I don’t think aside ‘Fetu Afehye,’ ‘Aboakyir,’ ‘Bakatue,’ and other festivals in Central Region, any other event by an organization other than the traditional councils could attract strong emotional attachment from the people of Central Region like the Central Music Awards (CMA).
As pacesetters of Regional Awards, the organizers of Central Music Awards have successfully been able to carry along the Artistes, fans and non-fans-alike every year. There is not a single year too an edition of the CMA will start and end without needless controversies and image attacks.
The publicity prior to the 30th November, 2019 edition of CMA was impressive. The event was not only well publicized within the corridors of the Central Regions but other big stations in Ghana like TV3, Orange FM in Kumasi and other stations across Ghana mentioned the event in their reportage.
On social media, posts were circulated amongst social media users who are from Central Region but could not attract the attention of other regions. Even though it is specifically for Central Region Artistes, other awards like Volta Music Awards, Western Music Awards and Eastern Music Awards successfully engage social media users widely other than just their indigenes.
Heritage Promotions, organizers of the awards should pay attention to post publicity. Days after the awards, online has little to say about the event. For the purposes of this story, I googled ‘Central Music Awards 2019’ and all the stories that surfaced about post event were not enough; nothing good to write home about. For a Radio Presenter like Mani Kay who doubles as the Public Relations Officer of the awards, he should consciously have a plan and budget for post awards to tell the success story of the awards to the world via World Wide Web, print and electronic media.
Even on the Heritage Promotions Facebook page, there’s nothing to show that there has been an edition of the awards this year. The recent post on the Facebook page is a thank you update from the Organizers but no event picture is there to tell the story of this year’s edition.
For an eight edition, there are some hiccups that are unpardonable. The backstage to and fro were seen by a section of the audience at the VIP area and extreme right side of the auditorium. To better appreciate an event of this nature, the anticipation is part of the experience. For some of the Artistes, some of the audience saw their props whilst they were waiting to take the microphone from the MCs.
Fans of most award winners out of excitement even took the lead to be on stage before the award winners themselves. At a point, it was upsetting to see and hear the fans also speak into the microphone after the award winners have given their thank you speeches. They either threw a subtle shade at opponents or gave shout outs to their friends in the auditorium.
MASTERS OF CEREMONY
It was a smart move to combine two Masters of Ceremony (MCs) who are generations apart. Ato Trustworthy, a man who would be in his 50s could connect with the older audience with his ‘antique’ Fante vocabularies whilst Sonia Sackey, a lady who would be in his mid-20s was fluent with the new school jargon.
Ato Trustworthy at a point was much of a talkative who was stretching to be needlessly jovial. Some of his jokes were uncalled for; like the joke about how women get better menstrual flow when they listen to Ace Gospel Artiste Uncle Ato’s songs. How the two connect, only Ato Trustworthy would be in the best position to explain.
For an event like Central Music Awards which celebrates Artistes from a region which is predominantly Fante, it was not appropriate to bill a person who speaks Twi as MC. Sonia, the female MC had a fluid presentation till she was at a point to vernacularize some of her presentation and she was all ‘Twish’ which compelled Ato Trustworthy to even call her attention to it.
Ato Trustworthy had the energy to stand on his comparatively weak feet till 3am when the event ended but Sonia appeared exhausted at the latter part of the event, making her not exciting at the last part of the awards.
The organizers got the volume of the public address system (PA) well. Unlike other events where the volume becomes nuisance to the ears, CMA organizers did well with how best they tuned the volume to make sure that it was appealing to the ears and not a disturbance.
The microphones at a point were failing the MCs and Artistes due to a lot of breaks whilst they were talking into the microphone. This should be checked with all seriousness.
One of the highlights of CMA is the seating arrangements. The organizers had a VIP cocktail seating arrangement for their distinguished guests with water and champagne decorating the tables. On social media, most of the comments about the awards were the seating arrangement of the 8th edition which gives it a unique outlook.
It does not only make the organizers appear creative, it also makes them appear as people who know how to maximize the little space they have.
CNC has a well arranged seats so it does not make the organizers spend much and do much on seating for their non-VIPs.
The CMA has outgrown the CNC space. The organizers should as a matter of urgency start looking for another venue. The venue looks small for the magnitude of CMA. They would rake in more money if they get a bigger auditorium.
The ventilation at the auditorium is the poorest for an event like an award ceremony. At the VIP section where I was privileged to be seated, one of the sponsors sweated profusely like she was thrown into a swimming pool. It was embarrassing to see how the back of her dress was soaked with sweat when she was going to present an award.
It wasn’t hard to tell that she was looking forward to leaving the auditorium at the least chance given. And this is a sponsor of the award, a very critical person whose contribution made the event see the light of day.
The Chairman of the awards, Nick was also compelled to take off his suit jacket. His black and white shirt was soaked with sweat as well.
The air conditioners at the CNC should be checked before and during the awards because it does not only make the audience feel uncomfortable in that unbearable heat but it will put people off at the mention of CNC as the venue in subsequent editions.
As a person who witnesses not less than 5 Showbiz events in a month, I could boldly say that Artistes from the Central Region has one of the best stage crafts.
Gerony who came on stage with a patient on a stretcher and appeared as Jesus to heal the sick was the best performer on the night. He was not carried away by the applause of his craft like most up and coming do but was focused to deliver his message from the begging to the end.
Wages Rap and Queen Haizel also surprised many with their unexpected kissing on stage during their performance. This raised eyebrows of many who least expected that on stage. Their performance was well crafted and beautifully delivered except that at a point Queen Haizel was carried away by the applause; as she was shouting on top of her voice.
Kobby Symple has mastered the craft of stage performance. He is someone you cannot afford to lose sight of his performance for a second as his energy and gestures on stage makes him exceptional. For first timers who have not seen Kobby Symple perform, he would wow them with his comprehensive craft but for someone who has seen him perform for the umpteenth time, this style of performance from Kobby Symple is predictable.
Orkotor Perry does not have to do much when he is on stage. He has regional hit songs so the audience take over the singing of the song when he is on stage. Orkotor Perry is akin to R2Bees who do not have to struggle to impress audience because the audience can sing their songs from the beginning to the end. This would not only make Orkotor Perry struggle when he is performing out of the Central Region where many cannot sing along, it has the tendency to easily make him nonchalant.
Patapaa has a way of engaging the audience whilst performing. He does not only make jovial remarks to make the audience laugh, his style of dressing and subsequently taking off his shirt, showing his emaciated torso makes his performance interesting. Even though pausing in the middle of his performance to make funny remarks is interesting, it becomes boring at a point.
The 8th edition of the CMA was a great event which should be praised. Well done Heritage Promotions for a great event. Well done!
Author: Nana Kwesi Coomson (www.233times.com) @nkcoomson on Twitter/Instagram