by: michael eli dokosi/blakkpepper.com/ghana

The 17th edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) got executed on May 7, 2016 starting around 8:25 pm and got concluded a little after midnight amidst pomp and pageantry.

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Popular faces including Gifty Osei in white apparel, AK Songstress, Theresa Ayoade in red, Zanetor Rawlings also in red, Stonebwoy in blue suit over black shirt, Nikki Samonas in golden gown and D-Black all got interviewed on the red carpet by Berla Mundi and  Elia Kweku Chebib about their expectations for the night.

El draped in white apparel with a red cap opened the show for the night after a choir session.

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Beamed on host TV GH One and supported by eTV, Metro TV and Viasat 1 TV, Chris Attoh and Naa Ashorkor Mensah Doku as well as DJ Black put their best feet forward to ensure a memorable night.

The awards night kicked off with ‘MUSIGA 2016 Peace Song Award’ given to the New Generation Gospel Ministers anchored by Fifi Forson, Asor Kissi and Joe Mettle who walked away with the GH¢10,000 prize money sponsored by Midland Savings and Loan Company.

The ‘Traditional Artiste of the Year’ award given to one or group who has/have promoted indigenous music to the world was to follow with ‘Tesa Music Group’ scooping the award presented by the minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts.

Justice Williams a.k.a. Dzikomey got pronounced as the ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ while ‘Sound Engineer of the Year’ award went to Kaywa, a fitting cap to his 15 years in the industry.

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Another GH¢ 5,000.00 prize money was at stake in the ‘Best Music for Development’ category and the Obodatoi man Miller Odartei Lamptey a.k.a. Gasmilla secured the prize money and award.

For ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ the ‘Anyen’ man A.B Crentsil got the nod in addition to a GH¢ 5,000.00 money package sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Creative Arts.

Using one stone to kill many birds, Obour on stage with Madam Agyare to present the award to A.B seized the opportunity asking the crowd if they wouldn’t relish an opportunity to see just why A.B was being celebrated and having collaborated with the elder entertainer in time past on their ‘Best of the Lives’ project, there must have been a little self-seeking agenda there but hey who cares.

If anything the MUSIGA president proved he has a lot of music in him and some on stage offerings to give after his presidential term. The young cats ought to learn from Obour’s hunger for the stage, his fierce attitude in delivering the raps and his toasting while A.B serenaded the crowd. True, advancement in age is taking its toll on Mr. Crentsil but the entertainer still got some goodies in his goodie bag so when the bottom powered ‘Juliana’ dropped the house was lit truly.

vgma stonebwoyThe Burniton General Stonebwoy seized the stage to offer some live work and with about 5 songs, did what he could to entertain the expectant crowd who have grown to love and treasure him for his exploits especially in 2014 and 2015.  ‘Mighty Lele’, ‘Go Higher’ and ‘Shikena’ all got served to notable applause.

Songwriter of the Year’ award which featured Rex Omar, Nii Lantey, Kofi Kinaata, Obrafuor, Stonebwoy and Mzvee saw Kofi Kinaata’s ‘Susuka’ leap over the others for the accolade.

In ‘Gospel Song of the Year’ award Nicholas Omane Acheampong shrugged off keen challenge from   Superintendent (SP) Kofi Sarpong, Kofi Gyan, Mary Owusu, Obaapa Christy and Patience Nyarko to emerge winner thanks to his ‘Aporsor’ song.

Bisa Kdei’s ‘Mansa’ outwitted Aka Blay, Becca, Obrafuor, R2Bees, Kofi Kinaata and Ofori Amponsah in the ‘Highlife Song of the Year’ category.

For ‘Reggae/Dancehall Song of the Year’ (Go Higher) by Stonebwoy held sway over Blakk Rasta, De Voice, Mzvee, A.K Songstress and Jupita.

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Adomaa fresh from emerging winner of the ‘Unsung’ category got the chance to exhibit her skills to existing and potential clients and in a Nigerian flavoured collection displayed her abilities.

Bisa Kdei chose a formation dance to go with his ‘Mansa’ performance although his ‘Brother Brother’ display might have been the better coordinated of the two.

‘Hiphop Song of the Year’ with nominees spanning EL, Flowking Stone, Kwaw Kese, Omar Sterling and Pappy Kojo was no match for ‘Hand to Mouth’ by Obidiponbidi.

‘Ye Wo Krom’ has become a catch phrase thanks to Atom and so when the ‘Hiplife Song of the Year’ category came up there was little qualms when song of same name was declared winner outpacing Donzy  ft. Kofi Kinaata, EL, Wisa Gried ft. Luther, VVIP and Guru.

Man of the night EL with his ‘Mi Na Bo Po’ triumphed in the ‘Afro Pop Song of the Year’ category beating Fuse ODG, R2Bees, Edem, Adina and Mzvee.

vgma kinaata3Kofi Kinaata got his baptism on perhaps the biggest stage of his music career but like an inexperienced footballer his naivety showed. Performing two other tracks and smash hit ‘Susuka’ Kofi exposed his lack of stage presence and at times was a bore to watch. His skimpily clad dancers took the shine away also. For one touted for his wisdom even for a young man, it appears Kinaata had no clear plan regarding the biggest music night of his life thereby selling himself short. The good news however is that he is in the care of one of Ghana’s greatest live acts so perhaps now that he’s broken his virginity so to say subsequent events will yield a masterful Kinaata.

Efya is a solid act and on the big night draped in shining green and gold trousers and flowing top chose to serenade perhaps with the Nigerian market in mind. Her performance was Duncan Mighty’s ‘Obianuju’ and even though it landed on fertile minds, it still must have boggled a few minds how come she did not touch any of her materials proper.

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Back to dishing out the awards, the ‘Gospel Artiste of the Year’ award went to SP Kofi Sarpong commanding Obaapa Christy, Joe Mettle, Omane Acheampong, Patience Nyarko and Preachers to fall in line.

Easy does it and with ‘Highlife Artiste of the Year’ award, few doubted the winner in the mould of Bisa Kdei. Afriyie, Ofori Amponsah and Nero X would just have to put in more work for next year.

Part 2 of the summary follows.