With an estimated 1,348,628 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 74,816 deaths around the world, the coronavirus outbreak has impacted nearly every industry globally in recent weeks.
Now, with the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic by the W.H.O on March 11, there’s an increased effort to prevent the spread of the virus.
This has led to the suspension and entire cancellation of events including big award ceremonies, concerts, festivals, and movie premieres, due to health concerns.
Indeed, the entertainment industry has suffered a huge setback from the efforts to stop Coronavirus.
Globally, events including the Juno Awards (Canada’s version of the Grammy Awards), and the 24th annual Webby Awards among others have been sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic.
The situation is no different in Ghana, as our most prestigious music awards scheme, the VGMAs is on the brink of being set aside if no last-minute intervention comes up.
Ghana, with over 200 case of COVID-19, has enforced a partial lockdown across it’s two major cities Accra and Kumasi alongside Kasoa and Tema.
The lockdown announced by President Nana Akufo-Addo in a televised address on March 27, 2020, is to be observed for two weeks.
Even before the lockdown, the COVID-19 outbreak had led to the cancellation of the VGMAs nominees jam which was to be held on April 14, 2020.
“This has become necessary due to the recently confirmed Covid cases in Ghana, and the National Directive on Public gathering.”
“ A new date will be announced later, subject to further National Directives on Public Gathering. Any inconvenience caused is deeply regretted,” A statement by the Vgma board read.
With the current lockdown situation and what is happening in other countries, it will not be far-fetched for one to think that this year’s VGMAs may be postponed or cancelled entirely.
AVAILABLE OPTIONS TO THE VGMA BOARD.
- INDEFINITE POSTPONEMENT
With covid 19 cases increasing by the day, It remains uncertain what government’s next line of action would be.
A further extension of the lockdown will most certainly help scare off and mitigate the spread of the deadly infection.
In this light, The VGMA board may have to hold on their plans a little longer till a time when the global pandemic is convincingly contained.
Such a decision is critical to prevent a possible spread of the novel coronavirus among the production crew, nominees and patrons.
A later date (Beyond May, June or even July) may be announced after Covid 19 is totally defeated.
- HOLD A VIRTUAL VGMA CEREMONY ONLINE.
Rules on social distancing are currently making it impossible to gather the hundreds of nominees and guests in a room.
However, If the Vgma board intends to still push through with the 2020 awards, it may consider holding the annual awards online just like Shatta Wale did with his recently held ‘Faith Concert.’
Rolling out a system to announce and honor winners (deserving musicians) online will not at all be a bad idea.
Yes! The awards could still be held behind closed doors , with winners revealed in a live stream.
Winners of the 38th edition of International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) were announced on March 21 at the AC Marriott Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica without any audience in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Royal Television Society Awards 2020 was on Tuesday, March 17th held behind closed doors for first time amid coronavirus fears.
In line with official guidance against large gatherings of people, the event was live-streamed , as nominees and fans watched via a live link.
The VGMA board may also take a cue from the strategy adopted by the IRWMA organizers and the RTS Awards to recognize the efforts and achievements of people in the industry this year.
- CANCEL THE 21st VGMA ENTIRELY.
Ghana has currently recorded over 200 confirmed coronavirus cases, a figure that increases by the day.
In a worst case scenario, organizers may consider cancelling the 21st Vgma for good if the ban on big gatherings and restrictions to movement is further prolonged.
Well! If that happens, it stands to reason that the late Dancehall songstress and reigning Vgma Artiste Of Year, Ebony Reigns still maintains the title as VGMA Artiste for three straight years. (2018, 2019, 2020)
That would perhaps bring a smile to the late Ebony Reigns’ face in her grave. (R.I.P Nana Hemaa)
I also know one thing for sure; Ebony’s dad, Nana Opoku Kwarteng a.k.a Starboy Kwarteng, and banned artistes , Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy will be the HAPPIEST MEN ON EARTH.