As big a brand as the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards is, it can also be said to be the most maligned or criticised event on the entertainment calendar.
Since its inception 19 years ago, the awards scheme has received severe criticism and for just about everything; from nominees to categorisation and the loudest ones have been for award winners.
Now after years of having to defend the initiative, organisers, Charterhouse, seem to have had enough and has indicated their readiness to deal with anyone who makes unsubstantiated accusations against them or the scheme.
At the nominees unveiling on Saturday at the Movenpick Hotel in Accra, Chief Executive Officer of Charterhouse Ghana, Theresa Ayoade, made it clear that they will not tolerate any comments they deem defamatory.
“We like to encourage constructive criticisms of the event and you will agree that we have been good sports over the years but we will not tolerate libellous and scandalous comments. We will seek legal redress if we feel our rights are being violated in any way,” she stated.
According to her, their doors are always open for feedback and anyone with issues can go through the appropriate channels.
The warning comes as the Music Awards brand aims to go beyond the country’s shores. That also informed this year’s theme which is “Beyond Borders.”
Theresa Ayoade also urged the nominees to encourage their fans to vote for them and not rely on media hype.
“When we put the power in your hands, please use it. Come out with your own voting campaigns.
We cannot be held accountable for any losses,” she said.
The announcement party was attended by musicians, producers, beat makers and other industry players and was interspersed with performances by Kumi Guitar, Gifty Osei and Adina.
This year’s event, which will take place on Saturday, April 19, at the Accra International Conference Centre, will from all indications, be very competitive judging from the nominees in the various categories.
In the Artiste of the Year category (topmost award) for instance, late Dancehall act, Ebony is the only female in contention against Shatta Wale, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy and last year’s winner Joe Mettle.
New Artiste of the Year is also a tough one with all the acts who excelled last year, King Promise, KiDi, Kuami Eugene, Kurl Songx, Magnom, Kwesi Arthur and B4Bonah all in there.
Highlife song of the Year has Ebony with Hustle, Kumi Giutar -Dream, Wutah-Bronya, Kidi- Odo, Kuami Eugene with Angela, R2Bees with Over and Lil Win with Ladder.
Contesting for Gospel Artiste of the Year are Joyce Blessing, Patience Nyarko, Joe Mettle, Celestine Donkor, Gifty Osei and Nacee.
Competing for Reggae/ Dancehall Song of the Year are Shatta Wale with Dem Confuse, MzVee- Rewind, Article Wan-Faya Burn Dem, Samini- My Own, Stonebwoy- My Name and Efya Until The Dawn.
Charterhouse also announced that there is a cap on the votes each number has.
There will be a maximum of ten votes per category, from a single number, across all networks with the exception of Vodafone users who will have a maximum of 50 votes per number.