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Opinions of Monday, 18 September 2017

Columnist: ARNOLD ASAMOAH-BOADO

People’s Celebrity Awards: Power to the people

Awards are good, especially when they really reward excellence and presently in Ghana, there are quite a number of awards all aimed at recognising personalities and organisations that live up to a level of expectation and distinction.

The People’s Celebrity Awards (PCA), formerly called the GN Bank Awards – is different from all the other award schemes ongoing in Ghana. It is the scheme that caters for all sectors within the arts industry.

Significantly, the PCA is the only awards scheme thus far in Ghana that gives so much power, in fact, absolute authority to the general public over who gets nominated and ultimately, who wins.

The Ingenuity Of GN Bank Awards

In 2015, a refreshing dimension was introduced into the organisation of awards in Ghana, where award winners and the people who chose them, were all rewarded handsomely.

Over the years, winners of major award schemes have always groused about receiving trophies with no monetary gains, and although some awards organisers doled out some token amounts to winners – the GN Bank Awards took it to a different level, much to the excitement of nominees and the people who voted.

GH¢ 10,000 to the ultimate winner, won by Bola Ray, GHC 3,500 to winners of all categories including Akumaa Mama Zimbi, James Gardiner, Shatta Wale, the late Vybrant Fyre, Halifax Ansah Addo, and others plus sponsored weekend getaways were just too good to be true but they were!!

But wait, there’s more! Members of the public that voted the most for their favourite celebrities were awarded GH¢ 500 each for every week of the voting period. How cool was that!

GN Bank was just not about the money; it was also about the expert organisation of the scheme, where the main event started right on time and closed before midnight, at a time when some award winners were now making their way to the auditorium. The event was flawless with no technical hitches and no sub-standard musical performances; Shatta Wale’s live band performance was a standout.

Power To Nominate

This year, the People’s Celebrity Awards will be held on the 25th of November at the Accra International Conference Centre but before that, there are very critical processes; the nomination and the voting processes and again, the public is in control.

Members of the public are already nominating favourite celebrities who stayed relevant in their respective fields from August 2016 to August 2017 to the short code *712*8# on all networks for various categories such as Favourite Song, Favourite Male, Favourite Actor, Favourite Actress, Favourite Movie, Favourite Male Radio Presenter, and Favourite Female Radio Presenter.

The rest are: Favourite Song, Favourite Male Sports Personality, Favourite Female Sports Personality, Favourite Journalist, Favorite Comedian, Favourite Music Video Award, Ultimate Favourite Personality, Ultimate Lifetime Achievement Award for Individual and Organisation.

Interestingly, for the first time in the organisation of awards in Ghana, submitting nominations via texting/SMS is free!

The nomination process comes to a close on September 22, 2017 after which there will be a shortlist and then, the public would be called upon to vote for winners in the respective categories.

New Categories

The Planning Committee of the PCA and the Tommy Annan Forson-led Board that includes the likes of Kwaku Sintim-Misa (KSM), Mary-Ann Eyram Bashan, Nanabanyin Dadson, Fred Kyei Mensah, Patrick Yaadar, Alex Ntiamoah, Socrates Safo, Hammer, Nana Turkson and Chris Koney – have introduced some new categories; PCA Favourite Social Media Personality and PCA Favourite Religious Personality of the Year.

There’s no denying the fact that social media has become such a formidable front in pushing agendas and many celebrities are using it to influence and change lives. Somebody must be awarded for his or her ability to use that space to promote positivity.

For a long time, our religious leaders have used their voices to push for a paradigm shift in our thinking and way of life. They have even shaped governance, as well as helping in the building of good societies. Yes, their reward is in heaven, but to the PCA, it won’t hurt if the people are given the opportunity to choose their favourite leader among the lot who has really been a game-changer.

The Main Event

Already, word has it that, the Planning Committee and the Board for the PCA are determined to replicate or outdo themselves after that great first showing in 2015.
Speculations are rife that the biggest Ghanaian artiste with arguably the biggest following and the biggest hits in the last 4 years, Shatta Wale, would be performing again.

The most-talked-about female artiste at the moment, Ebony, will reportedly also mount the stage together with the biggest sensation, Fancy Gadam branded the ‘King of The North’ who is steadily carving a niche as a crowd puller.

The gospel front may also be represented by the likes of producer/songwriter/performer, Nacee, who is well known, not only for his immense talent but also for his enthralling stagecraft.

Definitely, winners of the various categories are expected to walk home with yet-to-be-disclosed monetary prizes and the teeming members of the public who will dedicate their time to voting for the winners are also assured of some prizes.

The People’s Celebrity Awards, by the people for the people- is definitely here to stay and needs the support of all industry players.