This year, something unprecedented happened at the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA); there was no announcement of the two most important awards — Artiste of the Year and Most Popular Song of the Year.
Before ending the show, which came off at the Accra International Conference Centre on Saturday, May 18, hosts of the event Kwami Sefa Kayi and Berla Mundi revealed that the organisers, Charterhouse, had taken the decision not to announce the winners because of the brawl between Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale and the tension in the auditorium and would do so at a later date.
Now past winners of the Artiste of the Year plaque have shared their views with Showbiz on this development.
Lord Kenya, who won Artiste of the Year in 2002, said although he would normally not comment on such issues, it was bad not to announce the winners at the event.
“First of all, it reduces the interest in the awards because that is what most people came there for. I won the Artiste of the Year and Best Rapper in 2002 and nothing like this happened,” he said.
He explained that no one would be interested in knowing later who won the Artiste of the Year and the Most Popular Song of the Year.
“Dancehall Artiste of the Year and you are pulling guns, what of the main Artiste of the Year? Some of us laid down our lives for VGMA only for two artistes to ruin the award scheme,” he said.
Kwaw Kese, who was adjudged Artiste of the Year in 2008, shared Lord Kenya’s sentiment saying not announcing the two awards took a lot from the event.
“Not announcing the two most important awards makes the whole show a flop. It’s unfortunate that such a thing would happen at the VGMA and we must all condemn it. However, Stonebwoy and Shatta have to sit down as men and eschew this unhealthy beef,” the Abodam artiste added.
However, Okyeame Kwame, who won the Artiste of the Year in 2009, said it was the best decision for the organisers to halt the announcement, especially for security reasons.
“What if one of these two Dancehall artistes had won the Artiste of the Year. There would have been violence and chaos in the auditorium which would have come with some serious consequences.
“It was best to save human lives by not announcing those two categories. I think Charterhouse did well on that. When they announce the two categories, we will all get to know who won what,” he said.
To rapper, EL, who won Artiste of the Year in 2016, it was the best decision by Charterhouse not to have mentioned the winners.
“What if any of these artistes had won the Artiste of the Year or the Most Popular Song of the Year? There would have been serious chaos because there was already tension in the auditorium,” he said.
MUSIGA President, Bice Osei Kuffour also known as Obour, who won Artiste of the Year in 2005, said there would have been a huge misunderstanding if the organisers had announced those two categories.
“Can you imagine if Shatta Wale or Stonebwoy had won the Artiste of the Year? The whole auditorium would have been something else. Announcing it at a later date was the best decision by the organisers,” he said.