Fifth edition of the MTN 4Syte TV Music Video Awards, have attracted a lot of talk both negative and positive, on the media landscape nationwide. The event which took place at the Accra International Conference Centre on Saturday November 16, 2013 is being criticized heavily, perhaps because certain things have been misrepresented in the media, and may also be because the organizers took certain things for granted.
After all the numerous reports and various discussions, I have decided to bring you my perspective of the truth, what really happened and why things turned out the way they did, as an insider and a media man.
Everything looked organized from the launch of the awards at the Silver Star Towers in Accra on October 4, when the name of all the nominees were released, and the usual talk of why certain videos were in or out of the list began. But there was a lot to be happy about because MTN was the lead sponsor and for the first time Club Premium Beer came on board as the official beverage sponsor, so organizers had no reason to worry about sponsorship, and they have no excuse to organize a poor show or even go below the high standards they have already set for the past four years.
Whiles nominees were strongly campaigning for votes to win more awards, the media was also buzzing with different information about the award, all to build a momentum for the main night, and for the first time there were very few complaints from the media about accreditation, prior to the event.
On the main awards night patrons of the show started coming from as early as 6pm when sound checks were still going on, so by 7pm they began forming long queue to enter. People who bought tickets with their hard earned money, including all the ladies dressed with heavy make- ups and high heels, stood on their feet for over two hours until after 9pm, before the gate was finally opened for them to enter.
After the sweat and stress in the queue outside, the audience were made to sit in the usually hot auditorium for over 2 hours before, the show eventually started at about 11pm.
The stage set-up was okay with a big screen as the main stage, backdrop, and two screens; one on the left the other on the right and screen effects across the top of the stage. It was simple and nice but part of the stage set for previous editions of the awards looked nicer than this year’s design. Stage lighting was good, the sound was good, but the bad acoustics in the Conference Centre sometimes made the sound too loud.
Well, in spite of all these the show had a great start, with the best performer on the night Sarkodie “Obidiponbidi”. He opened the show with such a spectacular performance, when nobody expected him to be the first act on stage. He was seated on a kingly chair mounted on a platform, with his brand name “Sark” inscribed boldly on it with lights, and dressed in all black.
His attitude, his interaction with the audience, and his composure on stage took everybody along right from the beginning of his performance to the end. His coordination with the dancers, and the lights and fireworks made his performance outstanding on the night.
It was after Sarkodie’s memorable opening those things began to fall apart on stage. Even the MCs’ entry was not well timed, as Bolaray who had some songs that were supposed to be played before he comes on stage, had to tell the DJ to start everything from the top, after he had walked on stage. Bolaray and Joselyn Dumas was a great pair on stage as MCs for the night aside few unnecessary things like pulling people from the crown just to wave to the audience. Deborah Vanessa and others didn’t need to come on stage; they could have waved from wherever they were sitting.
Most of the countless and unforgivable technical hitches on the night happened during the awards presentations. Aside a number of award winners who were not present to pick up their awards, the microphone on the podium was always off, anytime award presenters came on stage to present an award and the nominations’ videos that are supposed to play on the screen before the winner is announced, either delayed or couldn’t play at all. In most instances, the MCs had to give their microphone to the presenters, and some of the awards had to be presented without showing the nominees.
Another embarrassing moment on stage was when award presenters announced the winner and the winner walked on stage to wait for a while before a plaque will be ready to be presented. At some point, the MC had to go backstage to check what was going on.
The stage performances were the only entertainment factor at this year’s awards. The night saw some wonderful and also terrible performances. Castro De Destroyer came on stage with Kaywa to serenade the audience with a slow live version of his new hit single “Odo pa”. He was joined by new act Kofi Kinata, to perform the original song which features Baby Jet Asamoah Gyan. Castro’s formation dance and the passion he put in his performance attracted a loud applause from the crowd after his performance.
Tic Tac who had not been seen on stage for a while now, also made a great impression on the night with his energetic performance, but the acrobatic display and jumping on stage, took a better part of his performance than the music.
