After the VGMA Industry Awards was held at the Alisa Hotel on Easter Monday, a fan commented on the Vodafone Ghana Music Award’s fan page on Facebook and from his comments, he seemed confused.
His point was that, there was no need to have separate events for the Industry Categories and the Public Categories.
This is a concern I perfectly agree with, one that I have always expressed since the inception of the Industry Awards because I believe that winners of that category are denied the opportunity to be celebrated by a large number of people as with the Public Voting Category.
Though the organisers explained the reason for the decision, I think the fan raised a legitimate concern which should be addressed in subsequent editions.
I think that after 16 years of rewarding and honouring musicians whose works reigned in the year under review, it was about time the organisers gave Industry Award winners the opportunity to be celebrated at the main awards night too.
The annual Vodafone Ghana Music Awards is the biggest event on the Ghanaian entertainment calendar, and rightly so, it is just proper for all winners to be appreciated on the big day. The awards scheme has three key objectives which are (i) To appreciate those working in the music industry who have released work(s) that have generated the most public excitement within a definite period of contention (ii) Provide an international platform through which the Ghanaian music industry can be accessed and (iii) To reward veteran musicians who have blazed the trail in the music industry.
WATCH VIDEO: Efya Performing At The VGMA 2015 Industry Awards
By the set regulations governing the awards scheme, the categories are divided into three areas which are the Industry Awards, Honorary Awards and the Public Voting Awards.
However, it is rather unfortunate that winners of the Industry Awards and Honorary Awards who are rather selected by a professional Board and Academy are not celebrated on the main night.
My concern is that, the organisers of the VGMAs, Charterhouse, should also give those who work behind the scenes the rare chance to be acknowledged by the public. It is discriminatory to throw more light on the already known artistes.
My argument is that, the Industry Awards Night is a small platform for the kind of personalities, whose hardwork behind the scenes created the good music we enjoy. They need a bigger platform.
Why are they not given the opportunity to be seen, heard and applauded at the main events where millions of people are watching all over the world through television broadcast or online streaming?
Now picture yourself at the venue of the awards, the Accra International Conference Centre last Saturday and watching Evangelist Diana Asamoah picking the Gospel Album of the Year, Koda picking the Record of the Year for his song, Nkwa Abodoo, Wiyaala picking the Songwriter of the Year for Africa.
That is not all, how about DJ Breezy crying on stage for winning the Producer of the Year award with the popular Seihor song by Castro featuring D-Black? And Kumasi based sound engineer, George Forest, walking majestically to pick the Sound Engineer of the Year. What about King Ayisoba with his crew coming on stage to pick the Traditional Artiste of the Year?
WATCH VIDEO: Raquel Performing At tThe VGMA 2015 Industry Awards
And also Gospel artiste, Nii Okai, picking the World Bank Music for Development Award with his Saving Hearts Project? Then comes Frank Kissi, the drummer, for the Instrumentalist of the Year award.
What a memorable scene it would have been to watch J. V. Owusu take to the stage to pick his MUSIGA Merit Award and then the Highlife legend, Nana Kwame Ampadu being honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Imagine all these winners being applauded when they walk onto the stage to receive their awards. It will just be a booster and an inspiration for their works, they would know that their works are appreciated too.
People argue that since all the categories in the Industry Awards Night are only voted for by the Board and the Academy of the awards with 50 per cent voting weight each, it makes sense that it’s held separately. Then I ask, isn’t it an objective of the awards to reward veteran musicians who have blazed the trail in the music industry?
For others, organising the Industry Awards saves time on the Awards night proper. Yes, I agree with such concerns but the truth is that, the main awards night is needlessly dragged and makes it lengthy.
If the organisers can make good use of the time, they would have no excuse to hold separate events.
When I spoke to the Head of Communications at Charterhouse, George Quaye, he said that they organise separate awards to save time. Well, they are the organisers and know what is best for them but I believe that, they can find sense in my argument.
Perhaps, if my opinion is taken, Charterhouse would save money they use for the organisation of the Industry Awards and other headaches which may not necessarily be known to the general public.
It feels good for the general public to know those who work behind the scenes on the songs they enjoy.
By Ebenezer Anangfio / Graphic Showbiz