Dancehall artiste, Charles Nii Armah Mensah, also known as Shatta Wale says he will boycott subsequent Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA), following a brawl between him and his rival, Stonebwoy at the awards ceremony held last Saturday.
In a Facebook post, Shatta Wale said he made this decision after sober reflection and broader consultations.
“Upon sober reflections of events in recent times and having made broader consultations, I wish to announce that I will not be part of the Ghana Music Awards scheme going forward. God bless!”
The scuffle between the two artistes last Saturday has been a subject of many conversations in the country as it has been widely reported in local and international media.
While Stonebwoy was up the VGMA stage taking his award, Shatta Wale, his rival on the music scene, was seen moving towards the stage with a host of others presumed to be his fans.
The security on stage provided cover for Stonebwoy and the few others already up the stage but Stonebwoy’s manager allegedly engaged in fisticuffs with a member of the team moving with Shatta Wale.
The incident degenerated into pandemonium.
Stonebwoy also pulled out a gun in the process but there was no sound of a gun fire.
Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale plead not guilty
On Wednesday, the two pleaded not guilty to charges they are facing over their involvement in the disturbances that marred the event.
Shatta Wale is facing a charge of offensive conduct conducive to breach of peace while Stonebwoy has been charged with offensive conduct conducive to breach of peace and display of a firearm in public without permission.The court presided over by Magistrate Isaac Addo also granted the two bail on Wednesday at a cost of GHc 50,000 with one surety each.
Lawyers Jerry Avernogbor and Selali Woanya represented Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy respectively.
The case has been adjourned to June 20, 2019.
The two were cautioned to be of good behaviour while the case is ongoing.
Charterhouse condemns brawl
Organisers of the event condemned the commotion saying it cannot be attributed to security lapses.
Head of communications at Charterhouse, George Quaye said the unfortunate incident has more to do with the grand issue of rivalries between musicians and how they are managed.
According to him, both Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy, who were the centre of the chaos failed to act responsibly by holding themselves back from taking certain actions which clearly wasn’t going to ensure peace at the event.
“Many are those who have accused Charterhouse of not putting in place adequate security to avert the situation but George Quaye said “it goes beyond that. You will expect an act to know that if I get up here, or if I do this, this is what will happen… Another act should also know that this is what is happening, or the act manager knows that this not the place where I draw out a weapon,” he said on Citi TV‘s Point of View on Monday.
Stonebwoy apologised twice for the brawl.
“I only had to react out of natural instincts because we all know how premeditative some people can be. We’ve seen on social media the threats and everything so we couldn’t come in unprepared because anything could have happened as you guys saw. I come in peace and I go in peace and I apologize to the whole masses of Ghana that the Awards is going to continue,” he said.
The management of Shatta Wale also apologized on Tuesday.
“Management of Shatta Wale wishes to render a sincere apology to all patrons of the 20th edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA), viewers of the event around the world, organizers of the awards, Charterhouse Productions, title sponsors, Vodafone Ghana and all Shatta Movement fans worldwide for the unfortunate incident that happened during the recently held VGMA. We further apologize for all the inconveniences caused on the night and afterwards,” a statement from Shatta Wale’s management stated.