The Vodafone Ghana Music Awards 2023 was a star-studded affair that hosted and awarded hardworking Ghanaian artistes. Since becoming the title sponsor of the Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) in 2011, Vodafone Ghana has consistently supported the development of the country’s music industry through the annual programme and helped elevate musicians.
The 12-year partnership between Vodafone Ghana and Charterhouse, the organisers of the VGMA, has proven beneficial to the artists and the entertainment industry as a whole.
Over the years, Vodafone Ghana has taken extra steps to guarantee the success of the VGMAs by introducing new concepts, offering informative seminars, and launching unique initiatives to bolster Ghanaian artists. These programmes provide insights into various aspects of the music business, such as royalties, copyrights and investment tips, helping artists to build sustainable careers.
For example, Kuami Eugene, who won the VGMA21 Artiste of the Year award in 2020, acknowledged that the support from Vodafone enabled him to secure a Range Rover gift and various business deals.
Ghanaian talents flourishing on international stages
It is interesting to note the trend of past VGMA winners going on to achieve international recognition and accolades at prestigious award events like the Black Entertainment Television (BET), MTV Base, and AFRIMA. This pattern has contributed to placing Ghana’s music on the map and increasing its prominence on the global stage.
For instance, Sarkodie, who won VGMA awards in the past, went on to secure the BET’s ‘Best International Act: Africa’ award in 2012 and ‘Best International Flow’ at the 2019 BET Hip Hop Awards.
Similarly, Stonebwoy, another VGMA winner, claimed the ‘Best International Act’ title at the 2015 BET Awards. This trend highlights the potential of Ghanaian musicians to excel beyond their home country, further establishing the significance of the VGMA in identifying and celebrating outstanding talent.
Innovations and initiatives in the music business
Vodafone Ghana’s influence on the VGMA has led to the introduction of several new concepts and initiatives, including the VGMA National Music Summit, a stakeholder engagement forum that brings together musicians, managers, producers, and other industry professionals to discuss key issues affecting the sector.
Another such initiative is the Vodafone Icons talent show, which aimed to provide a platform for rising stars in the Ghanaian music scene. The competition saw several talented artists emerge, such as Noella Wiyaala, who went on to achieve national and international success. The show has also supported artists like Christian Owusu and Bogo Blay, who won the 2014 Remix Edition and the 2018 edition, respectively.
The Vodafone 020 Live concert, one of the biggest musical events in Ghana in its time, featured both local and international acts, providing Ghanaian artists with a unique opportunity to share the stage with global icons such as P. Square, Dbanj, Trey Songz, and Ludacris. The event not only promoted the country’s music, but also reinforced Vodafone’s commitment to the industry.
In addition to these, Vodafone Ghana has also launched the VGMA Unsung category, which recognises and supports up-and-coming artists. One key category in the VGMA is the Green Award, which rewards musicians for their contributions to environmental causes.
For example, Stonebwoy won the Green Award in 2022 for his song ‘Greedy Men,’ which targetted illegal mining. In the latest instalment of the VGMA, Vodafone Ghana presented the Green Award to musician Worlasi Langani, popularly known as Worlasi, for his efforts to promote green spaces with his remarkable tree-planting project, ‘Giving Shade.’ These initiatives demonstrate Vodafone’s dedication to nurturing talent and promoting social responsibility within the music industry.
The 24th VGMA: a testament to Vodafone Ghana’s impact on the music industry
The 24th edition of the VGMA highlighted the profound impact Vodafone Ghana has had on the Ghanaian music industry. Top performers included new sensation Black Sherif, celebrated rapper Sarkodie, gospel singer Piesie Esther, and highlife artist Ofori Amponsah, among others.
The event culminated with 21-year-old artist Black Sherif winning the prestigious ‘Artiste of the Year’ award, demonstrating the ongoing success and growth of the music scene in Ghana. The event was a memorable one, with unique experiences such as the Vodafone Red Room, which offered an exclusive and unforgettable experience for VIP guests and the general public during the VGMAs. Attendees enjoyed the ceremony in a luxurious yet comfortable setting, watching the proceedings on live TV screens.
Vodafone Ghana’s commitment to nurturing talent and promoting environmental causes further underscores its dedication to the industry and the wider community. As a result, the brand has become an integral part of the country’s vibrant music scene, contributing significantly to its ongoing success and global influence.