Ghanaian Afro pop star, Noella Wiyalaa, has accused the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) of only recognizing musicians who are based in the capital, Accra.
Speaking on “The North” podcast with Prince Hamdan Banang, the “Tuma” hitmaker claimed that the music awards scheme only rewards and promotes works of crooners who are based in the Greater Accra regional capital.
Wiyalaa explained that the VGMA has specific criteria for the selection of nominees, which she believes she doesn’t qualify for, and as a result, she has stopped filing nominations.
She asserted that the criteria involve having one’s songs played on all radio stations in the capital, which is not possible for her because of her choice of language.
“In my heart, I believe VGMA is trying to get all of us involved. But let’s not tickle make a fool of ourselves, it’s very obvious and glaring what VGMA is all about. You have to be in Accra and your songs have to be popular in Accra,” Wiyalaa said.
She further stated that the VGMA has not made any deliberate efforts to highlight acts from other regions whose songs are not widely known due to language barriers.
She described the situation as contradicting the definition of the VGMA as an award scheme to honor musicians in Ghana because it only focuses on specific groups of musicians in certain regions of the country.
“I will be as popular as anything in the North, but because it’s an Accra-based program and most of the radio stations are Accra-based, it is normal that they only hear Accra songs. Most of the DJs don’t understand our songs, and a lot of people are not willing to understand our songs,” Wiyalaa concluded.
The VGMA is one of the biggest music awards ceremonies in Ghana and has been organized by Charterhouse for over two decades.
Story by Gideon Nicholas Day | univers.ug.edu.gh