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Open Letter To #VGMA2015 The Commercialization Of Awards In Ghana Must Stop

Could the seeming over-commercialization of the Ghana Music Awards be the basis for Sarkodie's demands and rants?

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It has been a while since I shared my opinion on award shows in Ghana but the events from the week have given me reasons to share my two cents on the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards and others. My biggest problem with most awards in Ghana is that sometimes, the organizers make it seem that they put together award schemes just to make money, instead of primarily celebrating and rewarding its industry players.


If over the years, the Ghana Music Awards were seen purely as an industry event, then I don’t see how Sarkodie would have ranted the way he did on twitter this week – claiming that CharterHouse wants to use his image to sell tickets, and even requesting for a ghc 100,000 performance fee as it is reported. Over the years I have seen the Ghana Music Awards advertised as ‘the biggest event on the entertainment calendar that everybody must get a ticket for’. Is that the way the longest surviving industry awards in the entertainment sector should be perceived? In a certain year, musicians (some nominated and others not nominated) were manhandled by security at the Ghana Music Awards event. This is clearly not acceptable as the Ghana Music Awards should be a night for the musicians and industry players, they must come first!


The success of an award show is not based on the number of tickets sold, which artists performed or how many artists performed. The success of an award show is purely the experience one gets watching it at the auditorium or on TV screens – the highlights, the odd moments, and memorable performances. At the end of the day the biggest talking point of the Ghana Music Awards will be or should be ‘who won what’ and it shouldn’t be whether Sarkodie performed or not. So Sarkodie fans saying on twitter that #nosark #novgma is complete bollocks! If the VGMA is going to be about Sarkodie’s performance, then he should come on stage rapping with his head upside down and hanging on a rope – something spectacular so we can talk about it. Or Sarkodie should perform a hugely anticipated new single for the first time at the VGMA; then we know the performance would be memorable, and then we can say people went to the event to witness that performance. All I am saying is that if a Beyonce performance at Grammy’s would steal the headlines; it would be darn spectacular or unique – not just because she is big and has millions of fans.


I know I may be ranting rather than making sense but I think an award such as the Ghana Music Awards should be a purely industry thing to give the awards some sort of pedigree. Attendance should at least be 70 percent industry people and ticket sales should be 30 percent. What then would be the profit for the organizer? Well the sponsors, especially the headline sponsor should be able to pay enough money to organize the awards and leave a sensible profit margin to the organizers (laugh out loud!). A quality live broadcast of the ceremony should for the fans to watch and enjoy the ceremony. The event should be well produced, start and end on time so that GTV will not end the broadcast after a certain time. That way millions more people will watch the awards and the sponsors will get value for money (I Think).


Perhaps if the awards were seen as a purely industry event, artists like Sarkodie would not charge to perform and the money that would have been used as performance fee would add up to the profit margins of Charterhouse…I am just saying!!! The commercialization of the awards must just end; it would make the awards more reputable. From the voting process through to the main event, the awards should not been seen as a money making venture. Every phone number should be allowed to vote a limited number of times per category (ideally just once). If Kofi Misa votes 1million times for MsVee and 1,000 other Ghanaians vote once for Wiyaala, then Wiyaala should win the award. Wiyaala is the people’s choice (most popular) not Msvee, who is only Kofi Misa’s choice.

Cheers, and look out for pulse.com.gh's predictions for the 2015 Ghana Music Awards

Who Wins What At The 2015 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards? 

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