Ever since last Saturday night’s Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, Charterhouse, organizers of the annual showpiece have had a public relations nightmare to deal with, following the disturbing antics of Ghana’s two favourite dancehall stars, Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy.
The commotion caused by the two which nearly led to the show being cancelled has spawned a week of negative press surrounding the VGMAs and which ended with the board taking a strong stance against the two artists by indefinitely banning them from the awards scheme and rescinding every award they won last weekend.
However strong the actions taken against the two stars are, it seems a little bit too late as their actions have had its effect on the VGMA brand already, what with stories coming out about host Kwame Sefa Kayi fearing for his life and foreign ambassadors left running for their lives.
The damage has already been done and as the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure – it would have been preferable that organizers managed to find a way to nip such issues in the bud before they become such a huge public relations nightmare.
Many have talked about some of the measures which could have led to such an issue becoming moot in the first place, including rap star Sarkodie. In a series of tweets addressing the issue, Sarkodie bemoaned the fact that lack of sponsorship had forced Charterhouse to be selling tickets for the show, leading to both artists managing to have a crowd of unruly thugs behind them which could lead to such a confrontation.
First off all big award shows like the Grammys BET MTV etc don’t open to the public to just buy tickets and come to the event ( and its for a reason )… it’s not a concert … first mistake by Charter house pic.twitter.com/k8hkOpCmej
— Sarkodie (@sarkodie) May 23, 2019
The VGMAs differs vastly from most major award shows around the world in that the public are able to purchase tickets and attend the show, instead of artists and industry gurus receiving invitations. It is an issue of revenue raising and breaking even for Charterhouse, as Sarkodie theorized before the show, but such an approach has its flaws, as starkly shown by the events at the Dome on May 18th.
The Grammys, Emmys, BET awards and all such major shows are strictly by invitation, and going forward it seems that is the model Charterhouse has to follow. Indeed, they do not have to go any further than the Golden Movie Awards Africa (GMAA) to find a suitable model.
Charter house sell tickets for award show which is wrong ( but I only understand due to lack of funds to put up a top notch event like the vgma ) but it still doesn’t make it right
— Sarkodie (@sarkodie) May 23, 2019
The annual GMAAs have become one of the finest award shows on the continent, simply due to the meticulous nature of planning that goes into it. Award winners are selected by a jury without public sentiment and the audience on the awards night is made up of nominees and industry giants who receive invitations.
A section of the tickets is reserved to the public, but to receive one of those a person has to apply online, answer a lot of questions demonstrating their knowledge of film and finally, have to pick up the ticket from organizers with a valid national ID. Via that, organizers ensure only enthusiasts pass all steps of the process and gain entrance to the exclusive awards night.
The Golden Movie Awards has set a groundbreaking pace in numerous avenues that other award shows in the country can learn from, as attested to by actress Kafui Danku and more recently, the VGMA chaos. There’s no need to look to the Grammys or Emmys when there is a show run by Ghanaians which has all the lessons Charterhouse needs to adapt to save their brand.