Afro pop singer and songwriter Noella Wiyalaa has claimed that the annual Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMAs) organised by Charterhouse only rewards and promotes works of crooners who are based in the Greater Accra regional capital, Accra.
Speaking on “The North” Podcast with Prince Hamdan Banang, Wiyaala revealed that the popular music awards scheme has a criteria for the selection of nominees which she thinks she doesn’t qualify for, and so has stopped filing nominations. The criteria involves having one’s songs played on all radio stations in the capital, which is not possible for her because of her choice of language.
Wiyaala believes that VGMA is trying to get all musicians involved but it’s very obvious and glaring what VGMA is all about. She stated that “You have to be in Accra and your songs have to be popular in Accra. There are songs that were never popular in the North, but they made it, and the criteria keeps changing. It’s their rules and regulations if you cannot follow them, you shouldn’t enter.”
The ‘Tuma’ hitmaker also pointed out that deliberate efforts to highlight acts from other regions whose songs are not widely known due to language barriers have not been made. This contradicts the definition of VGMA as an award scheme to honour musicians in Ghana because it only focuses on specific groups of musicians in certain regions of the country. Wiyaala concluded by saying that “I will be as popular as anything in the North but because it’s an Accra-based programme and most of the radio stations are Accra-based, it is normal that they only hear Accra songs. Most of the DJs don’t understand our songs and a lot of people are not willing to understand our songs