Ghanaian Afro-pop singer and songwriter, Wiyaala says the annual Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMAs), organised by Charterhouse, only honours and promotes works of musicians based in Accra.
In a recent interview on The North Podcast with Prince Hamdan Banang, she revealed that the popular scheme had spelt out criteria for the selection of nominees which she thinks she doesn’t qualify and so has stopped filing nominations.
According to her, the criteria involves having one’s songs played on all radio stations in the capital, which is not possible for her because of her choice of language.
“In my heart I believe VGMA is trying to get all of us involved. But let’s not tickle and make and make a fool of ourselves, it’s very obvious and glaring what VGMA is all about. You have to be in Accra and your songs have to be popular in Accra. There are songs that were never popular in the North but they made it and the criteria keeps changing. It’s their rules and regulations if you cannot follow them, you shouldn’t enter,” she said.
Wiyaala pointed out that deliberate efforts to highlight acts from other regions whose songs are not widely known due to language barriers have not been made, a situation she said contradicts the definition of the VGMA as an award scheme to honour musicians in Ghana because it only focuses on specific groups of musicians in certain regions of the country.
“I will be as popular as anything in the North but because it’s an Accra-based programme and most of the radio stations are Accra-based, it is normal that they only hear Accra songs. Most of the DJs don’t understand our songs and a lot of people are not willing to understand our songs,” she said.