As the 21st edition of the much celebrated Vodafone Ghana Music Awards approaches, the question about whether to lift the ban on musicians ‘Stonebwoy’ and ‘Shatta Wale’ has stirred up a debate among the media. Even though the Executive Director of the V.G.M.A Theresa Ayoade, stated that opinions from the public have always been relevant to the organizers of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, some media personalities have responded to the debate as unnecessary. However, ‘Stonebwoy’, at a press conference last Friday in Accra stated that he does not feel hurt by the ban and feels it should even be extended. Both musicians ‘Stonebwoy’ and ‘Shatta Wale’ were banned by the board of the V.GM.A following a gun incident at last year’s V.G.M.A in Accra.
Earlier this year, organizers and franchise holders of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards ‘Charter House’, met with the press to discuss ways to improve the 21st edition of the V.G.M.A and also address issues that hovered around the event. Top of the discussion was the ban of musicians ‘Shatta Wale’ and ‘Stonebwoy’. The Chief Executive Officer of Charter House Theresa Ayoade, said that even though the previous Board of Directors of the V.G.M.A had been dissolved, the decision to lift the ban on both ‘Shatta Wale’ and ‘Stonebwoy’ can only be greatly influenced by public appeal.
But, not all we glad to hear this and blamed the organizers for lack of ethics. Influential journalist and entertainment pundit Halifax Addo, described the whole thing as a joke. “If we are not careful, the 21st edition of the V.G.M.A would be reduced to 2 artistes. If the former Board of the V.G.M.A lacks the ‘balls’ to come out and clearly state that the scheme has been brought into disrepute and therefore, we are sticking to the rules of the game, then that is their own cup of tea. Even, the case is still pending in the law court, and you are telling me that we will see these 2 on our stage again? Even before the court’s decision? That will be a joke’, he explained.
Multiple award winner ‘Stonebwoy’ last week at a press conference in Accra responded to the question of whether he would participate in this year’s V.G.M.A if the ban was lifted. Stonebwoy, at last year’s edition of the ‘4syte TV Music Video Awards’, said that he had outgrown awards in Ghana and needed to focus on his career. Stonebwoy emphasized his previous words as a response to his possible inclusion in this year’s V.G.M.A. “Music in Ghana is older than the V.G.M.A, so I think if respect has to be accorded, it should first be given to ‘the music’ and therefore musicians. As a creator, I don’t think the power lies in the awards because awards only come once a year, but a musician has to do a million things to retain or achieve a position for an awards scheme to recognize them. Therefore, I wouldn’t cry over my ban from the V.G.M.A. I even wish it is extended so that it will deter upcoming musicians from misbehaving”, he explained.
The Chief Executive Officer of Charter House Mrs Theresa Ayoade, stated that it was the tradition of Charter House to always consider the opinions of the public, hence, the need for the conversation. “What we have done over the years is to demonstrate that we are a listening organization. We have always come back to the drawing table and interacted with industry stakeholders to get insights, and I believe that this is why we have been able to come this far”, she said.
The fate of both ‘Stonebwoy’ and ‘Shatta Wale’ remains undecided as the new Board of Directors of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards are yet to publicly state whether the ban will be lifted or not.
By Jerry Wonder