Thursday, March 1 -7, 2007
Music awards on chill?
By: ADWOA SERWAA BONSU
SINCE its inception seven years ago, the Ghana Music Awards (GMA) has become one of the most significant entertainment events that many music enthusiasts look forward to each year.
By this time each year, the nomination and voting process for the programme would have started, whipping up everyone’s appetite for the big do which normally comes off on the first week of March.
But this year, February has ended and yet not a hint about the programme has filtered through. This has sparked speculations that GMA may not come off this year. But how can this be especially when Ghana is celebrating its golden anniversary?
Talking to Mrs. Theresa Ayoade, Events Director of Charterhouse, organizers of GMA, she said the event will come off at the end of April. Two factors, however, account for the delay.
“We are looking at April. Although the programme has been recognized by the Ghana@50 Secretariat as one of the activities marking the nation’s golden Jubilee, we wanted to avoid the clutter of programmes slated for the first week in March. We didn’t want to struggle for attention.
“Also this year’s event has to be special because it will be the 50th anniversary edition will be positioned as a celebration of 50 years of Ghanaian music. We have to go back into time to reward old Ghanaian musicians who have blazed the trail for our music from independence to the beginning of the new genres now available”.
The other factor, according to Mrs. Ayoade, is the need to review the scope of the event.
“We became very ambitious last year. We shifted the event from a one-night programme to a festival like is done in other places. But I think we bit more than we could chew when we held the four-day event.
“We wanted to take it to another level but we really over-stretched ourselves. So we are considering whether to revert to what we have been doing since we started, that is the one night event or continue with the festival vein”.
Asked if lack of funding isn’t responsible for the delay, Mrs. Ayoade said that cannot be overlooked.
“The GMA is a private initiative and everything including publicity, venue and performing artistes are paid for. We get sponsorship but we have not had much relief. And since this year’s is special, it will come with its attendant expenditure.
“Although this yea’s edition has been recognized as part of the celebrations, we have to look for our own funding. Thus the burden falls on corporate Ghana. Some companies have excluded themselves and just a few are the ones that everyone go to which makes it different to ask for more. I believe there should be a way to get more companies to be socially responsible”.
Mrs. Ayoade said it would be ideal to maintain the event as a festival. “It is only time that Ghanaian musicians interest with the public at their glamorous best. I know we get a lot of visitors who come to be part of the programme. It has the potential to be marketed across Africa like KORA and FESPACO. But it all boils down to funding”.
She added that if the event is going to be a festival, certain aspects will have to be scrapped”. Last year, the event included an industry awards night and climaxed with a celebration beach jam. If we do the festival, some of these activities would be sacrificed.
“Well we are in serious talks with companies for sponsorship. We hope corporate Ghana will come on board. It will however, be nice to get government support like is done in other countries, I mean there is funding to support the arts and entertainment industry”, she however, added that despite the delay, people are already filling forms and submitted entries.
Graphic Showbiz - Thursday, March 1 -7, 2007 Page: 28