The Founder and Executive Director of IMANI Center for Policy & Education, Mr Franklin Cudjoe, has critcised music fans who say Shatta Wale should not have been named the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) Artiste of the Year 2013.
Posting on Facebook Monday, Mr Cudjoe, described Shatta Wale as a “great music strategist” who had “been sidelined by the Ghanaian media for 11 years.”
The policy analyst and public commentator described claims that Shatta Wale did not deserve to win the award as “unsophisticated” and without merit.
According to him, Shatta Wale had worked hard in Jamaica for five years, “learning the ways of great dance hall musicians”.
Franklin CudjoeFranklin CudjoeFranklin CudjoeMr Cudjoe said the self-acclaimed “Dancehall King” had not only rebranded himself, but had also started a movement – Shatta Movement – which had attracted many converts in Ghana .
“Pompous Marketing executives and religious hypocrites should take time to study how Shatta Wale made it,” the Imani boss said, noting: “The UK Guardian newspaper has marked Shatta Wale for global impact soon and in his own land hypocrites are bringing him down as usual.
“Let’s promote this guy,” he added.
Though there have been some sentiments on social media to the effect that Shatta Wale’s ‘Artiste of the Year’ feat was undeserved, there is general consensus among music lovers that the dancehall star deserved the award for a successful 2013 in which he released hit songs such as ‘Enter the net’, ‘Dancehall King’ and ‘Like My Thing’.
It didn’t come as a surprise to many, therefore, when ‘Dancehall King’ won ‘Song of the Year’ at the awards. He also picked the ‘Dancehall/Reggae Song of the Year’ award, taking his total haul on the night to three.
Controversy was, however, generated when Shatta Wale did not show up to pick up the awards.
Enthusiastic fans, who had attended the event to celebrate with the talented artiste, were upset that he did not attend.
But he Monday explained that he stayed away from the show in protest at the unfair treatment of Ghanaian artistes by the organisers, Charter House.
He said Ghanaian artistes had not been given the respect and recognition that they deserved.
According to him, Charter House refused to pay the Gh₵70,000 he demanded as fee for performing at the show, but would have been willing to spend thousands of dollars on artistes from other countries.
After the awards, however, Shatta Wale dashed to the Conference Centre to celebrate with his fans :