Kwabena Kwabena and Samini’s performance was another highlight on the night. They performed only one song “Adults Music” together, and that was enough to get the whole house dancing.
It was their first major performance as a duo, as Zeal and his remaining partner Prodigal of VIP did well to communicate to the audience that no matter their number, the vision is still in progress. Even though the absence of Promzy was clearly felt, they still gave the audience an idea of what two of them can do. They played their new single “Yeko di…Sco” for the first time had overwhelming response from the crowd. Dancehall artiste Jupita lived up to his billing on stage and Hiplife duo Ruth N Smooth tried to sing live on instrumentals but they were off key a couple of times. A female hot dancer saved their show with a crazy waist winding dance that had crowd screaming.
Eazzy, who was carried on stage in a bath, did great on stage with her hit single “Scream”, and quite obviously there was a lot of screaming during her performance. ItzTiffany’s dancers performed very well with her hit song “Neke neke”, especially an under aged dancer who amazed the crowd, but the artiste herself looked a bit indisposed on stage.
Tema based R2Bees (Refuse 2 Be Broke) have been very consistent with their stage performances and Saturday was no different. Dee Money came on stage and incited the crowd to hoot at the DJ because the DJ could not drop his song when he was supposed to. He had a wonderful freestyle section while he was waiting for the DJ, but the whole DJ episode affected his performance. D-Black and Joey B performed as though they were passing through.
Off course man of the moment Shatta Wale, and his Shatta Movement(SM) was an icing on the cake, giving the show a great ending in spite of all the hitches on the night. His mere presence on stage turned the auditorium upside down. He came on stage carried in a palanquin, and everybody was charged up and jumping to his very popular dancehall tunes.
Shatta Wale may have saved the show because his performance brought some life into the dying end of the show, and may be because of the anticipation to see him and all the hype round him currently, but Sarkodie ‘Stole’ the show.
Why The Show Started Late:
After speaking to a number of people, including some of the organizers and some the technical people from Big Ideaz who were in charge of the LED screen and stage, people Events Factory in charge of the traces, some people in charge of lights, it appears that there was an unresolved issue that had to do with the payment of some monies. Even though it is not too clear who was supposed to pay the money, who was supposed to be paid, or how much the amount was etc, is the main reason why the show started about two hours late. According to sources some of the technical men threatened not to allow the show to start until they paid fully. I am yet to know how it was resolved for the show to take off.
Who Is Responsible for the Unpardonable hitches?
Nobody has owned up or has been held responsible for the many hitches that affected the flow of the show, but regardless of who may be responsible, whoever directed and produced the 4Syte TV Music Video Awards 2013 must be fired because no matter the situation, there should have been some sort of remedy to avoid repeating of the same microphone problem throughout the show. There was obviously no stage manager, because on a number of occasions, artistes brought certain props on stage as part of their performance and it was left unattended to on stage after their performance for some time.
Other Post Event Issues:
There were reports about some Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) officials at the event and this has been perceived to mean that the officers were there because organizers tried to evade paying tax to the authority, but that is totally false because after clearing your event with the authorities, prior to the event night, officers are always deployed to be at the event venue, to monitor ticket sales and attendance. They are always present at most major events and they are usually not in uniform, but for some reason, they came in uniform, and their presence there in uniform does not necessarily mean the organizers were trying to evade paying tax. Organizers have been working with the authority since the inception of the awards five years ago.
4syte TV Music Video Awards is arguably one of the most respected, well attended and most entertaining show on our events calendar, and no one including myself, would wish for its down fall. As a media man, it gives news and contents. It is the only award scheme that recognizes and awards creativity and professionalism in music videos, thanks to Mr. Ignace Hego, CEO of 4Syte TV and his crew, for keeping it running consistently for the past five years. We as Ghanaians should be able to compare it to MTV Awards, Channel Music Video Awards, BET or any other world class awards event in any part of the planet.
However, we can never get there with the kind of things that happened at the just ended 4Syte TV Music Video Awards 2013. All in all, it was not an entirely bad night, but things could have been far better.
Submitted By: Eugene Eugene Osafo-Nkansah