bernard vowed to go with our gut instincts when guessing the bag, which we suspected did not contain the nail. Then, to confirm our guess, he would slap that bag. This meant that if we got our first guess wrong, Bernard would be driving his palm through the nail.
The audience guesses
The magician asked the audience, “Which bag are you going for?” The audience spat out two numbers. One part of the audience called out 1, while another yelled 4. “Do we go with 1 or 4?” the magician asked. The advocates of bag number 1 decided to give way to the advocates of bag number 4. I suppose it was because supporters of 4 yelled louder. Bernard swatted bag number four onto the table like it was a fly. I shifted my gaze to his parents, who were seated on the right side of the auditorium. Could people continue to watch if something went wrong? When we realised bag number four did not contain the nail, we were all relieved.
Three puffy brown paper bags remained on the table. The guessing game continued. According to the audience, Bernard would slam bag number two next. Bernard lifted his hand in the air as if taking an oath in court. He dropped his hand with such force that the table trembled. That was a close call! Bag 2 has been eliminated from the game. The nail must be in bag 1 or bag 3. Or had the nail just vanished from our blindside? The room was filled with delicate and remarkable tension. We picked Bag 3 for Bernard. Never in my life have I had my eyes opened wider than at that moment. I didn’t even flinch. Bernard’s fate was in our hands. Be nailed or not be nailed.
My thoughts returned to the possibility that the nail had vanished long before the guessing game began. If Bernard’s hand was unfortunate, I would have to wait until the nail told me. Bernard crushed the brown paper bag with renewed zeal. There was a brief pause. Our prediction was successful in avoiding the nail. Bernard had been saved, but I was curious if bag 1 still had the nail. Bernard said exactly that. ‘If our predictions were correct, the nail could only be in bag 1.’ I was shocked to see the six-inch nail when Bernard moved bag 1 off the table. The question is, how did he do it? I’m not going to bother asking him because it’s said that a magician never reveals his secrets.
The drink in the shoe
As if reading my mind, Bernard added, “I’m going to show you how to do magic.” He took out his phone and dialled a number. The tone triggered a voice prompt. The voice, that of a lovely lady, offered Bernard a variety of acts to pick from. Bernard settled for the Drink in the Shoe Act. Bernard was instructed to go get a shoe, a drink, and a cup. Bernard requested a shoe from the audience. A volunteer threw their shoe onto the stage. Bernard set it down on the table. He retrieved a bottle of fruit drink and a cup.
While we listened to the instructions of the voice prompts, Bernard acted them out. Hold the shoe with your left hand. Insert the cup into the shoe. Now, pour the drink into the shoe. Despite how straightforward the instructions were, Bernard nonetheless missed a step. He forgot to put the cup in the shoe. But it was too late. He’d already poured the drink into the shoe. This would be quite inconvenient for the shoe’s owner. Not just for the owner but also for the magician. Magic gone astray. What was Bernard planning to do? Dip his hand in the shoe? Yuck! In no way! Though the voice prompt’s next instruction was for him to dip his hand in the shoe and remove the cup, I wouldn’t if I were Bernard. Bernard, smiled at us and now inserted the plastic cup into the shoe. Was this the magic moment or he was just pulling our legs? I couldn’t figure out how a cup of drink was pulled out of the shoe instead of a hand drenched in liquid! How did he pull that off? If that were Bernard’s shoe, I might have easily suspected him of hiding the transparent plastic cup there. This was the shoe of an audience member! How did he extract a now filled cup of drink out of a bare shoe?
After returning the unscathed shoe to its owner, Bernard got back on stage and cleared the table. He brought out a drinking glass and a Martini wine bottle. He stooped to pick up two identical glossy tubes with a base almost the same size as the Martini wine bottle. The tubes were hollow at both ends, allowing you to gaze through them like a telescope. Once again, we were invited to be part of another act, that would change our lives forever and make us question reality forever. Bernard slipped one tube over the empty drinking glass and then slipped the other tube over the Martini wine bottle. ‘In a moment, I will swap the positions of the glass and wine bottle without physically moving the tubes,’ the magician said as he lifted his head. I’ll need you to pronounce the magic word ‘switch’ at my command. And just like that, the glass will travel from this tube to the tube housing the wine bottle, and the wine bottle will likewise make its way into the glass’s tube.’
Had Bernard become a comedian? How can he tell us this cock and bull story? How could he switch the positions of the glass and the wine bottle without moving the tubes across the table? It was time to stop blinking! Bernard raised the tubes in his fingers to be sure that the glass and wine bottle was still pinned to the table by gravity. Then he requested the magic phrase. ‘Switch!’ we shouted. My thoughts froze, and so did time. Had the glass and wine bottle switched places?
Make a point of not missing any of Bernard’s performances, so you don’t miss any magical moments! Follow Bernard on TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook to see more of his magic!
Parrot Mouth is hilarious
To round off the evening, we received a surprise performance by Parrot Mouth, a very brilliant comedian! His quips are always on point! It’s incredible how he makes jokes on the fly by studying his surroundings! Parrot Mouth has a fantastic stage presence. This was a fun night! Finally, OB Amponsah and Clemento amused us with a hilarious disappearing act!
All too soon the show had come to an end! A night filled with laughter, music, poetry, and magic Bernard was requested to say a few words to us by Clemento. Bernard expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support that helped make his debut show a success. He solicited our continuous support in his journey as a magician.
Bernard is surprised
Bernard was about to receive his biggest surprise of the night. The comedians and Bernard’s friends carried out a surprise act to close the night. Bernard was advised to close his eyes by Clemento Suarez before the group of comedians arrived. Bernard was then instructed to stretch his arms towards the audience. Of course, we’re dealing with a magician who can tamper with reality. His hands had to be in a position where we could see them. OB Amponsah, Parrot Mouth, and Lekzy De Comic made sure Bernard couldn’t see what was going on around the table.
Behind the veil
Bernard’s black robe was used as a veil to prevent Bernard from sneaking a peek at the centre of the stage, which he did several times! The group of comedians worked together behind the black veil to carefully position an item the size of a basketball on the table. The thing resembled a miniature castle. Clemento instructed us to begin counting down from 10.
The birthday cake
Bernard’s eyes opened, and the veil was lifted. Bernard couldn’t think of anything to say for nearly two minutes. The lovely birthday cake on the table was designed especially for Bernard. On the front was a Magic Within Me flyer. The cake was adorned with a gold ribbon around the sides. Bernard expressed his sincere appreciation to us for helping to make his debut magic show a success. His parents and younger brother joined him, and they assisted him in cutting the cake! Bernard must have been overjoyed, especially having the support of his parents in pursuing his dreams.
Magic is within You
Magic Within Me is a reminder that the human being is a wonder. Magic Within Me is a reminder that you are limited by what you think you can be and do. Magic Within Me is a reminder that success is not measured by how big the dream is but by how hard you try to work towards it. If an engineer followed his dream of becoming a magician, then magic is indeed within you. How far have you worked towards your dreams? Stop enjoying the sleep and wake up!
What’s next in Peter’s Box? ¡Hasta luego amigos!