Today at the National Music Summit, which is part of the list of activities for the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, four contributors to the development of music in Ghana over the years, will be honored at the ceremony. The brief presentation is dubbed ‘V.G.M.A TITAN AWARDS’. These honors are a way of recognizing the efforts of some of the people who helped and are still helping build the music industry in Ghana.
Music in Ghana started on the backs of a selected but committed few. The music industry, though still struggling, has come a long way and it is due to the sacrifices and contributions of these committed few that music is still here with us in Ghana today. Therefore, the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards has selected four for this honor of ‘TITAN’ namely Sidiku Buari, Professor John Collins, Kenneth Kwaku Avotri Kafui, and Big Ben Music Production. According to a communique issued this morning, these men have indeed contributed significantly to the growth of music in Ghana. “These honors will go to four distinguished industry stalwarts with the aim of recognizing their pivotal roles in growing music in Ghana”, the statement read.
The Vodafone Ghana Music Awards ‘TITAN’ Awards will be presented to the four contributors for reasons based on their individual contributions. Sidiku Buari will be honored for with a ‘Meritorious Service Award’ to the Ghana music industry as an Administrator. In 1980, together with Ghanaba, Joe Mensah, Fiasal Helwani, Nana Kwame Ampadu, and others, he re-established the Musician Union of Ghana we have today. Furthermore, he facilitated the Union’s movement to the old Passport office, organized regional congresses, produced corporate music to campaign for peaceful elections, lobbied for exemption of taxes on musical instruments for musicians, training for musicians to play live music and chaired the collective management organization of Ghana, facilitating the building of its first office. During his lifetime as a Musician, he carried out several music industry administrative roles as Former President of the Musicians Union of Ghana (Musiga) Chairman of the Copyright Society of Ghana (Cosga) now Ghana Music Rights owners Organization (Ghamro) and Vice President of International Federation of Musicians (FIM).
Also on the honorary list is Professor John Collins. He will receive a ‘Meritorious Service’ Award to the Ghana Music Industry as a Musicologist. As one of Ghana’s most prolific Musicologists and composers, he chronicled most of our highlife music across the decades. He also served as an Executive of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) in the 1970’s , now a Patron of MUSIGA and is an honorary life-member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) in Ghana; together with the late Professor J.H.K. Nketia and Egya Koo Nimo. He served on the Ghana National Folklore Board of Trustees and Copyright Administration for seven years and is currently the acting Chairman of the Bokoor African Popular Music Archives Foundation (BAPMAF).
Another honoree will be Kenneth Kwaku Avotri Kafui. He will receive an award for a ‘Meritorious Service’ to the Ghana Music Industry as a Music Educator. Ken Kafui was a Ghanaian composer. He was a lecturer in ‘Music Theory and Composition’ at the music department of the University of Ghana, Legon. He composed choral works, symphonic works, piano and organ works, and works for traditional African instruments. He created new concepts and genres in African art music such as the Pentanata, the HD-3 form and Drumnata. He holds a Diploma in African Music and a Master’s degree in music. He also composed for the orchestra of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation during the late 1970s. Kenneth was also a music tutor and the conductor of the Aggrey Memorial Chapel Choir at Achimota School before he moved on to the University of Ghana.
The final honoree is a business entity called Big Ben Music Production. The sales and distribution outfit will be presented with a ‘Meritorious Service’ Award to the Ghana Music Industry as an Executive Producer and Music Distributor. A gospel music label, was run by Benjamin and Theresa Mensah, and at a point, had the top Ghanaian artistes Monica Konadu, K.K. Fosu, Vine Praises, Ofori Amponsah, Kofi Nti, Sandra Oduro, Christiana Love, Lady Prempeh, and Ohemaa Mercy. Other big names comprising the Big Ben affiliates list include Christiana love (Obaapa Christy), A-plus, the late Daasebre Dwamena, Obrafour, Reggie Rockstone, Daddy Lumba and many others. Their role as an investor in the production of music from the 80s across the decades till 2005, enabled many talented musicians get heard and were able to derive commercial gains from their talent.
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By V.G.M.A Communications Team