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Ameyaw Says

How to break the Charter House hold on GMAs

I know a lot has been said in the past few days about how much the 2010 Ghana Music Awards lost colour primarily due to the terrible lapses in security at the gate and even during the show. However my main problem still hinges on the foundations on which the awards are handed out. In […]

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I know a lot has been said in the past few days about how much the 2010 Ghana Music Awards lost colour primarily due to the terrible lapses in security at the gate and even during the show.

However my main problem still hinges on the foundations on which the awards are handed out. In my previous open letter to the Ghana Music Award, I stated why I thought it would better to have the public decide 100 percent who wins what.

As I suggested, through the use of appropriate existing technologies, the public can be allowed a limited amount of votes in each category per each unique phone number, preferably once. Or at best, the decision making could be split 50/50 between the public and the ‘academy’. This would remove the existing power Charter House conspicuously holds on the GMA.

I think its time Charter House took its place as organizers/ event managers for the GMAs and not kingmakers. Over simplistic? Yeah, I know! Charter House is always quick to say that winners of the Ghana Music Awards are a reflection of what Ghanaians want because they are chosen by the people.

How can that be when the public only has 30% of the decision making process with 35% going to the Planning Committee and the other 35% for the Selection Committee? While I can understand why it is important for the latter committee, comprising industry players to have such a bearing on the awards; it is completely unforgiveable for the Planning Committee made up just 12 people to have such an impact on a national award such as the GMA.

Allow me to be simplistic yet again. Take it that you have a cake and you share it into three equal parts. You go on to share one third of the cake among 3 million people, share another third among 300 people; and then share the last third among 12 people. Which of these groups of beneficiaries do you think would get the largest share of the cake?

The members of the Planning Committee have the biggest power in deciding who wins an award at the GMAs. The fact that 5 out of the 12 people on the committee work directly for Charter House with 2 or 3 others associated indirectly with them, is perhaps why some of us believe Charter House calls the shots in who wins what.

So if these five people decide for what ever reason to vote for or against any particular artist, you can imagine where the decision would tilt towards. I will give a general job description for the Planning Committee and highlight the members so you can judge for yourself if these people should indeed decide for Ghanaians who the winners of our cherished GMAs should be.

According to the official magazine for the GMAs, the Planning committee contributes a total of 35% of the decision of recipients of the public awards categories and 50% of the decision of recipients in the industry categories. This committee also has the responsibility of planning and scheduling each event that together make up the festival.

The members of the Planning Committee as published are: David Dontoh, actor, writer, director of theatre productions and events; Paul Donkor alias Jayso, music producer; Fred Kyei Mensah, sound engineer; Fred Darko, Head of Events Production at Charter House; Diana Hopeson, President of MUSIGA; Nii Ayite Hammond Head of productions at Charter house and Head of the Planning Committee; Amanzeba Nat Brew; Theresa Ayoade, Executive Director of Multiple Concepts Group (parent company of Charter House); PaJohn Dadson, communications consultant for Ghana Music Awards; Ahuma Bosco Ocansey, Programmes Manager at Adom FM; Mark Okraku Mantey, music producer; and Juno Abena Turkson, Media/Public Relations Executive of Charter House.

Looking at the make up of this committee, is it possible for an artiste like Kwaisey Pee to be handed an award as a gift for his favours to Charter House? I think the Planning Committee should be stripped of any voting rights so they stick to ‘planning’ the Ghana Music Awards, nothing more nothing less.

If the Ghana Music Awards is going to be based on popularity like the organizers claim, then only the people can decide what is popular. Power to the people and Charter House should remain the power behind the performance.

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Ameyaw Says

No matter your age, there is an online game for everyone

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My wife recently spoke to me about getting some video games for our three-year old son to play on his tablet. She had seen how the children of her colleagues play various games on their smartphones and tablets, so enthusiastically. Nathan is used to playing a lot of education videos and games on his tablets but my wife felt it was perhaps time to try something new like Candy Crush Saga or Temple Run although these games are recommended for age 10 plus.

 

I have also observed keenly, how video games excite children, so I agreed it would be a great option for Nathan as well. I still remember my earliest encounters with video games. I always wanted to have a video game for myself but my parents denied me during my primary school days. My father said it would distract me from my studies.  So, I usually played the likes of Super Mario Bros and Sonic the Hedgehog in school on my friends’ Nitendo Gameboy. The Iconic Tetris console was of course a favorite for me too, back in the day.

