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Opinions of Sunday, 19 May 2019

Columnist: Charles Akrofi

Shatta Wale/Stonebwoy rivalry, authorities must act now

I was since 7:30 last night glued to my TV set just to see who wins what at the 2019 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA). Unfortunately, I slipped into sleep at the time the incident happened so my account of how it happened may not be right which is why I'm drifting from the temptation.

Nonetheless, the gross immaturity exhibited by two of our music greats, Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy is disgusting and must be condemned in no uncertain terms. It ostensibly stems from the rivalry which has been left unchecked, like a time bomb ready to explode.

This perhaps calls for a rethink of rivalry within the context of Ghana's music industry. It is true that many of these rivalries are staged to bring about a certain result to the actors.

Yet, it is also true that some are real, the least, Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy's near brawl tells you how real some of these rivalries are which is grounds for some bigger violence someday if authorities look on unperturbed.

The rivalry between two wrestlers for instance, no matter how intense it may be does not go beyond the boundaries of the game. After all, don't we see Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman sometimes shop together in documentaries? These are entertainers who understand that whatever rivalry there is, is just for the love of the game. But can same be said of Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy? Unfortunately no!

There is no denying the fact that rivalry in showbiz has come to stay but should we begin looking at a new regime where rivalries are checked so no one real rivalry escalates? Let's have a convo. Should the near brawl that rocked last night's VGMA between Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy be anything to go by, then the authorities (i.e MUSIGHA, Charter House and the Police) certainly have work to do.

I can proffer some suggestions

1. MUSIGHA must issue a statement to condemn the act

2. MUSIGHA must be seen leading a campaign to reunite the duo

3. MUSIGHA must regulate against rivalry by checkmating artistes; have periodic meetings aimed at reuniting ones who are at loggerheads with one another to ensure that rivalries stay within boundaries

4. MUSIGHA must set punitive measures for rivalries gone bad in its Code of Conduct (yet to see one though, if there is)

Charter House must also issue a statement condemning the act and apologising to its audience around the globe. The international disrepute its brought to the Ghana Music industry and Charter House as organizers is a shame.

The mere fact that an artiste pulled a gun on stage suggests security lapses. Does this suggest due diligence was not adhered to by security officials at post? What was the essence of thronging the stage with your squad when your opponent was to be handed an award?
The Police hierarchy must immediately pick up the two artistes for questioning and head of the security at post must also be questioned over how a gun was allowed into an enclosed gathering with adequate security.

Until all these are done, we simply won't make headway in the industry. The Ghana music industry is ours to protect. Let's protect it jealously.

Charles Akrofi is Parliamentary Correspondent for XYZ Broadcasting Limited and a Social Commentator