Musicians to boycott Ghana Music Awards? An open letter to Kwasiey Pee

On Monday, October 20, 2014, Charterhouse, organisers of the prestigious Vodafone Ghana Music Awards(VGMA) commenced a legal action against the 2014 VGMA Artiste of The Year winner, Shatta Wale.

Mrs Justice Naa Adoley Azu who presided over the case slapped the artiste with an interlocutory injunction in the GH¢10 million defamatory suit brought against him by event organising company, Charterhouse.

What this means is that, the artiste and his associates have been barred from further insulting or casting innuendos or making defamatory statements against Charterhouse.

Even though I was not happy that the case is going too far, another part of me tells me that, it was imperative that it went to court, if not for anything at all, it will help curb the activities of a monster we have all helped to create in the music industry.

I admit that people have the right to voice out their grievances but attacking personalities when doing so is not the right way to go.

It is therefore very disheartening to read that you (Kwaisey Pee) are calling on all Ghanaian musicians to rally behind Shatta Wale to boycott next year’s VGMA because the organisers have dragged him to court to dance to his own music.

If it’s not a sign of ingratitude that you are exhibiting, then I do not know the right adjective to qualify your call. It is highly unacceptable. For the benefit of the readers, you said, “I feel that all Ghanaian musicians should rally behind our own and boycott next year’s Ghana Music Awards if Charterhouse continues with their suit against Shatta Wale.

“ I feel Shatta Wale was fighting a good cause for artistes because Charterhouse has cheated artistes for far too long. I know Shatta Wale could have done it in a different way than the way he chose to voice his opinions.

“ And although Charterhouse have their rights to take the case to court, I think they went too far. This is not the first time that somebody has been insulted in Ghana. Past presidents of Ghana and even the current president have been insulted several times in the media.”

This is the highest ungratefulness that I have seen. Honestly, I’m gutted at reading those words from you. If Ghana music is getting international attention now, the music awards which you so much hate now and are rebelling against is partly responsible.

Mr Pee, I know this is a fact that you will not accept because you are in denial but the truth is that, the awards have helped the music industry more than it was before the awards was introduced.

In terms of awards, it has helped Ghanaian musicians gain international attention and appeal as well as received several nominations in international awards and acknowledgement at prestigious events. This is not the time to show gross ungratefulness.

You talked about Charterhouse cheating musicians and I laugh. Mr Pee, what cheating are you talking about?

Is it the money that an artiste forfeits for deliberately refusing to attend the awards, even though it has been drummed in their ears that, not attending the awards means they are not getting the money? Or are you talking about the fact that, when Ghanaian musicians go to the negotiating board, they simply do not know what they are about?

Mr Pee, which private company goes into business to lose? If you are not able to negotiate well, does it mean that you are being cheated? Are you not singing to make money or are you doing it for the fun of it?

This is a small industry for all of us and I do not think that someone is jubilating over the lawsuit but didn’t you hear all the things Shatta Wale was saying in the videos?

Prior to recording the videos, didn’t you see or hear what he was doing? Did you pick a phone to call him or his manager to advise him as a concerned player in the  music industry?

Mr Pee, we know you are not happy with Charterhouse, so obviously you were secretly supporting what Shatta Wale was doing. Perhaps, you thought if you had come forward to speak against him, he would have turned against you.

You said that, “I know Shatta Wale could have done it in a different way than the way he chose to voice his opinions,” so if you also concur that he didn’t do well in the manner he went about it, why then are you advising Ghanaian musicians against the awards?

Infact, if Kwasiey Pee has been following the prestigious VGMA which is held annually, he would have realised that, the awards can be likened to the FIFA World Cup, a tournament every footballer wants to take part in. It is considered as a big platform for big players and any footballer who is not able to be part of the party is left disappointed.

The VGMA is the biggest event on the Ghanaian music calendar that every musician looks forward to. The awards have become the yardstick by which the country’s standards in music is measured.

Also, most musicians wait to release and promote songs at a particular time in order to be part of the awards scheme. So how can such a musician boycott the awards?

The problem with Ghana and Ghanaians is that, we talk too much but fail to deliver or redeem ourselves when the opportunity presents itself for us to do what we have constantly blamed and criticised others for.

So Mr Pee, what you should do as a ‘senior’in the music industry is to find a way to advise  Shatta Wale and his people than to openly ask for a boycott of the awards.

By  Ebenezer Anangfio / Graphic Showbiz / Ghana

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Kwasiey Pee

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