Following months of vigorous preparation, the Dome of the Accra International Conference Centre on Saturday saw the 2012 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards come to live.
From my perspective, it would be totally wrong to judge or go into comparism between Vodafone and MTN-the previous sponsors of the annual awards which now have been accepted globally as a ‘credible’ award scheme to reward Ghanaian musicians.
When Charter House, the organisers of the awards announced that Vodafone has become the new sponsors, there were things that the average music enthusiasts, musicians and professionals who work in the Music Industry anticipated – at least certain things were expected to be done differently.
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One thing that Vodafone was tasked to change or minimize was the usual controversies which has engulfed the awards since the first edition. However little has been done or achieved in that regard. It appears impossible to wipe away the controversies thoroughly. It’s still early days, so we have to adopt the watch and see approach.
I must stress that; a lot can be achieved and learnt in twelve years whereas little or nothing can be achieved in one year. I felt Vodafone had done their home work before taking over the sponsorship of the awards. But it appears some of the things will still linger on even with the swap of sponsorship.
The theme for this year’s awards was ‘RECHARGED’… for the Love of Music. Perhaps, the ‘Recharged’ needs to be reviewed because, the whole departments of the awards wasn’t fully ‘Recharged’.
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The ‘Recharged’ was felt in some areas and not the entire scheme. For instance, MTN offered each award winner GHC1.000 and GHC4.000 for the Artiste of the Year. Many argued that, perhaps the GHC1.000 should have been for each category, something I subscribe to. But glaringly nothing was done about it.
Vodafone ‘Recharged’ the prize package but still maintained the MTN’s ‘each award winner’ concept. The ‘Recharged’ could have been experienced more if they had changed the entire prize package from each award winner to every category. Though it won’t be easy, I believe it would have made sense and given their ‘Recharged’ tagline a good meaning.
One of the positive things that Vodafone did [though not enough] was to increase the GHC1.000 to GHC3.000 and the GHC4.000 to GHC10.000.
It would have been nice if Vodafone had maintained the previous amount given to each award winner, but rather spread the money to each category and not each award winner. GHC1.000 I know is too small considering the huge cost in music production, but Ghanaian musicians will appreciate a small amount than nothing at all.
Though in the 13th edition, not all musicians have interest in the awards as over the years many of them have asked their songs to be omitted. This, I believe if employed can whip their interest in the awards.
The new sponsorship package for the awards also came with a Vodafone Ghana Music Awards Foundation for the development and promotion of the Ghanaian Music Industry. This is laudable and ‘Recharged’.
Now let’s talk about the awards day.
The opening montage to welcome the host Chris Attoh was marvelous and action packed. Funny Face added humour into the sketch to make it interesting. Thumbs up to whoever put that sketch together. It was worth the time spent in watching it.
The introduction of the segment where Funny Face interviewed award winners was also positive and ‘Recharged’. It’s a good initiative and I hope it remains as part of the awards in the years to come. But then Funny Face exaggerated most times making people wonder if the show was directed. What he did there was funny but the exaggeration was too much.
The Ticket Price:
The ticket price of GHC100 was ridiculously high but trust Ghanaians, they will complain about anything and yet patronize it. So there is little I can say about that. The place was fully packed.
What has not been said about the security at the GMAs? It’s one area that needs reinforcement. Security was not the best at the venue. It’s not funny anymore that every year security personnels embarrass people.
It’s time security men are told or brief about the awards. It’s not an avenue for them to show their muscles. They must be told the difference between a ticket, a tag holder and the ones who are there to create problems.
There were scenes of security men preventing media personnel with proper tags from entering the auditorium from the VIP entrance.
I had a tough time on the red carpet trying to capture some pictures. Even though the red carpet experience started nicely, midway through, there was human traffic as people without accreditation were seen moving in and out on the red carpet therefore obstructing free flow of interviews and photo shoots.
There were moments when fans interrupt interviews and photo shoots just because they want to have a picture with their favourite celebrities. It made recordings especially for television stations very difficult. At some point, cameramen were seen pushing and screaming at people to leave the red carpet.
I admonish the organisers to have someone check these anomalies to forestall its repetition to enable free flow on the red carpet next year.
Confy On Red Carpet:
A day to the event, I heard Jeremie say on YFM that she and Jay Foley will be hosting the red carpet but as to why KOD and Confidence ended up on the red carpet as hosts is still unknown to GhanaCelebrities.Com. But our check indicates that before the red carpet started both of them weren’t around. So perhaps that explains why KOD and Confy hosted it.
Though Confidence has appeared on many red carpets, this time, she was not being interviewed, she was doing the interview and it appeared that she was star-struck.
The Aphrodisiac Night Club boss appeared like she was not ready or not cut out for events of such magnitude. She appeared lost in her own world as celebrities after celebrities kept showing up to her for little interactions.
Personally I think if there is any criticism, it has to be directed at the people who put her there.
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Seating Arrangement/Media Centre:
I’m sorry if you watched the awards at home. I must say that the arrangements of the seating from the standard ticket holders to the VIP to the VVIP were nicely done.
The standard ticket holders occupied the two sides of the auditorium whiles the VIPs settled in the middle with the VVIP seating also in the middle but at far back. The VVIP area had seats for nominees as well as performers.
There was a long pathway from the VVIP straight to the stage, so whenever an award was presented, the winner just walked from the seating area to collect the award without blocking anybody’s view.
The media also had a place arranged for them. We occupied the left side of the stage to capture events as they unfolded.
By far the Chocolate City crew from Nigeria made up of M.I., Brymo, JesseJagz and Ice Prince were the best performers on the night. Their back to back performances will be on the mind of many for long. They didn’t really do any magic on stage, but they wowed the crowd with their hit tunes.
Gospel musician Cwesi Oteng opened the awards night with his hit track ‘God Dey Bless Me’. He was joined by award winning and arguably the biggest Hip Life artiste ever now turned pastor, legendary Lord Kenya.
If you have been an ardent follower of the Rap Heavyweight, you will realize that he’s not changed even though he’s now doing gospel. His presence on stage attracted loud cheers. He ended up screaming and shouting.
Angolan Cabo Snoop was ordinary on the night; strangely many people loved his dance movement. He is known in Ghana for his ‘Windeck’ tune, a song he performed twice as he tried his hands on the new dance craze ‘azonto’.
I can understand why Ghanaians were unhappy with South African artiste, Double HP, especially when he was given enough time on stage. His songs are not popular in Ghana but then when he performed his compatriot’s JR’s ‘Show Dem’ which featured him, the crowd responded well. How about Charter House inviting JR to the next awards?
There were other performances from Efya and Sarkodie, Ben Brako and Yaa Pono, Guru, Buk Bak and 4X4. The likes of Kaakie, Stonebwoy, Gifty Osei, KwawKesse, Edem and EL also mounted the stage.
It will be bad not to talk about the Patch Bay Band who was superb on the night. Their rendition of tunes from legend Highlife, Michael Jackson and D’Banj electrified the auditorium. They were a delight to watch.
I will not comment on the award winners but I hope we will have a more ‘Recharged’, less controversial Vodafone Ghana Music Awards next year. I hope we will not see a situation where the winner of Gospel Album of the Year won’t make it to the overall Album of the Year.
To describe this year’s award, I will say it was just ‘okay’ and not fully ‘Recharged’.