#VGMA2015 – Satisfying a TV Audience and fulfilling the Criteria for an Awards Show.

I am told that the tickets for the 16th Vodafone Ghana Music Awards were sold out within 24 hours of its release. Now that’s not too many tickets if you consider the fact that a lot of the tickets were given out as complimentary to various stakeholders including nominees and their entourage, sponsors, media, VGMA Board members, clients of the major sponsor, presenters of awards and celebrities whose presence are needed to add some clout to the awards.

Ok so why is he telling us about ticket sales when he is supposed to be reviewing the event? This is why. The conference centre – sadly one of only 2 venues we have in this beautiful country of 58 years that can host an event like the music awards – seats not more than 2000 people, and that is pushing it to its seams. What this means is that the vast majority of Ghanaians and followers of the awards catch it on TV. In fact, even when I have been given complimentary tickets I still prefer watching it from my TV set.

Is the Music Awards a TV show?

I think the music awards ought to be looked at as a TV show. It’s contemporaries elsewhere are designed as such and the majority of folks in the auditorium are celebrities with a limited public audience. That means organizers know that it is a TV show and they make money from the number of viewership they use as advertising incentives. I think because we do not fully perceive it as a TV show that is why we spend 7 hours on it.

The Review

I am afraid I am beginning to sound like a broken record in my own ears when it comes to the music awards. Certain things have barely changed over the years and others do not seem to want to change at all.

Before I delve any deeper into this let me state from the onset that I do appreciate 100% the amount of work that is put into shows like this. It is a lot of work coordinating the various facets of a show like this. Also being a human institution with different personality profiles it is even more difficult in balancing all of these. But others do it and we clap for them so we expect the team at Charterhouse to be able to do same bereft of excuses as to why they may flop at it. We boast that we have what it takes to match up to the BET and Grammy and cominini so we should deliver.

Hosts

I didn’t feel Nathaniel Attoh and Joselyn Dumas too much. In fact I didn’t feel them at all. Nat started off perhaps forgetting that he was at an awards show and not at some Sports Stadium where the Black Stars of Ghana have just won the World Cup. It seems as though that there wasn’t enough chemistry between the pair. Having DJ Black and Funny Face come in as ‘pseudo-hosts’ brought a needed break from the potentially bored to the bone dialogue that may have occurred had we seen more of the pair. Joselyn did enough to have the whole Ghana debate on how her hips and behind alone put on so much weight. What do I think? I am not thinking except I have a friend with perhaps the biggest behinds I ever saw. But yet she still photoshops her pictures to give her more backside.

Oh and what is it with the secrecy over who hosts the event?

Timing

To get the timing right we should develop the balls to make our celebrities and guests show up on time. We have always failed at this. Always. The show is advertised to start at  8pm and that’s when Celebrity ApipiJoe chooses to have his shower. He takes his time and gets onto the red carpet at 9:45pm. I dare say that if we started the Red Carpet at the advertised time and those who have dresses to show off come in late and met no cameras and no one to ask that badly constructed English “who are you wearing”, they won’t be late the following year. How did BlackBoi and Amanda do? Well, I don’t know. I think they did ok.

Should we continue to do the red carpet thingy? Yes we should.

Performances

I have never liked the idea of having 10 and 15 and 20 performers at the awards. That’s an awful lot methinks. I concede the organisers try to appease various genres and different eras but chale do we need to do that many? I am told soon after Stonebwoy performed the auditorium emptied. We didn’t need to have a mixtape of the stars of yesterday with Tinny and Tic Tac. Lumba had a hit last year and it was fair to have him perform but the legend was clearly unwell and to be fair I felt he shouldn’t have been made to perform.

Award Presenters

I have a feeling Charterhouse briefed all the award Presenters. They probably gave them guidelines and introduced the pairs to each other. That was why we had DKB and Shwa pull off that exciting presentation,and Stephanie Benson and Bola Ray also combining beautifully. None of us will forget the horrendous experience of Lydia Forson as she had to be suprised by a gentleman supposed to be some big man in the UK. Yes we laughed at it but imagine if we had 4 of his kind? In fact we did have a few of his kind as some people wanted to make speeches for causes and to promote their businesses.

Oh please who told Miss Malaika that you don’t need a passport to travel to Jamaica?

Awards

I expected Stonebwoy to win  the ultimate award. I am happy for him. I thoroughly am. He is a hard working young man and very disciplined as well. I was however expecting him to win the Album of the Year as well. Edem did well last year but I think his album wasn’t as exciting as Stonebwoy’s. There was a discussion last night on how an Artiste of the Year does not win a key added award like Album of the Year or Song of the Year. What I think may not matter but I suppose one can have a number of successful singles and crown it with some show stopping performances thus endear himself to fans and win Artist of the Year.

I think that deserving artistes won last night. That’s what I think. I have seen comments that suggest Wiyaala is virtually unknown and should not have won the female vocal performance. What I think is that, as Chase said, when recognition is giving to only popular acts we end up killing the music and real talent.

So, what do I make of the 2015 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards? Kudos to Charterhouse. Good job but we can do much better.

1. Let’s work towards reducing a 7 hour show to 4 hours.

2. Let’s work on reducing performances to a handful of showstoppers – true showstoppers

3. Let’s limit how many people follow award winners onto the stage

4. Let’s try and see if we can use teleprompter – the President may lend us his for one night pe.

5. Let’s learn how to start on time – even if it means our treasured celebrities miss out on showing off

6. Shall we find some other expression aside “what are you wearing” for our red carpet hosts?

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