 

I remember when our neighbors got an Atari video game console; I was always in their living room at any opportunity I got to play Pacman and other games (I don’t even remember them now, but I think it included Contra). Then, finally my cousins visited Ghana from the USA with a Sega Genesis in the 1990s. This introduced me to games like Power Rangers, Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter.

 

Then in the 2000’s I got my first computer so started installing programs that allowed me to play a variety of games on the desktop. When I got my first laptop in my university days, it was the era of the Internet and so I explored a number of games online. But after the university, I had not played a video or computer game until recently when I was looking for options for Nathan.

 

I came across plays.org, which brought back a lot of the good old memories I have with video games. It stocks a number of free browser-based online games. There are hundreds of free games across various genres including arcade classics, cartoon games, comic games, education, solitaire, sports games, pinball and more. All games are unblocked free HTML games which you can play directly in your web browser with no app downloads.

 

One thing I have noticed is how computer games have now turned into intriguing storylines, filled with extraordinary graphics, inspiring characters, and elements of realistic approach towards gameplay setting, and overall production design.  But when I really looked through the options onsite, I knew deep within me that the true essence of computer games has never changed.

 

I tried my hands on Break the Worm, which is a players’ favorite on the website. This is a classic ‘beat em up’ game where Finn is trapped in a nightmare on a quest through 3 worlds, to defeat a worm. He gains unique magical powers in each world. The game is easy to play and there is a full guide on how to play it even before you start, from how to hit and block punches to how to swerve the worms and other adversaries that come your way. My favorite is using the special moves to kill them faster or easier.

I am not one for reading guidelines so I went straight into it punching may way through it all, and discovering new tricks as I went along.  I kicked off with level one, ‘Ice Kingdom’. Here, the opposition was largely easy to defeat worms, and some robot-like machines. I fairly aced it in a matter of time, with no failure. Just as most combat games, I was able to pick up items that boosted my lost energy due to the hits I received, as well as extra lifelines along the line.

quick tips pop on screen on how to play the game

quick tips pop on screen on how to play the game

Level two, ‘Dad’s Dungeon’, was slightly more difficult but after some few failures I managed to ace it and moved on to the third level,  ‘Candy Kingdom’. As sweet as the name sounds, I haven’t been able to complete the level yet, although I tried over ten times on my first day.

I haven’t given up yet on ‘Candy Kingdom’ because thankfully, I get the option to continue from where I left off anytime I go on plays.org and choose Break the Worm.  So I will try it again when I have some more time on my hand.

According to details on the website, beating the game unlocks a second harder version of the game called Nightmare Mode. I will surely keep trying to see what the nightmare mode has waiting for me.

 

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Ameyaw Says

Where are they now? Big Brother Africa Season 1 housemates

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When the Big Brother reality TV phenomenon took over the world, Africa was not spared. Thanks to M-net and Endemol, my family caught the bug early in 2001 with Big Brother South Africa. With larger than life characters, as well as a prying and eloquent host, Mark Pilgrim, we witnessed two seasons of fun, unpredictable television. A crazy Ferdi won season one while another crazy housemate, Richard, won the second season. (more…)

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Ameyaw Says

Celebrating my 40th birthday with orphaned children and abused women

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I want to thank everyone for the amazing well-wishes, prayers and gifts that characterised  my 40th birthday celebrations. You inspire me to excel more each year!

One of my biggest highlights was on Monday, when I visited orphaned children and abused women at the Potters Village Home, in Dodowa.

I first heard about the home when Ameyaw TV was invited to cover a donation earlier in the year. I was touched to make a similar donation when I watched our video from that event.

Watch the donation to the Potters Village Home below

The Potters Village is a charitable organization established to provide care and support to women and children who suffer domestic violence and abuse. To donate to The Potters Village, visit https://thepottersvillage.org/ or call +233243573386

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Ameyaw Says

“Every artist needs a Bullet” – Wendy Shay praises her manager

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Wendy Shay has heaped praises on her manager, Bullet for being the best in the industry. (more…)

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Ameyaw Says

Is it time to scrap ‘Artist of the Year’ from the Ghana Music Awards?

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As a keen follower of the Ghana Music Award for over two decades, I have observed how increasingly it has become difficult to award the ‘Artist of The Year’ over the period.

 

Today, I ask whether that category is even necessary? What is the true measure for the artist of the year – be it for a genre or the ultimate? As the current scheme stands, and looking at how winners have been chosen over the years, I doubt there are indeed any standards for scoring and judging the ultimate ‘artist of the year’.

