Event organisers of Ghana’s prime music awards, the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMAs), says they were taken aback by the surprise misbehaviour of Ghanaian dancehall king Shatta Wale at the 20th edition of the event.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Theresa Ayoade, Chief Executive Officer of Charterhouse, said they had a series of interactions before finally deciding to include Shatta Wale in the awards scheme again after he was banned for disrespecting the event house a few years ago.
According to her, there were engagements with Shatta who clearly showed he was changed and was going to be of good behaviour, should he be welcomed back to the awards event.
Miss Ayoade said: “He apologized publicly, came to the office several times with several entourages. So when it was time for this 20th-anniversary celebration, we decided to give him another chance. we had a one-on-one session with him and he promised me personally that ‘all those issues are gone, he was young then, now he’s older, he’s grown’”.
She said, from indications, he appeared to be a changed man and though Charterhouse wanted to sign an undertaking with him to ensure a bond of good behaviour, that never materialized.
“We did everything we could to ensure that we’re on the same footing… After the Xperience Concert, we called him back to the office that ‘some of your guys were being too rough so we are not happy about that. We want you to assure us…’ It shows the kind of engagement. It wasn’t the normal type of engagement,” she said, stressing that they were shocked he broke his promise on the night.
“We were all taken aback. We saved him his five seats just like Stonebwoy. There are things you’d regret but you cannot beat yourself over it. We had saved his five seats for him; he said his father to his father and sister to come and sit in the seat. The rest of the three seats remained empty the whole night [thinking] Shatta Wale was coming to sit on his seat… We didn’t anticipate that going to sit with his fans meant they were planning something.”
She continued: “We took his word for it. We trusted him, we trusted the good intentions, we trusted the fact that he appreciated the industry and he would behave. We gave him that trust and he abused that trust by pulling that stunt.”
Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy caused a fracas at the 2019 edition of the VGMAs, leading to their indefinite ban from the awards scheme and being stripped of all the awards they won last year as well.