Apart from entertainment awards which are very well publicised, there are actually a good number of awards schemes being run in Ghana presently.
These awards also focus on other important aspects of the entertainment industry in the country.
However, the more published awards schemes in the entertainment industry have stolen all the shine. These award schemes have generated controversy and scandals whenever they have been held.
Perhaps, this is because such awards schemes have generated huge followings and are the most popular and sought after awards in the country.
This leads to the questions; what do Ghanaians want as far as awards schemes in the entertainment industry are concerned? Why do they generate the most controversy? It’s obvious the organisers love such controversies because it helps to market the awards but is this what the public wants?
Vodafone Ghana Music Awards
For the past 16 years, Charterhouse’s Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, is known as the only awards show that is popularity based. Winners are decided based on how popular a musician and their songs are. Even in determining who is nominated in the categorisation stage.
The VGMA as it is called has a board and academy that supervises and plays an integral part in determining who is nominated and who wins an award on the night.
Aside the biggest and ultimate award on the night; Artiste of the Year, which until recently was completely based on public voting, majority of the categories are decided with the contribution of the Awards’ board and the academy.
there are two sets of categories in the awards, namely, the Industry and the Public categories. The former is solely reserved for the board and academy’s participation. The kinds of people that fall in that group are people considered to be professionals who are involved in the music industry in one way or the other.
The latter is solely for both public and Board/Academy’s participation but then with different votes weighting. Even with that arrangement, some Ghanaians have always complained about the voting system, to the extent of casting allegations at the organisers. I ask again, does that mean that Ghanaians do not know what they want with respect to awarding excellence in any industry is Ghana?
Television Awards Ghana
Not long at its launch, the credibility of the Television Awards Ghana was questioned. Organisers claimed the awards were meant to be different from what was being organised by event powerhouse. Charterhouse, in relation to the Ghana Music Awards.
Aside from the idea behind the establishment of the awards in general, the Television Awards Ghana was created with the idea of having a greater involvement from the industry.
This is to say that, the awards was created to have a Trustee and a Faculty made up of veterans in the television industry and representatives from all television stations including those who produce content for television stations to determine the winners.
The popular categories in the awards were limited as compared to the industry categories because the Television Awards Ghana is an industry awards.
Issues that came out as a result of this arrangement from the oragnisers were that, Ghanaians will not fully accept the awards. The VGMA has had some participation from the general public, so it was very difficult and perhaps unheard of that, this time around, the public is completely taken out of the picture.
Despite the pockets of issues still hanging on VGMA’s manner of arriving at winners, many more people still think that, the Television Awards Ghana should tow that line to get approval and full participation from the general public.
People’s Choice Awards
People’s Choice Awards organisers, Spyder Lee Entertainment, last week announced the nominees for the maiden edition of the awards. This was after the general public had been asked to nominate their favourite celebrities via SMS.
After the nominations from the general public, the Board behind the awards and its statisticians, Deloitte, worked together to shortlist the nominees into the various categories. With the nominees out, the public is again advised to vote for their favourite to ensure that, they emerge winners in their various categories come March 21, 2015.
As expected of every awards scheme and especially with the People’s Choice Awards, which is the first award in Ghana that is exclusively determined by public votes, there are still a few people who will definitely have a problem and complain about the whole process.
Entertainment Journalists/Writers play a very pivotal role to inform, educate and entertain their core followers, without them, these events would not be pulicised.
However, they have often been sidelined when it comes to awards. Sometimes, it looks as if entertainment writing is not regarded since sports writers and journalists are awarded during Sports Awards in the country.
It was therefore welcome news that the organisers of the People’s Choice Awards decided to behave differently from other awards organisers and acknowledge the efforts of Journalists and Writers in their awards.
This, they did by introducing the Best Entertainment Journalist/Writer of the year which had Ama Larbie, Afia Sarpong, Ebenezer Affum, Ebenezer Donkoh, Francis Doku, Halifax Ansah-Addo, Kwame Dadzie, Osarfo Anthony and yours truly as nominees.
After the names of the nominees had been made public, a lot of arguments were going on about who deserved to have been nominated or not. Arguments pertaining to the fact that, some of the nominees are not active reporters or writers and consequently, their nominations are questionable.
The above argument may have come up due to the organisers inability to really educate the general public about the direction of the awards. Even though the criteria for the awards are there for all to see, there are still complaints. Does it mean that, Ghanaians do not know what they want? Awards that is decided by voting is about favouritism and being a favourite of someone doesn’t mean the person is the best there is.
By Ebenezer Anangfio / Graphic Showbiz