My observations on 2016 Vodafone Ghana Music Award #VGMAs

The annual Vodafone Ghana Music Awards is the biggest entertainment event on the Ghanaian calendar. It is arguably one of the biggest award schemes in the sub region, and that is a personal opinion.

Since the organisers, Charterhouse, opened nominations for artistes to submit their work, I have keenly followed its progress until Saturday; when the 2016 Artiste of the Year was crowned at the Accra International Conference Centre.

This year, there were some changes to  the scheme and depending on where one belonged to, those decisions were either good or bad but from the opinions of many on the various social media platforms, many weren’t happy with the decision.

As part of the measures to improve this year’s VGMA, the Industry Awards, which hitherto was held before the main night, was merged to give recognition and “shine” to the winners in the year under review.

Some of the measures were the scrapping of the Gospel Album of the Year and the merger of the VGMA Lifetime Achievement Award and the MUSIGA Merit Award.

As I said earlier, depending on one’s view there could be an agreement or disagreement on some of the decisions taken. But from where I stand and how things progressed, I fully support the decisions taken.

It had been the norm, if not the “tradition” for the biggest event on the Ghanaian calendar to always start late against the advertised time, and this year, the announcement of the merger of the Industry Awards and Main Night Awards sure didn’t go down well with the public.

But despite the pessimism that greeted this decision, the organisers proved their critics wrong when the show ended at half past midnight, much to the surprise of the patrons.

Starting time

The awards was ceremony advertised to start at 8pm right after the red carpet segment and, I must confess, I  missed the thrilling Red carpet experience because I adhered to my “ Ghana man time”. By 9:00 pm, the 2016 VGMA had kicked off.

There have been lots of staggering open acts at the VGMAs. This year, EL opened the show and his opening act wasn’t out of the ordinary. It wasn’t a top notch act. Well, EL is a good performer but on the day, his act didn’t befit one that should have opened an important event such as the VGMAs.EL

Empty seats

Watching the awards live on television gaves you a perception that there were many empty seats but that wasn’t the case. The seats, allotted to the VIPs, award presenters, nominees and their managers were mostly empty when the event began.

Perhaps, Charterhouse, could have used the seat filler strategy to get the empty seats occupied.

Seat fillers are actually used so TV cameras don’t show empty seats. Surprisingly, the “owners” of the empty seats filled up during the event. But isn’t it a shame?

Awards presentation

But for Gospel musician, Celestine Donkoh, who mixed up the announcement that she was presenting award for Gospel Artiste of the year when it should have been the Gospel Song, the awards presentation would have scored 100 per cent.

However, a lot of time was wasted during the presentation of the Honouree awards. At a point, it got boring. A friend watching on television texted me that, it was boring. Indeed, the segment was boring. I wish it was never part of the main awards night.  Performances

The idea that all the artistes should perform with live band was quite impressive for me. I think it is about time our young artistes appreciated the essence of live music to improve their act. Personally, I agree that many of the artistes didn’t live up to expectation with the live band, but from the auditorium, it was obvious the patrons enjoyed every bit of it.

Patch Bay is undoubtedly an amazing band with great talents. It was interesting to watch them perform creditably with each artiste.  From my score sheet, I think Stonebwoy was the best performer.

Wow, Joe Mettle was simply awesome. I have seen him perform many times and he did not disappoint. He made Christians and non-Christians join hands together to dance in praise of the Lord. It was a touching experience.

Efya gives you erection when you watch her perform. She makes singing sound like it’s for everyone. No, it is not. She’s just beautiful and a real singer with pure talent. The “Gingam” lady is just passionate about what she does.


Rating the awards and the performances from a score sheet of 1/10, I think this year’s awards scored 9/10 on my card. Stonebwoy was my best performer with 9/10, Efya and Joe Mettle each got 8/10, Sarkodie 6/10, Kofi Kinaata 5/10, Obour/AB Crentsil 5/10, Bisa Kdei 5/10, Wizkid 3/10, Paedae 2/10, R2Bees 4/10, E.L 2/10 and Adoma 2/10.

I believe that if we are bold enough to use our various platforms to lambast, insult, bombard the VGMA Board and Charterhouse for their weaknesses, we should also be fair when they do things right.

Opinion, as it is said, is just like the nose and so I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on my observation. Diverse opinions are always healthy for growth and as such, I believe Charterhouse will take in good faith the criticisms as well.

I don’t comment on award winners for a simple reason; losers are not always happy they lost and will complain and find reasons to complain some more. For this reason, I send my warmest congratulations to EL! for winning the VGMA 2016 Artiste of the Year.

By Ebenezer Anangfio / Graphic Showbiz


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