VGMA 2021: The Highs And The Signs

This year’s Vodafone Ghana Music Awards(VGMAs) was held on 25th and 26th June 2021 at the Grand Arena of the Accra International Conference Centre.

It will go down history as one of the fiercely contested, looking at the pool of musical talents that erupted during the year under review. ‘luckily for some, they got nominated after the intense deliberations, while some couldn’t make the cut.

I learnt the Board had a grueling time during the selection process, but through it all, considering the sleepless nights, agree-to-disagree banter among others, it paid off. Big ups to the team for the Herculean task surmounted.


The event took a long start, two or more hours to finally begin. Many factors could have contributed to the delay, just maybe.

The rains, technical faults might be major factors. All the same, such occurrences can be capped proactively, moving forward.

The Red Carpet

I personally still have ‘a bone to pick’ with the hosts. The usual mantra of ‘Who are you wearing, give me a 360 turn’ is becoming way too monotonous. I implore hosts to embrace growth and move above these stagnant ways of delivery.

‘The who are you rooting for man’ was too much engrossed in the fashion aspect than the fulcrum of the red carpet essence.

This year’s red carpet did not bleed enough, as the major players were all seen to be dissipated. They are the real deal when it comes to the red carpet moment.

We only saw Nana Akua Addo, whose dress sense this year, seemingly didn’t overly impress many people, considering how she had rocked on the red carpet in previous episodes of the event.

Some people are still missing the true definition of what the ‘Red Carpet’ means? Some tried, others were an eye-sore.

Very nauseating, to say the least.

Awards and stage co-ordination

This year was tremendous when it comes to the usual massing up on stage to cheer up their favorite acts to receive the award plaque.

Award recipients also made their acceptance speech succinct, a huge improvement on previous years’.

Kudos to all winners who stood out tall over their contemporaries. To every game, you win some and certainly lose some. We all have the biggest room to enter, it is called ‘IMPROVEMENT’.

The controversy

To every awards scheme, there are bound to be controversies, and that is the beauty of the game. People will always have mixed feelings or misgivings on who won what, and why?

There were the usual shockers that got jaws dropped and tongues wagged.

The disappointments, the heartbreaks, as usual, were written on most faces, especially when the tides were not in their favour. Congratulations to all awards recipients, better luck to those who lost out, there’s always an ‘elbow room’ for everybody to explore and come back stronger.

The KiDI-Diana argument

These two awards especially (Popular Song&Artiste of the Year) took center stage as talking points.

The KiDi and Diana Hamilton factions were seen as dominating over the other colleague nominees camp in the highly competitive ‘Artiste of the Year’ category.

The most sought-after accolade in the award scheme that comes with the bragging right as the best among the rest.

It was a nail-biting and heart-wrenching moment for both divide, considering the massive campaign that characterized the stiff competition between these two groups especially. Perhaps, the newly inducted creative arts deputy minister, Mark Okraku-Mantey added more salt to the injury of KiDi’s camp when he announced Diana Antwi Hamilton as the overall winner in a very near teasing manner. Well, it’s all part of healthy competition in the show business arena.

It was keenly contested, but unfortunately for KiDi, he lost out this time. You certainly paid your dues and equally deserved the enviable spotlight. You surely will chorus again the phrase ‘I WILL BE BACK’. Can you make a banger out of it, it’s an opportunity to string a tune out of it.

‘Adom’ ampa. She made history once again, for the gospel fraternity after Joe Mettle had earlier paved the way.


Live stage performances are huge investments from the dedication of time, constant practice, practice, practice to other technicalities that come with it.

Most of the performers even though gave their best, it wasn’t enough satisfactorily. We only want to see them improved, given another chance to overturn the damage control. However, artistes also do have bad days like everybody.

The onus lies with the organizers to rule out a policy in ensuring artistes billed to perform, have music directors, vocal coaches, and costumier if they have not been doing it all these years, (I stand to be corrected). There are some performing anomalies that need to be nib to the bud, moving forward.

Most artistes brought their A-game to the stage though, but these three acts stood tall for me. Music goddess, Efya, New Act of the Year, Mr. Drew, and Ghana’s rockstar, Kuami Eugene stole the show. The ‘snowy’ Eno Barony came close by dishing out another hot sauce from the rap pot, with Adina being overly emotional, which took a toll on her performance.

The new school also did their bit to spice up the performance trail. The live band again was torture for most of them.

A whole story needs to be written about how our artistes are failing to rehearse more with live band, than falling on autotune back up in the studio. It is two different worlds in the same department of the music business.

On the other hand, the inculcation of igniting the memory of the public on music giant and legend, Castro through performances by enacting and singing some of his repertoire of songs by Sarkodie, Kofi Kinaata, Kurl Songx, and others was a brilliant idea, well-executed.

COVID-19 Protocols

I loved the whole idea when a short video was put up to demystify the idea of ensuring safety protocols in the midst of the event m, are adhered to. A great move that settled in the stride by the organizers. Well done.👌

However, the excitement got some people going off guard by breaking the protocols almost every step of the way, especially when a winner is pronounced to pick up an award.

But in all, we acknowledge the fact that you made a conscious effort to put stringent measures in place for patrons who thronged the venue. It is still the cardinal rule, in the midst of our ‘new normal’ times.

The hosts

The main event hosts were household names that need no further introduction. Sandwiched by two beautiful, intelligent ladies, Giovani Elolo Caleb was seen having a very cordial relationship with his co-hosts, Berla Mundi and Sika Osei. There’s never a dull moment when this man is in charge of an affair.

The introduction of the commentary corner at this year’s event was spot on, but can only improve in subsequent editions in terms of overly more talks. The two hosts for that were simply a delight to watch.

Berla Mundi never disappoints, she has the elixir on events hosting, coupled with her dress sense which was breathtaking.

Kudos to her stylist, she looked and lived the part. Great job to the unbeatable trio.

Stage design, decoration and lighting effect

The stage was indeed built to a standard to compliment the purpose of gathering. The lighting was near perfect and the decoration for the stage came out beautifully. It can only get better with time.

Well done to the organizers, it takes a lot to put up a show of this ilk. The competition is tough, so should every element be given the necessary facelift.

Organisers and technical contributions

Charterhouse Ghana over the years has proven to go against all odds to bring out good content for their events. This year’s VGMAs started on a very lukewarm note but grew better at the latter stages.

Twenty-two (22) years of holding the fort for Ghana’s version of the Grammys is no joke.

Nonetheless, we will still criticize and make you sit up for you to fill the loopholes, moving forward.

We are only being hopeful for the organizers to correct the ills and make subsequent events, a better pill to subside our headaches.

Once again, it can only be better.

The end

Come next year, the 23rd VGMAs edition should be in the best perspective as an all-rounder event.
We trust you will take all these criticisms as a launchpad to elevate the Award Scheme and make less avoidable errors. It is a human institution and such, mistakes remain a bane, but that should not impair your growth and progress.

Congratulations on another success chalked. Like your major sponsor, Vodafone Ghana says, ‘Together We Can’.
See you for yet, another improved 23rd Edition, Charterhouse Ghana, Vodafone Ghana.

Written by: Kuuku Xander

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