The Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) has condemned the fracas between dancehall artistes Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy at the 20th edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards.
The musicians’ body noted in a statement, signed by its president Bice Osei Kuffour (Obour) said the fight between the two artistes was “unwarranted, irresponsible and shameful”.
Pandemonium broke out Sunday morning shortly after Stonebwoy was announced the winner of ‘Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year’. This is the fifth consecutive time he is winning the award.
Just when Stonebwoy, who was picking up the award for the fifth time, was about to deliver his acceptance speech for the award, Shatta Wale started walking towards him on stage.
Shatta Wale had later explained that he was walking up to the stage to celebrate with Stonebwoy.
But just as he approached the stage, blows started flying between Stonebwoy’s entourage and Shatta Wale’s team. Police and security personnel rushed to the stage to prevent the brawl from escalating.
Stonebwoy pulled out a gun on stage during the scuffle as some of his team members try to shield the gun.
The fight disrupted the Awards for almost 30 minutes. Some guests, including actress Jackie Appiah, rushed out of the venue.
Shortly after both camps were separated, Shatta Wale, who had already picked up two awards on the night, posted on Twitter “Don’t play with a lion like that ...He dislikes to smell blood !!!”
When Stonebwoy came on stage to accept his second award for the night, ‘Best Collaboration of the Year’, he apologised for the incident.
“I’m really sorry for the incident that happened earlier on and I only had to react out of natural instincts because we all know how premeditative some people can be. We’ve seen on social media the threats and everything so we couldn’t come in unprepared because anything could have happened like you guys saw,” he said.
Stonebwoy added that “I come in peace and I go in peace and I apologise to the whole masses of Ghana that the Awards is going to continue. Thank you very music for supporting my music, for supporting everybody else’s music…by their deeds we have all seen.”
Read the full MUSIGA statement below:
The Musicians Union of Ghana condemns in the strongest terms the unwarranted, irresponsible and shameful incidence which occurred at the 20th Anniversary edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards at the Accra International Conference Center on Saturday, 18th May 2019.
Those shameful acts of violence did not only cause a halt in the program but also traumatized patrons and subsequently painted a very negative image of our country Ghana to the global
community as over 40 countries on the continent and the world at large were watching through television other social media platforms.
We urge the law enforcement agencies to act with dispatch in bringing actors in this very
shameful episode to book to serve as a deterrent to others now and in the future. We wish to state that no individual is above the law and that must be forcefully established as we can not entertain violence and wanton lawlessness.
We condemn the provocative act of Shatta Wale and his fans for aggressively storming the stage while Stonebwoy was receiving his award and the equally unmeasured response by Stonebwoy for brandishing the gun.
We would also like to advise musicians and their handlers to be mindful of their behaviours at all times since they are role models for the society as a whole. Artistes should desist from
unnecessary “beefs” and conflicts capable of bringing the industry to its knees and eroding all the gains we have made as a people.
MUSIGA would like to apologize on behalf of the music industry and music lovers to fans and the public for the unprofessional behaviour exhibited. We would like to reiterate that the Ghanaian music industry does not promote or approve this type of behaviour.
We are calling on all event organizers to ensure effective screening of fans and performers at all events. We will work swiftly with artistes the organizers and law enforcement agencies to come to a decisive and deserving resolution.
As an industry, we need to come together to do more to raise the image of our motherland Ghana. We need to be shining examples and model citizens so that the millions of fans and mentees will have proper examples of patriotism. It is only in uniting, holding each other's hands, building bridges and helping one another that we conquer the world stage.
Once again we condemn in no uncertain terms the actions of the few miscreants whose actions should not be allowed fester.