Usually, I am at a disadvantage after a major show because my column comes out on Monday. Meaning, by the time the column comes out; much of what happened is known and already made public.
Regardless, it does not prevent me from sharing my thoughts on the just ended Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, with the millions of Ghanaians who get to read the column every Monday.
Over the past 16 years that the Ghana Music Awards has been in existence, I have had the opportunity to watch on television as well as live at the events grounds. It has to be said that, watching the awards show at home on television and at the events grounds are not the same.
Both bring out different kinds of feeling and excitement. I have widely read on this year’s awards as far as the review of the show is concerned. These reviews have come from both people who were present at the awards and of course, those who for whatever reason watched on television.
Since I was live at the auditorium of the show, I can confirm that, a great chunk of what has been written is exactly as it happened. However, as expected, there are some, which are false but for whatever reasons have been put in the public domain.
Regardless of the challenges faced by the awards scheme, we ought to stay true to the game; the Ghana Music Awards has and is still shaping the industry. At least, most Ghanaian musicians are getting mentions and recognition outside the shores of the land, by courtesy of this prestigious awards.
There were good and bad moments at the awards last Saturday. Below are few that people are not talking about.
Stonebwoy winning Artiste of the Year
Prior to the awards, many industry pundits said the category which had Daddy Lumba, MzVee, Samini, Guru, Sarkodie, Edem and Stonebwoy competiting was very tight. Going strictly by the category definition and what the whole of Ghana witnessed in the year under review, Edem and Stonebwoy stood out for me by far.
I had said during a television interview that, the two were the hottest favourites for the Artiste of the Year title and I particularly felt Ghanaians were going to give Stonebwoy the nod and he actually won it.
The good thing about Stonebwoy’s ‘win’ is that, he did not have to insult anybody, he did not have to be negative, neither did he have to fight the industry people, nor did he have to lambast the organisers unnecessarily.
He truly won it the normal way – which is by pure hard work coupled with votes from the Board, the Academy and of course the public.
Certainly, that is one of my best moments.
Not Too Many People
Maybe, the jokers who prior to the awards were preaching the ‘No Sarkodie, No VGMA’ nonsense or the ticket price may have helped Charterhouse to keep some people from attending the awards.
Indeed, Ghana experienced for the first time, a not too crowded awards show. The VGMA is just not for everyone at least that is why it was not held at the Accra Sports Stadium but at the Conference Centre. The tickets were not oversold like happened previously. Obviously, this was also a best moment for me.
Sarkodie not showing up
Yours truly is not a Sarkodie fan, yet I was disappointed that he didn’t perform at the 16th Vodafone Ghana Music Awards which took place at the Conference Centre in Accra.
The reason is simple, the dude is undoubtedly the biggest artiste in the country presently and unfortunately, there is nothing that even President Mahama can do about it. That is how it will be till another musician takes over.
Before you go calling me a hater, don’t forget that, yours truly is not anti-Sarkodie. I can’t actually be bothered though when I’m making a valid point.
No disrespect to Stonebwoy who eventually won the Artiste of the Year at the awards but the reality is that, Sarkodie is still in top form – that’s how he will be referred to if he were a boxer and musically, he’s leading his colleagues by far.
The Vodafone Ghana Music Awards is also touted as the biggest awards show in Ghana, the best in West Africa and the most sought after in recent times. Per the above, it makes sense that the country’s biggest act performs on the country’s biggest awards show.
However, the inability of the management of Sarkodie and Charterhouse to agree on a reasonable fee meant that, the biggest artiste didn’t show up at the biggest show in Ghana.
I wasn’t particularly enthused at seeing him perform but for the sake of him being the biggest act, he got to be on that big stage. Well, a reason why you would agree with me that it was a worst moment. Anyway, the fact that he didn’t perform didn’t take anything from the awards.
Several factors contributed to the late start of the awards. The heavy rains in Accra few hours to the awards was, perhaps, the first factor, it prevented people from getting to the venue on time.
Knowing Ghanaians well, I doubt if they would have gotten there on time if it hadn’t rained? Maybe they would have! That also delayed the start of the red carpet event, which automatically meant the show didn’t start on time.
The other factor that contributed to the dragging of the awards show was the award presenters who instead of going on stage to present awards decided to give speeches – in fact long speeches for that matter.
According to George Quaye of Charterhouse, in an interview with an Accra based radio station, he said people who were called to present the awards were briefed on how to go about it.
They were asked to greet, mention their names, call for the nominations to be displayed on the screens and present the award. Instead, they stole the moment to advertise their brands while others gave long speeches.
He said when his outfit calculated the amount of time those award presenters spent on stage, it accumulated to one hour and twenty minutes.
I am not sure how it appeared to those who watched on television but for those of us at the event, it was not a good experience.
Even though we cannot blame the organisers for that, it was a terrible moment for everyone.
People accompanying award winners on stage
Whenever we complain about this, the respond to that is that, the nominees are briefed prior to the awards night about coming on stage with all their fans in case they win an award.
Over the years, it clearly shows that, it is either the nominees or their fans do not care to obey simple instructions or perhaps the organisers are not firm enough on those directives. Whatever it is, that was another worst moment at the awards.
When I meet you in the streets, we will continue with this discussion.
By Ebenezer Anangfio / Graphic Showbiz