Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy
Charterhouse, organisers of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA), has revealed plans on lifting the ban placed on two celebrated reggae/dancehall artistes, Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy, ahead of this year’s edition of the event.
Though the VGMA board has agreed to lift its ban on the two artistes, it will make an official announcement after meeting with the two artistes and their management teams to sort out outstanding issues.
In addition to the ban, BEATWAVES gathered that the two dancehall artistes were also stripped of the awards they won at the 2019 VGMA and asked to return the plaques they had been given.
The Public Relations Officer of Charterhouse, Robert Klah, in an interview with Andy Dosty on Hitz FM said, “It was in principle decided that the ban should be lifted.”
As to whether both dancehall acts can be part of this year’s awards scheme, Mr. Klah stated that if the official announcement to lift the ban is made before the close of submissions for nominations, the artistes can submit their works for nomination.
He added that musicians who have collaborated with Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy in the year under review can as well submit their works for nominations to be part of the 2021 edition.
The two dancehall artistes who have a huge following in the entertainment industry were banned by the organisers of the award scheme after being involved in a heated brawl and disrupted the awards ceremony held at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) in 2019.
Shatta Wale and his entourage allegedly attacked Stonebwoy, who was on stage receiving the Dancehall Artiste of the Year award during the event.
The brawl led to Stonebwoy pulling a gun on stage, to the dismay of patrons in the auditorium and at home. There were reports that he was handed the gun by a member of his security team.
While Shatta Wale left the auditorium after the incident, Stonebwoy stayed and used the opportunity to apologise for his actions.
“I want to apologise for what just happened, we all read and heard the threats and all so we came prepared. I come in peace and I go in peace, a big thank you to everyone who supports my music and that of any artiste,” he said at the event.
On the night, due to panic caused by the heated brawl which led to people fleeing the venue, organisers failed to announce the Artiste of the Year at the awards ceremony, which both artistes were nominees.
Some of Shatta Wale’s followers had claimed that he wanted to go on stage to ‘congratulate’ Stonebwoy, but many rather blamed Charterhouse for the incompetent manner in which it handled the entire event.
Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale have a long-standing rivalry, fueled by their respective ‘fan armies, over who is the best in the Reggae/Dancehall field.
They were however, dragged before the Adjabeng Magistrate Court in Accra for their involvement in the chaos that disrupted the 2019 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA).
The two were charged with offensive conduct conducive to breach of the peace, and Stonebwoy faced another charge of displaying weapon in a public place without permission.
They were each granted bail in the sum of GH¢50,000.00 by the court with one surety. They were also cautioned by the court to be of good behaviour.
By George Clifford Owusu