Hiplife artiste Kwaw Kese has revealed he sold some of his VGMA Awards at the weekend and still has other on the market in protest at the declining value of perhaps the biggest night in the music industry.
The controversial musician said he carried through his protest in the most unthinkable manner, trading some of the awards he won at past Ghana Music Awards, and still reserving the 2008 Artiste of the Year prize that cemented his greatness, to the highest bidder.
At the 18th VGMA last Saturday night, the artiste known in music circles as ‘Abodam’ took his eccentricity to another level as he made another ‘grand’ entry into the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) pushing a wheelbarrow packed with his collection of trophies labelled, “Awards For Sale”. But that was not his usual attention-grabbing gimmicks. He actually meant business and got buyers for his ‘wares’ albeit as a shot of disapproval.
Kwaw Kese confirmed to the Showbiz on Tuesday that he indeed cashed in on the valuable plaques to show his disapproval as an uncharacteristic form of protest over how flawed the Ghana Music Awards have become.
“I managed to sell some of the awards on Saturday and although I did not have a fixed price, I sold them depending on the condition in which the awards were.
“The plaques that were in good condition went for a higher price while those that were cracked or chipped sold for much lower,” he said.
He told Showbiz that he still had his Artiste of the Year award but was yet to find a willing buyer because the price of GH¢250,000 was too high for many interested buyers. The other awards, he said, were sold at an average of GH¢2,500.
Explaining his decision to auction his awards, Kwaw Kese explained that his action was against the awards scheme which he claimed had become flawed and reward undeserving musicians.
“There is a huge question mark against the awards because it appears the ultimate award goes to whoever publicly criticises the scheme. Some years ago, Shatta Wale publicly criticised the scheme and he received awards the next year.
“The gospel fraternity threatened to boycott this year’s awards and suddenly we have a gospel artiste winning the ultimate award,” he said.
“Many people are not happy with the way Charterhouse is conducting the awards lately and we have to come out and speak against it. Ghanaians are still in shock over the winner this year and this is not right.”
Kwaw Kese also mentioned that comments early in the year by George Quaye, an official of the organising committee, that musicians offered bribes to the organisers of the event, was also not properly investigated by Charterhouse and brought the entire awards scheme into disrepute.
“We did not see any investigations after the comments about bribery. All we were told was that George Quaye was no longer the PRO for the awards scheme. The entire award is questionable and we have to set things straight,” he said.
The Abodam man told Showbiz that he used some of the proceeds from the sale of his plaques last Saturday to purchase studio time to record a new single, Overspeed.
“I also used the rest [of the proceeds] to shoot a music video for another single, FDN, which is addressed at the VGMA board, Charterhouse and everyone involved in the VGMAs,” he revealed.
He said since the awards were given out by event organising firm Charterhouse, it was only fitting that he used the proceeds from the sale to record a song which “disses” them over their recent conduct.
“The organisers of the VGMA must come clean and address these issues since this is the most prestigious awards scheme we have in the country currently,” he charged.
He also explained to Showbiz the concept behind his new reality show, Kwaw Kese For Real, which documents his real-life experience and brings clips straight from his life, home, and work.
The reality show premiered online on Friday, April 7, at 7pm on Kings Crown Media official YouTube channel.