 

An obvious standard for measuring an outstanding artist would first be the body of work. I know the Ghana Music Awards over the years has also considered the level of artistry and the performances of the artist as a key indicator or measure for choosing the artist of the year, which I find pretentious and even contentious because we each look for different things in a performance.

 

So by logic, in choosing an artist of the year, the number of hit songs (good or bad), album or EP ratings, and public ratings would be good indicators. By this logic, Diana Hamilton wouldn’t be the strongest suit for Artist of the Year for the 2021 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards. For the year in review, I honestly only knew of her smash hit song, ‘Adom’. If she had an album, I don’t know of it. She was not nominated for an album or an EP this year; she came into the competition with one strong song, and an obvious backing of ‘industry people’.  Looking at the nominees in the category this year, the others had more than just these attributes!

 

Over the years, we have come to accept the Ghana Music Award scheme as being a judgment of the Board, the Public and the Academy. While I love it for this unique outlook, it comes with its inherent challenges also. And I feel that to preserve the integrity of the awards, some changes need to happen. This includes scrapping off the Artist of the Year category. We have seen the scheme adapt and make changes over the years including new categories, new definitions and more. In fact this year saw the introduction of Afropop/Afrobeats Artist of the Year and EP of the year, to reflect the growing changes in the industry.

 

I think it is about time to build the various genres of the scheme and make them competitive enough for the artists that win each genre to be the top award for each genre, example, Highlife Artist of the Year or Hip-hop artist of the year. For instance for the Grammys, the top awards in the “General Field” are four awards which are not restricted by music genre. These include The Album of the Year, The Record of the Year (which is the Vodafone most popular song of the year in Ghana, and not so much its equivalent), The Song of the Year (which is a songwriter award unlike in Ghana) and The Best New Artist.

 

The ‘Artist of the Year’ unnecessarily makes the awards overly competitive for the musicians, and frankly, it has been proven enough that the Ghana Music Awards scheme does not have what it takes (in terms of the standards I mentioned earlier) to adjudge the ultimate artist of the year in Ghana. For instance, by logic, looking at the nominations this year, Diana Hamilton was the only gospel artist in the ‘artist of the year’ category, which meant that by default she had already been adjudged ‘gospel artist of the year’. Yet, the ‘gospel artist of the year’ is supposed to be a combined judgment of voting by The Board, The Academy and The Public.

 

It’s time to clean up!

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Ameyaw Says

My Top 6 highs of the 2021 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards

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The 2021 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards was billed to be the biggest night for Ghana’s music industry, and for most parts, it lived up to the expectation, and perhaps even surprised some people.

After a not so inspiring Day 1 of performances and industry awards, Day 2 on Saturday picked up with a number of amazing moments. And here are my picks

Tribute to Castro

Singer Kurlsongx led medley of hit in honour, Castro 7 years after his speedboat accident. Castro will be  legally declared dead this year, and the tribute was very befitting, although the performance was entirely great. Kofi Kinaata and Sarkodie joined Kurlsongx to before some of their biggest collaborations with the ‘hiplife colossus’.

Mr Drew’s performance

Mr Drew proved why he deserved the New Artist of the Year honour with a well produced performance. The energetic performance was backed with solid vocals and exciting dance routines. His ability to control his vocals while dancing proved that he is indeed gifted with both.

 

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A post shared by Ameyaw Debrah (@ameyaw112)

 

Adina’s show of intent!

Adina came to prove a point on Saturday and her performance clearly was a show of her intent to remove doubts about leading this year’s nominations. She begun with the touching ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ tribute to her late father and picked up the tempo with the Reggae/Dancehall song of the year, ‘Why’. Adina won two of the biggest awards at the VGMA this year including Record of The Year for ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ and Album of The Year for her eclectic ‘Araba’ album.

 

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A post shared by Ameyaw Debrah (@ameyaw112)

The Asakaa vibes

Yaw Tog , Kofi Jamar and Ypee got the chance to be a worthy representation for the new wave of music from ‘Kumerica’ that characterised the new vibes of the Ghana music industry in the past year. collectively the performed two of the biggest jams of the years including ‘Sore’ and Ekorso’.

Queen amongst Kings

Ghana’s number femcee, proved she deserved the Best Rap Performance laurel with a well coordinated stage craft that made me fall in love with her, in a new kind of way. Her flows were effortlessly executed and her coordination with her dancers were well choreographed.

A worthy champion

The 2020 Artist of the Year, Kuami Eugene, who was also in the running for this big gong this year came with a strong performance to prove why he was the reigning champion. The performance had a lot of layers and progression, something not very characteristic of Kuami Eugene.

 

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