Ghana Music Awards: 5 things we learned.


It was a night of fun. A night people have anticipated for a long time. The entrance fee could not stop them. To the ordinary Ghanaian, the amount of 75 Ghana cedis was gargantuan. There was a little debate by some friends of mine on twitter. The keyword was “choice.” While you may not want to shed 75 or 150 Ghana cedis on a single night, others may not also find any problem with it. They want fun and fun they will get. People had saved since January to make it to “Ghana’s Speech and Prize Giving Day” and they wouldn’t allow anything to stop them. Others like me stayed home glued to our TV sets. As Nana Akuffo-Addo will say “all die be die.” We were all going to witness the show by kind courtesy of GTV. Below are five things we learned from the show:

1 The ladies are “richer” than the guys.

Parading “buronya ataade” always has been a trend at the Ghana Music Awards. Do you remember the days of inter-co and super zonals? People used to fast in order to save and get new sneakers…..to woo the girls. Boys would do anything to look smart and elegant for the occasion. There was a reverse this time around. I could see more ladies than guys. I saw a lot of statisticians on my timeline. Some said 80% ladies, 20% guys…..others went for 90-10. I feel most guys bought the tickets for the ladies but didn’t have enough money to buy for themselves. It’s like a lady tells you, “I want to eat Chinese.” You get it for her because you want to please her. You then go home and soak gari to eat since you have no money left on you.”  Whatever be the situation, the ladies proved they have more cash than the guys. So guys, a word to the wise…………….

2 Highlife ISN’T dead

I am a little bit primitive. I hardly listen to hip-hop. Honestly, I know less about that genre of music. I read about it because I want to always be in the know (for arguments sake.) I was born into a family where Ghanaian music was/is paramount. My dad would always let you listen to Kojo Antwi, Amakye Dede, Gyedu Blay Ambulley, E T Mensah and Osibisa. As a result, my romance with highlife is so deep. I got to love Hiplife but I believe the Hiplife songs of yesteryears were far better than those of today. Enough of that! Did you see Charles Kofi Mann? He rocked the show!!! He was the only musician whose songs made ex-first lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings dance. Highlife is still alive. Highlife isn’t dead. Do you also remember when DJ Black played one of Amakye Dede’s songs when he was about to present an award? The whole auditorium went bonkers! The likes of Ice Prince (the oleku man) and D Black couldn’t do that. Highlife is very much alive and the youth of today must embrace it. If you are proudly Ghanaian, you must proudly love highlife.

3 Asamoah Gyan (Baby Jet) has “resurrected” Castro’s career!

Ghana’s 50 cents was wallowing in the doldrums some years ago. After his hit song “Omega,” Castro took a down-turn. He was on the verge of extinction (industry-wise). Even though he featured in some songs for MzBel and other musicians, he wasn’t the man we knew. And in 2010, there was a BOOOM….Castro again ooo featuring Baby Jet… As enthusiastic as Ghanaians are when it comes to football, anything related to the game is welcomed with open arms. Asamoah Gyan has been Ghana’s prolific striker for some time now. He is an idol for the nation. His little sexy like cheese lines on the “African girls” song has made the hit a bomb. Castro claims Gyan didn’t make the song a hit. Hey dude, accept it, Baby Jet gave you the “Tabitha cum”

4 Live band performances; a taboo to most artistes!

Miming has been tinctured into the genes of most of our artistes. It is the order of the day. Give them live band and they will flop like leaves during the winter season. We saw many artistes struggling with the live band. I didn’t get to see all the performances since GTV ended their transmission after 1:30am but the little that I beheld didn’t do justice to the live band. It is either the artiste gets stuck somewhere or loses the voice intermittently. Apart from Kwabena Kwabena and C.K. Mann who were great, I don’t remember any other who rocked the crowd while using the band. Lest I forget, our artistes must also work on their stagecraft. They are good but they can do better! Tempted to write on the way some of them were dressed but…. Let’s carry on!

5 We wait for death to strike before honoring legends!

Why do we always have to wait for death to tell us what to do? We seem to even paint our dirty houses as soon as someone is dead. It is almost as if death is the instructor in the lives of most Ghanaians. Osibisa was founded in 1969 by Teddy Osei, Mac-Tontoh and Sol Amarfio. It has been one of the greatest music groups in world history yet none of her members had received any gong from MUSIGA until last night. It took the demise of Mac-Tontoh for MUSIGA and Charter House to realize and honor the sax player, Teddy Osei. What a shame! We should not repeat this in the future. Our legends must be honored before they join their ancestors. They are role models…..those who have blazed the trail for the current generation of musicians. They deserve our respect before they die.

Someone asked me, “How could you learn something from a disorganized show like this?” It is simple. You call it wack; I call it good but more room for improvement. I had fun watching the show but I had so much fun following the twitter commentary by my friends. Long live Ghana…. Long live Ghana Music.

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Posted on April 10, 2011, in What's new and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Kodjo Frimpong

    Great piece Nana!
    It’s sad (and sometimes annoying) that some of us are so quick to write off other people’s efforts, following the GMA comments on twitter made me realize that we only applaud and hail when it’s done by people other than our own; from dressing to music.
    Like you mentioned in your post, there’s still room to improve, we’re on a journey …. we’ll get there eventually.
    I did enjoy the show……

    • It is great to know that someone agrees with me. We are not perfect and we are not doing things like what we see on BET but we will surely get there. Constructive criticism is all that our artistes and organizers need.

  2. On stage craft, Reggie Rockstone was exceptional – see, for very limited perspective, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dSPzVd4Vhc . C. K. Mann can be excused on the basis of old age. Ralph Karikari and Akablay made up for him.

  3. perfect piece, bring live band back…:)

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