Stonebwoy, Shatta Wale stripped of VGMA awards
Feuding dancehall musicians Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale whose near-bloody scuffle marred the 20th anniversary of the Ghana Vodafone Music Awards held in Accra last Saturday have been stripped of all awards they won at the night.
Stonebwoy and Shatta have consequently been ordered to immediately return to the organisers of the awards, Charterhouse Ghana Limited, the plaques they received for the two awards each of them won on the night.
While Stonebwoy was adjudged Best Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year and won Best Collaboration Song of the Year (Kpo Keke), his rival Shatta Wale won the Best Highlife Song of the Year (My Level) and Best Reggae/Dancehall Song of the Year with Gringo.
This was a decision taken by the board of the awards scheme on Wednesday at a news conference in Accra to announce sanctions against the two artistes whose scuffle marred the beauty of the show.
Also, the two artistes have been banned indefinitely from participating in all aspects of the country’s foremost music award scheme.
They are thus not eligible for VGMAs nominations, selections and performances going forward.
According to the VGMA board, the decision was taken after “careful deliberations” and “extensive consultation” with stakeholders in the music industry.
Meanwhile, the two topmost categories of the 20th VGMAs, which the two artistes were the key contenders and were deferred last Saturday to diffuse the tension among fans of Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale, have been annulled.
“The two top honours of the night, i.e. Most Popular Song of the Year and Artiste of the Year, have for the 20th Edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards been annulled,” a member of the VGMA board, Nat Brew announced.
Consequently, the late Ebony Reigns, who won the Artiste of the Year in 2018 posthumously, will hold the prestigious title for another year,the board added.
The claim by Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy for dancehall supremacy in the country has festered on for years creating enmity between the two artistes and their followers.
The rivalry between the two artistes hit the roof in the wee hours of Sunday after Shatta Wale and his multitude of fans attempted to mount the stage uninvited to join Stonebwoy who was receiving the 2019 Reggae and Dancehall Artiste of the Year award.
Stonebwoy who felt threatened by the manner his bitter rival approached the stage pulled out a handgun handed him on stage by one of his entourage, a scene that sparked a scuffle between the two artistes and their followers.
The awards event was temporarily halted.
Both Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale were invited by the police for questioning on Sunday and have since been charged and put before court.
A magistrate in Accra on Wednesday set their bail condition at a total of 100,000 cedis after prosecutors brought charges against them over their near-bloody scuffle at Saturday’s awards night.
Their lawyers had argued for a self-recognisance bail on grounds that the two accused persons were known figures in the music industry and would avail themselves for the trial.
Though prosecutors did not oppose the request for bail, they asked the court to let the two artistes to sign a bond to be of good behaviour.
But the magistrate, Isaac Addo, rejected the request of self-recognisance bail, and set their bail condition at 50,000 cedis each with one surety.
Both stars are charged with issuing threats and using abusive words with the intent to disturb public peace, with Stonebwoy facing count of displaying weapon in public place without permission. The gun is an Australian gun INFK 158 with butt number AA792002017.
They have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The magistrate asked the accused persons to be of good behaviour in the course of the trial and warned them against any acts that could impede the case.
They are expected in court again on June 20.