How artistes failed beyond the pale to make statements at VGMA 2021 [Pulse Editor’s Opinion]

When Sarkodie won the “Best International Flow” at the 2019 BET Hip-hop Awards, he used the platform to make a statement that would boost Ghana’s tourism sector and the ‘Year of Return, Ghana’ celebration. “This year is the ‘Year of Return’ and I will urge each and every one of you here to take a trip back home. When you’re coming to Africa, choose Ghana,” Sarkodie said upon receiving his award. He was lauded for using such a huge platform to help boost Ghana’s tourism sector.

However, when it comes to local awards, things are seen differently.

Sarkodie didn’t even move an inch when he was announced the winner of the “Best Collaboration of the Year” award for his song “Happy Day” which features Kuami Eugene. He sent his ‘boys’ to receive it on his behalf while relaxing like a ‘King’ in his seat. I do not know the circumstances surrounding his absence on the stage, however, it would have been a smart move to capture the opportunity and use it for good.

For all the award winners on the night, including the “Artiste of the Year” winner Diana Hamilton, it was all about ‘Thanks to God, my fans, family and the media,’ and ‘I dedicate this award to my mother, father, or friend.’ No one could man up to make statements that could bring change to this country and the industry. Their cowardice was on full display.

There have been some series of issues in the country and the show business industry in the past few months and as big as the VGMA is, I anticipated a big bang on the stage. Never underage the power of the VGMAs. The 2019 VGMA ceremony received extensive international media coverage when Stonebwoy brandished a gun on stage during his clash with Shatta Wale over the ‘Dancehall Artiste of the Year’ award. There were talks on radio, TV and online in the international media. This alone means people outside the country are watching. So, it was a big occasion to sell Ghana and expose the wrongs in our industry as well.

“It saddens me that they are invited everywhere only to lie and defend themselves. I’m tired of that,” Seven Xavier boldly stated at a seminar organised by Charterhouse Ghana Limited. “They are not doing anything at GHAMRO.” For GHAMRO to work, Seven Xavier suggested: “The first step of resolving the GHAMRO issue is to let Rex Omar, Agya Abraham and Diana Hopeson step aside.”

Stonebwoy, Ded Buddy, Reggie ‘n’ Bollie, Stonebwoy and other artistes backed Seven Xavier with different posts on social media. But during the VGMA, nothing was said.

There have been issues with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and human rights in Ghana. Police brutality is a bane in this country. ‘Dumsor’ (power outage) cannot be taken out of the equation. Don’t forget the Achimato School-Rastafarian student brouhaha. The platform was right to address these issues but no show.

It’s a bummer that people with so much influence and are regarded as role models are given big platforms they could use for change but will only use such platforms to show off their wardrobes and enounce cliché acceptance speeches.

Pulse Editor’s Opinion is the opinion of an editor of Pulse. It does not represent the opinion of the organisation Pulse.

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