VGMA24: One of the worst…Kwame writes

VGMA24: One of the worst…Kwame writes

Communicationist, Kwame Gyan has release a review taking a critical view of the just-ended 24th Vodafone Ghana Music Awrds(VGMA).

According to him, this year’s event can pass as one of the worst in the history of the scheme.

He writes

VGMA24 – One of the Worst

Let’s call a spade what it is – this year’s VGMA was one of the worst. 

I believe this is just not my view, but that of many others, especially those that watched it on TV. Lots of elements did not sync and there were needless gimmicks by the hosts that simply compounded matters. Let’s start from there – the hosts.


We had Berla Mundi, James Gardiner and Naa Ashorkor as our hosts or emcees. None of them is new to the awards but they were not at their best on the night. They were talking too much as though we were on a badly produced talk show where the hosts had to speak a lot to fill in production lapses. Talking too much is as bad as it is, what’s worse is saying a lot of things that add little value to the show.

Then I don’t know if it was of their own volition or part of the script, they brought on characters from the audience who added absolutely nothing to the show. No one cared about how Osebo feels about the trolls. And what on earth were they doing with a certain DJ Azonto who came cross-dressed? The pink dress on a bearded man was supposed to convey what message exactly? 

Did we even need three emcees? Make that five if you were to add the red-carpet hosts. And about that, why was Crystal so needlessly loud and fast and so much pain to the ear? I honestly couldn’t wait for the red carpet to end to spare my ears from all the needless drama she was on about.

See, we’ve been doing this for 24 years now. We should be seeing marked improvement year on year. This two-step forward and one-step backward development should not be happening. We’ve got to find what style of hosting works and use the right personnel to execute. Berla, Naa and James are no doubt good material. But it was quite obvious things didn’t quite work out well on the night.

Piesie Esther Vs Black Sherif 

For starters, this should not even have been a contest in the first place. Piesie had literally one song and that one song was what she and her Gospel Army wanted to be crowned Artiste of the Year with. Compare that to the Blacko who had an album consisting of too many hit songs and collaborations that were off the chain. I am not sure how we got there but it was ridiculous to have that match up. Totally mismatched. I frankly had never heard the gospel song until the VGMA night, but that’s me so let’s let that slide for a minute. Apparently, quite a number of people on my timeline hadn’t heard it too. But guess what, literally everyone knew Blacko and at least two or more of his songs. The question I have for the VGMA Board is how they settled on the contenders for the Artiste of the Night. Looks to me like the plan is to have a representative from as many genres as possible lining up for the AOTY even if some don’t quite make the cut. I stand to be corrected though.


We should do better with performances. It was painful watching some acts.

This was perhaps the third time I had watched Gyakie and on all three occasions, it appeared she never quite gets her vocals right. I am not a musician but I do know that picking the right key with a live band cannot be that difficult to do. She’s clearly talented but she must work on her craft if she wants to go places – unless she feels content at where she’s got to.

It was good seeing Kidi on stage after the health and mental issues he’s had to deal with. I am a Kidi fan and I won’t lie that he’s one of my favourites. The live band didn’t quite work ok this time out for me. Maybe it sounded better in the auditorium. But then again this was a show meant for both a live audience and for a TV audience (we will get back to this shortly).

Ofori Amponsah’s old hits are still clearly a crowd’s favourite. We all know live performances have never been his forte, but he rode on the crowd’s reaction to give a good performance.

Black Sherif! 

What can I say, man! Man of the hour delivered as always performing from deep down his soul. Clearly my performer of the night.

I don’t remember when Sarkodie failed to ‘show up’. Landlord did his business as the maestro he is. Rapping to a live band as though he were doing highlife. My bias towards Sark is obvious and I am not ashamed of it.

I love what Medikal did. He is very bold and is not afraid to try new things. Too bad the mic messed the AJ intro up but he picked it up nicely and he’s learned to rap and not mime.

Talking about miming, I hope Lasmid had mimed. We can forgive him. He is new in the game and has a lot to learn. Hopefully, he learns from the calamitous performance he rendered and gets better.

I want to believe Charterhouse could not get Asake to come back to Ghana and thus settled on Pheelz. He is not bad, though new to the singing and performance bit. He didn’t do himself a world of good when he let his DJ play half of his hit song Finess before having him repeat the track. He did well and he felt the love. That song is a nice chale.

Audio Output 

I believe the VGMA is produced as an event and also as a TV programme. Watching on TV, most artists sounded terrible. The sound output was bad on TV. I am told it sounded better in the auditorium. Even if so, what was the thought for the thousands or millions watching on TV and social media? The VGMAs have always been produced for both a live and TV audiences. Those watching on TV deserve better than what was offered.

Event Production Vs TV Production

Someone said that if Charterhouse was paying for the airtime, they will learn how to manage the show for a reasonable time on TV. Time and again the show drags and we do 8, 9 hours. Why do we need that much time for an awards show? This has been said so many times but it seems we will never get to the point where the show lasts under four hours. A big shame indeed.


I don’t know but I get the sense that a team of dancers is contracted to perform with some artists. One gets the sense that the artist and the dancers do not rehearse nor agree on any plan. The song starts to play, then they appear to perform dance routines they feel fit a song. They were truly all over the place.

Yo, this is entertainment and we should take all aspects of it seriously. We can’t be having uncoordinated performances and dance routines on our biggest Entertainment night.

 Adjetey Sowah’s plea

It was good seeing the dance legend. He’s one of those that deserve a VGMA Legends recognition when they are fit and not wait till they are months away from kicking the bucket. Let’s shelve that for a moment.

He suggested that dancers be recognised at the VGMAs and I side with him completely. Dancing is such an integral part of music and it’s a shame there is no platform to recognise the many talents in that space. We all know that one of the things that give traction to newly released music is the dance challenges that artists come up with. Maybe it’s time we looked at adding that to the awards.

 Wrapping It Up

The VGMA will be 25 years old next year. Sadly, we always come back talking about the same issues every year. We can make this work.

Production is no mean task. We know this. But it’s not robots that produce the Grammys and Oscars and BETs that we enjoy so much. They learned and perfected the act. We do not have to reinvent the wheel. Simply learn from those who do it well and replicate it. 

We can get better. 

We can and we must.

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