The Chief Executive of Charterhouse Productions, Theresa Ayoade has conceded that Sunday’s scuffle that marred the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards could have been averted if they had insisted and ensured that Shatta Wale respected all protocols for the event.
She told TV3’s News360 Monday that the dancehall artiste at least broke three protocol arrangements on the night.
The music awards that has been running for 19 years received it worst humiliation at the 20th event due to the “unruly behavior” of two rival dancehall artistes.
The two – Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy – have had nasty encounters in the past but industry players appear clueless as to how to douse this fire burning out precious moments at events.
The rivalry between Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy got to its nauseating height yet after the latter was crowned Reggae Dancehall Artiste of the Year on Sunday dawn at the VGMAs: the fifth time in succession.
Shatta Wale perhaps felt that the embarrassment was too much for him, having held himself up as Ghana’s dancehall king without any coveted award to seal that accolade.
With his militants, they trooped to the stage while Stonebwoy was on with his award and about to give his acceptance speech. This created a brawl between the artistes’ squads with Stonebwoy pulling a gun.
The action of Shatta Wale was a “breach of protocol”, Theresa Ayoade told TV3.
She noted that she personally had a meeting with Shatta Wale prior to the event to inform him of the protocol arrangements and he gave her his word to behave and comply with them.
But he ended up flouting even the sitting arrangement as well as how he entered the auditorium.
“When he showed up he didn’t come through the entrance that we have designed for the nominees, he went through the old entrance and sat with his fans.
“So perhaps that was when we should have insisted that the protocols put in place should have been followed.
“He should have sat in the designated area and that way, the security arrangement would have worked, and the security men would have notice if he was together with Stonebwoy.”
Theresa Ayoade said both the police and private security deployed as well as the protocol team were properly briefed about the event and they did their best to ensure compliance.
“This event took us all by surprise and we take it as security breach,” she said, “key lessons have been taken and next time we will prepare better in how to deal with such issues.”
Two awards were withheld due to the brawl and Kwami Sefa Kai who hosted the event said Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale were to pick those awards – Artiste of the Year and Most Popular Song of the Year.
Theresa Ayoade also noted in her interview on TV3 that the two were involved in the awards and “we didn’t want to cause a further raucous”.
The VGMAs board is expected to meet on Tuesday to decide on what to do with the two awards and what possible sanctions could be meted out to Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale.
The two artistes and another person who were later arrested by the police have been granted bail pending investigations.