Editor in Chief of the New Crusading Guide strongly believes that the unfortunate incident at Sunday’s Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) should serve as a wakeup call for the music industry and country as a whole.
Kweku Baako noted that even though the brawl between Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale has dented the country’s image, the incident presents a lot of lessons.
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.
Commenting on the incident that is still dominating the media landscape a week after it happened, Editor in Chief of the New Crusading Guide told Samson Lardy Ayenini on Newsfile on JoyNews that there is a big question mark on the Ghanaian entertainment industry.
He listed music greats such as Alfred Bannerman, Hugh Masekela, Pat Thomas, Gyedu-Blay Ambolley, Amakye Dede and Osibisa and stated that “Those were the days…descent disciplined artistes. What really happened to us?”
Mr Baako noted that Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale’s followers are in the millions and they are doing well for themselves but he believes “they could if they had positioned themselves very well, serve as a catalyst for growing the Ghanaian entertainment industry…if they exercise a certain level self-discipline.”
He expressed the worry that, “the Ghanaian entertainment industry image, there is a question mark…with the collateral repercussion on our own national image. I am not saying it is that bad but the implications. Charterhouse’s own brand that they’ve built over the years,” including the artistes, who he says now has a question mark on their profiles.
Mr Baako noted that the unfortunate incident will now make people extra cautious, particularly their security, when they attend events.
“Perhaps this is education by a negative experience, we should wake up,” he urged.
“Music is therapeutic, it heals but looks at the distortion and the pollution. Maybe it’s good that this happened it will make us wake up and take another look at our scenes, not just music everywhere else.
“When it comes to the in-depth knowledge of present-day or current or contemporary music industry, it’s at sea,” he concluded.
Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale, when they appeared in court on Wednesday, 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.