Five journalists in Ghana have petitioned Charterhouse Productions Ghana, organizers of the annual Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) ceremony to endeavor to ensure there are diversity and fairness in the awards.
According to the petitioners, the VGMA over the years has honoured largely artists who live and work in the nation’s capital Accra whereas those in the remaining regions have been side-lined.
It said the board of VGMA has no regional representation and asked Charterhouse to expand the board to include other stakeholders from regions in Ahafo, Bono, Northern, Oti, Savannah, Upper East and West Regions of Ghana.
“We are by this petition, calling on Charterhouse and Vodafone Ghana to expand and include citizens from other ethnic backgrounds on the board and musicians in the awards.
“Again, we are by this petition, urging that there should be one representative each, from the 16 regions of Ghana who are well knowledgeable in Ghanaian music but are not artist managers,” the petitioners argued.
It added “We also urge that the current status quo where some artist managers are members of the VGMA Board and other committees should be abolished because, we strongly believe it does not promote fairness.
“It is our expectation that, you consider the merits of this petition to promote diversity and national cohesion through the prestigious VGMA.”
Below is the full petition:
PETITION FOR DIVERSITY AND BALANCE ON VGMA BOARD AND NOMINATIONS
The Vodafone Ghana Music Awards was established in 2000 by Mascot to celebrate Ghanaian musicians. The awards are presented annually and are broadcast live on national television.
It is arguably the biggest, most anticipated, most patronized, and most significant entertainment event on the Ghanaian Social calendar.
Organized in partnership with the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) and under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards scheme, which is now in its 22nd year, has grown into a Festival of Music and Entertainment that engages the entire country and beyond.
However, the current board for the VGMA under the leadership of Madam Theresa Ayoade, Chief Executive Officer of Charterhouse Productions is without diversity and regional balance.
Regions usually without representation include Ahafo, Bono, Bono East, Northern, North East, and Savannah Region.
The rest are Oti, Upper East, Upper West, and Volta region respectively.
It is important to note that, the majority (about 90 percent) of nominees for the annual awards ceremony over the years are artists or musicians based in Accra, the nation’s capital without representation from other regions who compose music in their ethnic languages.
This petition is grounded in the fact that Charterhouse itself admitted as stated in the introduction that the Ghana Music Awards was established to celebrate “Ghanaian Musicians” and as such, the organizers should expand and include qualified persons/citizens from other regions onto the highest decision making body for diversity and representation.
Again, it is an established fact the title sponsor (Vodafone Ghana) has a large subscriber base in some of the aforementioned regions without representation on the board and as well as awardees.
We are by this petition, calling on Charterhouse and Vodafone Ghana to expand and include citizens from other ethnic backgrounds on the board and musicians in the awards.
Again, we are by this petition, urging that there should be one representative each, from the 16 regions of Ghana who are well knowledgeable in Ghanaian music but are not artist managers.
We also urge that the current status quo where some artist managers such are members of the VGMA Board and other committees should be abolished because we strongly believe it does not promote fairness.
It is our expectation that you consider the merits of this petition to promote diversity and national cohesion through the prestigious VGMA.
Juliet Enam Obiri
King Zico Ishaq Newton
P.O BOX, 1977, Madina-Accra.
Charterhouse Productions Ghana,
North Industrial Area, Accra.
Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture
Vodafone Ghana Limited