Disqualifying Shatta Wale will give a lot more respect and credence to the Music Awards

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On Tuesday February 23 Charterhouse Ghana, organisers of the Vodafone sponsored Ghana Music Awards announced some key decisions on the 2016 awards. Key among this was the disqualification of arguably the biggest artist in Ghana from the awards.

Shatta Wale had denigrated and made mockery of the awards. He took both organisers and the Board to the cleaners in social media posts and via videos as well. When nominations opened this year he had announced he will submit his works to be considered. He claimed his fans wanted him to, and that was why he did. The onus now was on the VGMA Board to accept or reject his nominations.  This the board did, citing the artist’s refusal to apologise for his actions and the way he ridiculed the awards he now wishes to receive and decorate his living room with.

Shatta Wale’s response was rather mild

Well, Shatta Wale had a response for them just hours later:

“WHY SHOULD I ALWAYS I APOLOGIZE FOR THE  MONSTER YOU HAVE MADE ME BECOME WHEN NO ONE HAS EVER APOLOGIZED FOR MAKING ME THIS WAY. IF YOU PUT ME IN A CAGE LIKE AN ANIMAL AND FEED ME WITH FRESH BLOODY MEAT FOR YEARS, IMAGINE WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I BREAK THE CAGE AND COME OUT, I WILL BE FORCED TO LIVE THE BLOODY WAY YOU TRAINED ME”.

Now, that was a mild response especially if you know how he has reacted in the past on similar matters. The response to me is not that of defiance. But more of a bitter man who wishes to be understood and is trying to get a message across by blaming others for turning him into a man he does not wish to become but has turned out to be nonetheless.

Who Made Shatta Wale a Monster?

I am not sure who made him a monster. I don’t think Charterhouse did. May be he made himself a monster and used the foolhardy backing of a section of his fans to entrench that status where he feels invisible and untouchable. That has been the Shatta Wale brand and posturing since he metamorphosed from Bandana (from Ghana). His new management team is doing a lot to change that image and that perception. To be honest I admire what they are doing. As a brands snd PR professional I can see the work being out in and the resultant output thus far. If Shatta Wale will allow himself to be managed, I bet he will attain a better status whose influence will go beyond the teeming fans most of whom may be yelling his name blindly.

Where were the fans last year?

I am sometimes left in awe when I think about this. Where were the fans last year when Shatta Wale rained all sorts of invective on the awards and the Board?  I bet they were there cheering. So in their mind it is ok for their mentor to denigrate an awards scheme and after 365 days turn around and say, “ye man, I won make ya give me di awards me diss last yer”. How’s that reasonable or sensible?  Or they feel the young man is a god and can do anything he wants and whenever he pleases?

Leave Vodafone alone

I have seen a video and some social media posts where some of his fans are threatening the sponsors of the awards. They seem to think they have the wherewithal to bring Vodafone to its knees. It appears they want to force the hands of the sponsors and organisers into reinstating their idol. Sadly though, nominations into the Ghana Music Awards is not like some birthright anyone is entitled to. It is not an abuse of anyone’s fundamental human rights not to be nominated. You cannot go to court snd claim a violation of some sort. The earlier someone told these boys they are fighting a losing battle the netter it will be for them.

The difference between the VGMA and perhaps other award schemes in Ghana is that this one has been well structured with a board made of industry players that are respected. The organisers do not meet at a pool party with their friends and decide on how the awards are run. Sponsors have a say but the sole direction of the awards does not lie with them.

The Message – the bold message

I feel the board has sounded out a very succinct message to people out there. If the awards is to be taken seriously it must be respected. They have earned my respect with this decision. If I were Shata Wale’s team, I will call on my client to apologise and put a brave face afterwards. Shatta Wale must be told that he can’t eat his cake and have it.

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About Kwame Gyan

Kwame Gyan is a trained journalist who has taken a break to practice corporate communications but still has an eye on the profession he loves most. He started writing in junior secondary school whiles his broadcasting career started at Radio Univers whiles a student at the University of Ghana in 2001 and has gone on to have stints with Joy FM and CITI FM. He was a columnist in The Globe, an Accra-based freely-distributed newspaper. His articles cutting across entertainment, politics, sports and pure fiction are featured in some other newspapers and blogs. He may be reached via Kwame.Gyan@gmail.com.
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