4syte Music Video Awards: Didn’t Celebrate the Artists nor the Video Makers

One of Ghana's ace Directors aptly captures the awards with this tweet
One of Ghana’s ace Directors aptly captures the awards with this tweet

Let me say right from the start that these awards ceremony did not do justice in celebrating the incredible works of Nana Asihene, Prince Dovlo, Pascal, Ogee and the other bright and heavily talented folks who have made it possible now to have Ghanaian videos being shown on MTV, and other big networks globally. The 4syte Music Video Awards ridiculed the intense colloboration that exists between artists and directors in feeding our eyes with music videos we feast our eyes on in our homes and offices.

This was the most ludicrous charade touted as an awards ceremony I have ever seen. Absolutely, incredibly farcical.

Good – sorry, Great Hype

The guys at 4syte TV are masters of hype. They did so on their TV and got bloggers talking about this. The hype ahead was indeed awesome. Perhaps it was the hype that made some of us expect a great show but ended being served with what we got.

Awesome Set-up

This was perhaps one of the most elaborate stage set ups I had ever seen in the country. The deployment of LEDs was on point; sounds from the speakers shook the floor of the auditorium such that thoughts about the structural integrity of the Accra International Conference Centre flashed through my mind a few times; lighting was awesome until the point when the first two opening acts performed in darkness on the stage (ironically with the first one having dancers who carried messages on cardboard that we couldn’t read). The set up actually began from outside the building and that I’m sure made us all expect an elaborately planned event.

Was this a ‘clubbing’ event or an awards show?

DJ Black was the only good thing on the night. Typically he was to be an announcer and to fill in when the place gets a bit slow. Now guess what, there was so much confusion and uncertainty that Black played a lot more times than he was perhaps paid to. For long periods one got the sense we were in a night club instead of a music videos awards.

MC and late start

I refuse to accept the glaring fact that our events will always start late. I won’t accept that. We got off the ground closer to midnight than the 8pm officially announced start time. And then we had Joselyn Dumas and John Dumelo as our Masters of Ceremony. I actually thought the only reason 4syte used the pair was because they had the same initials – JD. Seriously! Joselyn has done a lot more emceeing than John but even she is not cut out for it. I also wondered why 4syte settled on her after she had hosted the Ghana Music Awards earlier this year (we all know 4syte TV and Charterhouse, the organisers of the Music Video Awards and the Ghana Music Awards are not exactly friends). As someone once told me, “being famous doesn’t mean you will be a good MC either”.

This was an awards ceremony!

Yes it was. Most importantly, it was a MUSIC VIDEO Awards. But we didn’t get to watch any of the videos that were nominated nor the ones that were awarded, not even a 5 second preview of each. Technical hitch they said. Here’s the thing; I remember Joselyn trying to calm us and justify the many errors by saying ‘it takes a lot to organise such awards so have patience’. True, but that is absolute nonsense. We should strive to get things right instead of always hiding behind the excuse of how hard it is. It is particularly annoying when one thinks of the fact that the many issues of these awards could have been avoided.

The Awards

It seemed the actual act of awarding people was an afterthought. It was as if the awards sides of the event was conceived after all other elements of the event had been duly sorted out.

1. There was no podium to allow for guests and artists to speak from

2. There were no video previews of nominated videos

3. There wasn’t enough room to accommodate nominees

4. The lifetime achievement award was so shambolically done that the audience couldn’t appreciate the works of a true legend

5. There was no one to check and be sure that when a winner didn’t show, a recognised representative received the award.

6. I am told there was supposed to an award for the gospel genre but for some inexplicable reason it was overlooked – not intentionally, but probably because organizers did not pay attention to the AWARDS.

Kwaw Kese in a series of tweets expressed his frustrations as well
Kwaw Kese in a series of tweets expressed his frustrations as well

Music Video Awards is also about the people behind the video

Perhaps the most important people in the music video process were those that were ignored the most at the awards – the Directors. Yes, not the artists but those that artistically directed the video for us to enjoy them on our screens.

He is clearly pained
He is clearly pained

At no point did the directors get mentioned or recognized – not even to say “the winner is so so and so video directed by Kofi Mensah”. I mean who runs a music video award and forgets the video maker? Becca was thoughtful to have recognized the Director of her video.

Screenshot_2015-11-17-16-07-08-1

It should not be the case. I truly appreciate what Ignace and his team at 4Syte TV are doing for the industry but I believe that once they have set forth to do this, they should do it well. I do not agree with what Joselyn said about “it is a lot of work to put together an event so lets bear with them”. Most of the mistakes and oversights could and should have been avoided. That is the main matter here.

Screenshot_2015-11-17-16-15-10-1

Let’s learn to get it right. Let’s get the tiny details right. I wouldn’t call the awards successful by no stretch of my imagination. And i won’t also comment on the performances either except to say I love the maturity Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy showed on the night. Perhaps their gesture and DJ Black were the highlights of the evening.

Going Forward…

It will be nice to;

1. Focus on the video makers, directors. They should be the stars of teh night and not celebrities and actors and actresses

2. Focus on THE AWARDS. That is the essence of the evening.

3. Reward the technical people – directors, lighting people, make up artists, choreographers, people like that. They make the music video what they are

4. Control the audience. Security should be able to throw out unruly people.

5. Fix the technical challenges. It was embarrassing especially when one thinks about all the heavy equipment we saw at the AICC.

6. Get a dress code for the awards chale. T.shirts and things be some way….

That’s all folks.

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