You may be living under a rock if you are not aware of the Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy Vodafone Ghana Music Awards 2019 brouhaha. As a recap, the award ceremony was marred by chaos when the two Dancehall Artistes got at each other. Stonebwoy was declared the winner of the Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the year. Upon getting off his seat with his entourage to pick the Award, The Bhim Nation boss signalled five with his fingers and perhaps that angered Shatta Wale.
Shatta Wale and his multitude team and fans also followed Stonebwoy and his team on stage uninvited and things “broke loose” resulting in a brawl. Stonebwoy surprisingly pulled out a gun on stage and the two Artistes were made to leave the Auditorium.
As many questioned the intent of Shatta Wale getting on the stage uninvited though Shatta Wale himself later opined that he was just going to congratulate his rival, Others chastised Stonebwoy for also carrying a gun and pulling it in the mammoth crowd.
The two dancehall Artistes were eventually banned indefinitely from the Awards scheme and stripped off all 2019 VGMA Awards.
The ban further makes them ineligible for VGMA nominations, selections, and performances.
To cut a long story short, the duo was invited by the police for questioning and were officially charged for offensive conduct conducive to breach of peace, while Stonebwoy is facing another charge of displaying a weapon in a public place without permission.
Consequently, the prosecution has stalled and the VGMA ban on the two remains unlifted.
As another VGMA beckons with nominations open, controversies have sparked as to whether to lift the ban on Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale to participate in this year’s awards scheme.
However, some Ghanaians and music industry players have shared diverse opinions on the subject. Whiles some are of the view that the ban will have a negative impact on the Awards scheme, others think otherwise.
I have therefore dissected the pros and cons of the ban and it’s effect on the Awards scheme and has concluded that the ban would definitely affect the beauty and patronage and here are my reasons.
I don’t need to waste too much time to explain why patronage of this year’s VGMA would be comparatively lower than previous years if the two dancehall giants, Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale are not recalled to the scheme.
Apparently, Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale have the biggest following and fanbase in the country at the moment.
Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale do not only have the biggest fan base but they also have the most loyal fans in Ghana.
We can stick our necks out to say boldly that if the ban is not lifted, the already angry fans from both camps will ditch the awards scheme to please their ‘masters’.
Again, Many entertainment enthusiasts and pundits have predicted that the two will definitely organise a concert together. Shatta Wale has such history as he organised a concert at Labadi beach on the night of VGMA 2015 when he was axed out of VGMA for same offensive conducts and using derogatory words against officials of the awards especially the Chief Eecutive Officer, Theresah Ayoade. On the night, he was joined by his former best friend Sarkodie as they thrilled their fans to the limit.
With this precedent, Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy will not be far from repeating this to mar the beauty of this year’s VGMA.
If this should happen, from a marketing point of view, anticipated targets of sponsors will not be met due to the expected decline of television viewers as many will not attach much importance and excitement to the awards having Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale sidelined.
The very smart sponsors would opt to pull out to avoid spending their monies on an award scheme that will bring very fewer returns to them.
In my opinion, I believe Charterhouse, organisers of the VGMA scheme should put down their egos and do what most Ghanaians including myself want to avoid a disastrous VGMA 2020 as it is evident the two dancehall artistes have already learnt their lessons.