VGMA: Elimination of Ghanaian Artiste from ‘Best African Artiste’ category demeans Ghanaian Musicians
Ghana Music Awards (GMA) is an annual music awards which started in the year 2000 to reward deserving musicians and industrial professionals for their hardwork in getting Ghanaians and the world entertained.
It started with Ghana most leading telecommunication network, MTN as the major sponsor of the awards, with a flagship name “MTN Ghana Music Awards” till Vodafone took the mantle from MTN to sponsor the awards which now termed as Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA).
The scheme has however evolved with time as its organisers, Charter House as part of its mandate to make the awards more entertaining and better kept reforming and adding new categories to suit the modern Industry.
Recently, the organisers unveiled the nominees for this year’s edition and introduced two more different categories, including Afrobeat/Afropop artist and the Extended Play (EP) album of the year.
As part of the quest to involve other African arts into the scheme, the awards organisation for some years now introduced “Best African artiste” category to the existing categories while they kept reforming the scheme to expand the awards horizon.
However, the Best African Artiste Category in its definition spells out an artiste who is best in Africa, thus the category should be expanded to include all great African musicians in making it more competitive and meaningful.
The category over the years has seen most of its nominees from Nigeria and South Africa.
As usual this year has its five nominees from Nigeria with artistes including Burna boy, Wizkid, Davido, Fireboy DML, Omah Lay competing with South African Master KG whose Jerusalema track went viral for the award.
Is the Awards board telling us that Nigerian artistes are better than other African artistes including Ghanaians?
Or Nigerians are the only best African Musicians who qualify for that category?
This act rather projects Nigerians as the best in terms of music, no wonder Grammies, other awards schemes and musicians kept recognising Nigerians to the neglect of Ghanaians.
If awards organise in Ghana keeps projecting Nigerians as the “Best African Artiste” and devalue their own artistes why will the world take Ghana musicians seriously.
I believe inclusion of African musicians from countries like Ghana, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Côte D’ivoire, Guinea among other African countries will make the category more meaningful and compel musicians especially Ghanaian artistes to craft their music well to suit foreign market.
It must be noted that Ghanaians and the listed countries above are all Africans thus deserved to be in the “Best African Artiste” Category.
How can Ghana organise an award and always nominate Nigerians as the Best African Artiste without Ghanaians, this defeat the purpose of VGMA since the category in its actual sense is bigger and greater than “Ghana Artiste” of the year.
I will urge the organisers of the awards to review and reform the category; either they change the category’s name and give the award to a foreigner or deepen it to include Ghanaians and others.
This I believe will help Ghanaian artiste excel in the industry and make the category more meaningful.
Opinion: BY JOYCELINE NATALLY CUDJOE