Rapper Sarkodie says event organisers, Charterhouse cannot escape blame for last week's chaotic end to the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards.
While he is not against sanctioning Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale for the brawl at the 20th edition of the Awards, Sarkodie thinks organisers, Charterhouse should share the blame.
“We can condemn our brothers on their acts but we can’t rule out the root cause that provided that environment for the unfortunate incident... Charterhouse can’t leave all the blame on the artists. NO!!” the rapper said in a series of tweets.
Sarkodie was reacting to a decision by Charterhouse and the Awards Board to strip Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale of all the awards they won at the Awards this year.
The two artistes have also been banned indefinitely by the organisers.
The decision means that Shatta Wale is no longer the winner of the ‘Highlife Song of the Year’ for ‘My Level’ and ‘Reggae/Dancehall Song of the Year’ for ‘Gringo’.
It also means that Stonebwoy has also lost the ‘Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year’ and ‘Best Collaboration of the Year’ awards he won on the night.
Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy were arrested by the police on Sunday over a brawl that erupted between their camps at the 20th anniversary of the VGMA.
Pandemonium broke out shortly after Stonebwoy was announced the winner of ‘Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year’ when Shatta Wale and his team were seen going towards the stage, their intentions were unclear.
Shatta Wale, born Charles Nii Armah Mensah, later claimed that he was going on stage to congratulate Stonebwoy. The two artistes were later released on Monday and appeared in court on Wednesday.
Reacting to decision by the organisers, Sarkodie, who was crowned the ‘Artiste of the Decade’ at the Awards, said “Earlier I was encouraging companies to support a lot more with their sponsorships and my tweets might seem all over the place and may not even make sense but with this charter house decision, I think we gotto say it as it is ...
“Supporters of football are allowed to come support at the stadium but not at award nights where same teams and individual players are been awarded ... it’s not done,” he said.
Outlining why the organisers should also shoulder the blame for what happened, the rapper explained that, “First of all, big award shows like the Grammys BET MTV etc don’t open to the public to just buy tickets and come to the event (and it's for a reason )... it’s not a concert ... first mistake by Charterhouse
“As much as award nights are meant to celebrate artists, it stirs up a lot of emotions and therefore you wanna create the right environment to contain that. Charterhouse sells tickets for award show which is wrong (but I only understand due to lack of funds to put up a top-notch event like the VGMA), but it still doesn’t make it right.”
Sarkodie Insists it is improper “...to have our fans in the same building with us receiving awards, you know that could go left. Caf awards don’t open to the public so if you are a foot ball fan, you can cheer from home and when you disappointed, you can deal with that at home too.”
Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy
The two-time ‘Artiste of the Year’ winner faulted the organisers for creating the environment that tested the emotions of some of the artistes at the Awards.
“We have our free will on how we react but you don’t create an environment to test people’s emotions ... not everyone can take that. The fans were not wrong for cheering (they are there anyway) but that right there can get a lot in their feelings and even winners overreacting,” he said.
The rapper believes that Charterhouse “needs enough funds to make this show happen and that’s why I plead with sponsors to go in a bit more so we can still maintain this prestigious award ceremony and keep the standards high ... But for charter house to push blame on our brothers and leave their failings out, that’s wrong ... Security was bad and a whole lot I don’t wanna go into ...”
“Charter house y’all don’t have to act that quick with your decision cos we could do same to you ... My wish is for both sides (we as artists and you as organizers) to work on our mistakes and not one side taking a harsh decision,” Sarkodie concluded.
Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale, when they appeared in court, pleaded not guilty to Offensive Conduct to Breaches of the Peace following the scuffle at the Awards.
Stonebwoy, born Livingstone Etse Satekla, also pleaded not guilty to an additional charge of Display of a Weapon in a Public Place without permission.
The charges were read to them during their appearance at the Agyebeng Court, Wednesday.
The dancehall artistes, who have not seen eye-to-eye for years now, appeared in court with some family members and scores of supporters.
They both looked cheerful and responded to chants from their supporters as they walked out of the courtroom.
After the hearing, they were granted bail of ¢50,000 each with one surety and cautioned to be of good behaviour until the determination of the case.
They will re-appear in court on June 20.