Noella Wiyalaa, a popular Ghanaian Afro pop singer, dancer, and songwriter, claims that Charterhouse’s annual Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMAs) primarily honor and promote the work of musicians based in Accra and the Greater Accra region.
Wiyaala revealed that the popular music awards program had specified a criteria for the selection of nominees that she believes she doesn’t qualify for, and as a result, she has stopped submitting nominations. This was revealed during a recent discussion on “The North” Podcast with Prince Hamdan Banang.
The criterion, she noted, required that one’s songs be aired on every radio station in the capital, which is not possible for her due to her linguistic preference.
She gave an explanation, stating, “In my heart, I believe VGMA is attempting to involve all of us. But let’s not play around or embarrass ourselves; the true nature of the VGMA is clear to all and plain. You must reside in Accra, and Accra must enjoy your music.
Songs that were never popular in the North have succeeded anyway, and the standards are always evolving. You should not enter if you cannot abide by their laws and restrictions.
The ‘Tuma’ hitmaker claimed that no conscious efforts have been made to promote artists from other countries whose music are underappreciated because of linguistic problems.
She cited an instance where the VGMA’s focus on particular musical genres in particular parts of the country runs counter to its stated purpose of honoring musicians in Ghana.
She concluded by saying, “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.”