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Patricia Obo-Nai, CEO of Telecel Ghana
Patricia Obo-Nai, CEO of Telecel Ghana

Bentsifi’s Tattle

It's all a flashing blur to me now. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was backstage with Theresa, as in Ayoade, she of Charterhouse Productions fame, arranging the winners' plaques on the long table and waiting for the prompt from Korkor, as in Amarteifio, she, then Artistic Director of the National Theatre, to pass one on to an usher for presentation on stage to the recipients as they were being announced. 


That first Ghana' Music Awards event went off so flawlessly, and with the barest technical staff, it was like a miracle. It is with great nostalgia and pride that I too, remember that humble beginning at the National Theatre of Ghana, and then later, the auditorium of the Accra International Conference Centre to, now, the current home of the event - the GRAND ARENA!

It’s been an awesome journey. From the onset, the awards scheme was established to achieve one ultimate goal; honour and celebrate artistes, songs and albums that made the most impact during the year under review.

It is amazing to note that a simple backstage argument between two budding Hiplife stars back in 1999 about who was most popular, led to the birth of this great event that has travelled 25 years, and stood the test of time, and today is celebrating 25 years…. It's Silver Jubilee!

Welcome to the 25th GHANA MUSIC AWARDS FESTIVAL which climaxes this Saturday with the biggest event on Ghana’s entertainment calendar. Since 1999/2000, the final event night has been marked with much razzmatazz.

Unlike how, technically, the scheme has gone through phases using sales, popularity, audience appeal and other metrics to determine which songs and artistes get nomination and eventually get to go home with awards, the front of house thrill of the red carpet draw, with flashing lights of photographers snapping up patrons dressed to the nines continue unabated!

What a journey! It's incredible how the outcome of some of the winners have sparked controversy, causing animated debates through the land, but in the end, standing the test of time, year after year, through this event, "Ghana’s music industry and our beloved artistes have been catapulted into the limelight as star status is bestowed on them at the highest level in this land, in West Africa and across Africa to the rest of the world," as Mrs Ayoade, CEO of the founders and organisers of the event puts it.

"Over the years, the Ghana Music Awards has become the measurement of success of Ghanaian artists’ musical journeys, serving as bragging rights and accolades. These achievements recorded in discographies have served to add value to our artistes and presented as a strong promotional tool that cements artists career journeys."

I couldn't agree with her more! Being such a milestone anniversary year, there were loads of special activities lined up to celebrate it. However, the one that I am particularly delighted to see, a special initiative which is considered a legacy to the Ghana music industry is the GHANA MUSIC HALL OF FAME PROJECT.

This is a Music Museum celebrating our nation's musical history with special emphasis on the Ghana Music Awards journey over the past 25 years! What an apt idea! It's a major project and according to Theresa during the launch of the event which now also has a brand new title sponsor in the name of the telecom giants that's putting value on our music and music practitioners - new kid on the block – Telecel, (They have taken over from previous title sponsor Vodafone hence changing the abbreviated name of the event from VGMA to TGMA), they are currently seeking funds to enable its execution. It is hoped it will give people, both local residents and visitors alike an immersive experience of Ghanaian Music.

A great tourism draw! I can already see musicologists from around the world coming for research. So, the call is on, individual and organisations are being invited to join as partners and patrons to help fund this project and get it underway. 

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