…My three takeaways


The Vodafone Ghana Music Awards is not all about rewarding the works of musicians and recognizing their efforts but it’s also about documenting the country’s musical history. Fifty years from now, the next generation must be able to look at these awards and know who and who did hold the fort when it all mattered.

Eighteen years down the line, the awards scheme remain one of the most consistent and much sought after industry event. Awards schemes thrive on controversies. So for Charterhouse to be synonymous to controversy really needs no empirical research to prove only a cursory trip down memory lane would suffice.

But after nearly two decades of repeating same old strategy and displaying same lame apology of an industry event, I think we can’t continue to cut Charterhouse some slack. Here I will attempt a post-mortem of this year’s awards and show you why Charterhouse perhaps must call it a day on these awards or perhaps think of giving out the franchise entirely to some other serious organisation to manage.

  1. Perennial late start

There is probably a good reason why this year’s awards was about three hours behind its scheduled start time. Whatever the reason was, no one needs to know. Charterhouse can’t be doing this for close to 20 years and yet cannot seem to know its left from right.

We all know dumsor is probably not gone entirely. It lives amongst us. Why didn’t Charterhouse not come to this realization and perhaps put the entire place of reliable power all throughout and even provide effective back-up and make grid power second back-up?

Well, Charterhouse may be the organisers of the award but the scheme belongs to us, Ghanaians. Exhibiting the same traits for close to two decades, is way too much and much be condemned without mincing words.

  1. Stop recognizing underwhelming Charterhouse graduates!

How many times did Efya win female vocalist of the year award? I probably lost count. Efya, formerly Jane, came into the limelight on the back of Charterhouse’s own music reality show, Stars of the Future. People literally didn’t say much because Efya happens to be an awesome talent.

But within all those years, other graduates or products of Charterhouse’s reality show seem to be nominated regardless and sometimes, all the time, they seem to have made the list ahead of other competent musicians.

Irene, of Irene and Jane fame, probably had more VGMA nominations than the number of hits she would probably make in her musical career. And last Saturday’s two awards picked by Adina showed that, the Too Late singer, another Charterhouse graduate was benefiting from the Charterhouse well that her seniors previously drank from.

Not to pick on the talent of Adina, but her picking up the record of the year and the female vocalist of the year raises more suspicion especially knowing her previous relationship with the event organisers and how previous Charterhouse graduates have been nominated even when they weren’t singing anything close to sensible.

  1. Joe Mettle, Kinaata, Charterhouse dishonesty

No Gospel artiste has ever come close to winning the coveted award. I don’t recollect and I don’t know if you do. So in the run up to the VGMAs, the agenda was for a Gospel artiste to take home that award, no talk about merit or whatsoever. Just that it’s time for a Gosple musician.

Joe Mettle is a fine talent. No argument, hands down. But does he deserve the award, no. Even Charterhouse per their own criteria should not have nominated him in the first place

The Artiste of the Year is the Artiste(s) adjudged by the Academy, Board and the General Public as the Artiste(s) with the highest audience appeal and popularity. The Artiste(s) must have released a hit single/album during the year under review.

For Joe to have made the artiste of the year in the first place meant that he should have released a hit single or album. He did do any. He was absent in the gospel song of the year category, the genre of music that he does. He didn’t make most popular song of the year too. Neither was he nominated in the album of the year category as well. So on what basis did he make the list?

If it was about mass appeal then Kinaata, who picked three awards on the night, probably deserved to be in the artiste of the year category. His audience appeal is several yards ahead of the whole bunch of artistes that made the list.

And for Joe Mettle fans, it’s fair to say congratulations but never make this a religious thing or whatever you seem to make it thinking that the rest of us are some bunch of demons of a sort needing redemption. Just rejoice in it. The VGMAs thrive on controversy and Joe Mettle award is one right there.

At the conference center early this morning when he was named the winner, the characteristic euphoria that greets the top winners was notably absent and the auditorium was almost empty by the time Joe found his voice to make a speech. Tells us that Joe has more to do to carry on his evangelism.

I am out!


Credit: Richard Annerquaye Abbey (abbeykwei@gmail.com)



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