Olele Salvador writes: Why Diana Hamilton will win VGMA Artiste of the Year again if nominated

Diana Hamilton won the Artiste of the Year at the just ended Vodafone Ghana Music Awards to the shock of many; at least for those who thought they were stronger in numbers than the church. 

The truth is, should Diana Hamilton get nominated in that same category again, she will win it. This is not even about the church. It’s about principle. 

Below is a screenshot captured from the official website of the awards scheme, stripping down how winners are determined in the various categories. 

For the purpose of this writing, I will focus only on the categories that require public voting. 

Many may not know this, but the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards was built around the interest of the masses. Though it may seem like a scheme built to ONLY award artistes who have worked hard in the year under review, it is a platform given to the masses (consumers of the music) to decide who wins what.  

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The Academy and the Board may have an influence in determining a winner, but it’s limited to their respective percentage brackets. Therefore, to win an award in any of the public voting categories, one will need votes. A lot of them. And oh, for a scheme that gives the public the opportunity to vote a number of times (10 attempts), the board, and the academy are toothless when it comes to the choice of the winner. 

Diana Hamilton in partnership with the church, especially the Church of Pentecost, has taught us this lesson very well.

There are so many factors that may have contributed to her win, but I want to concentrate on only one in this write-up; public voting. 

It is very easy to lament about who deserved to win an award, but extremely contentious to accept that the award is given by the highest number of votes. I believe being nominated in any category establishes that one has worked hard to stand a chance to be awarded. 

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I saw many reactions to Diana Hamilton’s win suggesting that KiDi worked harder, and he deserved it. And perhaps, just maybe, if Diana Hamilton was not nominated in the Artiste of the Year category, and did not have a mammoth backing in votes from the church, KiDi would have won it. 

Because, even if the public did not vote massively for KiDi, the votes from both the Board and Academy may just give him an edge over others. 

Well, the gag here is everybody else apart from these two worked hard in the calendar year. 

Kuami Eugene equally had a strong year in 2020 with one of the biggest songs in the country with Open Gate. He was also influential with his features of some popular songs in the country for the same year under review. 

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I could even go on and on with Medikal and Sarkodie who also had a number of hit songs to their credit, leaving various quotables of their lyrics on the lips of many. 

The question is, did the public really vote for Kidi even though it was evident that he worked harder? And if they did, were the votes enough to give Kidi a stronger push? Or because Kidi had a strong year, automatically he wins it? And if he did, will that not undermine the integrity of the system put in place to award these artistes? 

Lest we forget, AMG Business rapper- Medikal, suffered the same fate of extreme disappointment when he had 7 nominations in 2017, and he didn’t win any of them. That year was arguably one of the best years for Medikal; first of all, as a new artiste and lastly attaining that number of nominations, posing strong competition to his co-nominees.

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