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Critical analysis and detailed blow-to-blow account of Shatta Wale/ Stonebwoy VGMA uproar

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Live updates on the ongoing VGMA press conference
Critical analysis and detailed blow-to-blow account of Shatta Wale/ Stonebwoy VGMA uproar. Photo Credit: Ghana Music

Two of Ghana’s biggest Reggae/Dancehall brands, Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy, single handedly halted the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards over a minor misunderstanding.

As already witnessed by millions of viewers globally, the brawl unravelled after Stonebwoy had been declared the Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year, a crown that Shatta Wale so desperately desired to wear.

The event was evenly patronized by the fanbase of both artistes, that is, Stonebwoy’s BHIM Nation and Shatta Wale’s Shatta Movement Empire, who were evidently rooting for their individual artistes throughout the event.

Shatta Wale walked into the dome of the Accra International Conference Center several hours into the event with an arousing welcome by cherished fans to the point of disrupting an ongoing dance performance on stage.

He had been announced as the winner of two other award categories, the Highlife Song of the Year and the Reggae/Dancehall Song of the Year but wasn’t present in the dome to personally receive the awards.

However, by the time the announcement for the much coveted awards category- Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year was done, Shatta had already taken seat in anticipation of a probable win but Stonebwoy’s name was mentioned instead.

As the BHIM Nation president stood up to mount stage to receive the award, some pundits say that the signalling of all his five fingers to the cameras was an attempt to indirectly troll his rival, Shatta Wale, for consistently winning for 5 solid times in that category although Shatta claimed to be the Dancehall King in Ghana.

It was at this juncture of receiving the award from media personality, Abeiku Santana, that his smiles were quickly turned to frowns and anxiety by the aggressive approaching of an uninvited Shatta Wale and some of his Shatta Movement Empire fans unto the stage with an alleged mindset of congratulating him.

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But why would you forcefully push away and heckle others in attempt to congratulate your rival?

This was followed by an overpowered resistance by few of the BHIM Nation fans on stage up until reinforcement from BHIM Nation Fans in the audience came, amounting to a brawl on stage live on national television.

By this time, Shatta had secluded himself to the extreme right section of the stage, the brawl at the centre of the stage and Stonebwoy at the extreme left corner of the stage under protection by a few police security personnel.

Out of aggravation and in the spur-of-the-moment, Stonebwoy evaded the security guarding him only to be given a gun by his security personnel in an attempt to display fearlessness, self-defense and prove that he wasn’t weak before an imposing Shatta and his SM Empire.

This very move has widely been described as uncalled for, since Stonebwoy was already being guarded by security personnel and the brawl was being handled by military men at post in the AICC Dome.

Eventually, Shatta and his entourage stormed out of the venue amidst shameful hoots by the audience which intermittently angered him to react by attempting to hurl a chair at some people in the audience and attempting to confront some of the hooters, all of which was restricted by his entourage who prevented him from causing any further riots.

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Stonebwoy was caged by some fans and security personnel on stage and deterred from his ferocious attempts at facing a head on confrontation with Shatta Wale as he struggled to break free from the ring of protection they had formed around him

He later on hid the gun in the belt area of his suit and returned unto the podium to apologize to Ghanaians with an underlying tone of unregretfulness.

This entire scenario delayed the event for close to an hour till calm and composure was restored and the event continued unhindered with a performance from Samini.

This led to two other categories not being announced which includes the overall Artiste of the Year category which had both parties also nominated.

Organizers announced that this entire unforseen circumstance and the unannounced categories would all be addressed in a press conference in the coming week.

Sources say the two artistes were held at the headquarters of the Accra Regional Police Command on Sunday for interrogation.

Although some have said the ‘My Level’ hitmaker climbed up the stage with his fans to congratulate Stonebwoy for the award, others say they were there to heckle Stonebwoy

Before his arrest, Shatta Wale had posted on his Twitter handle that the fight on stage was a disgrace to Ghana’s music industry:

Meanwhile, police have arrested one person suspected to have used pepper spray, during the brawl.

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Director of Operations at the Command, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Kwasi Ofori, said the pepper spray could have demobilised everybody in the hall, including the police hence his arrest.

“That one is a very dangerous thing. In such occurrences we are professionals and need to avoid stamped or using force”, he said.

In an interview with the father of Shatta Wale, he expressed his disgust at the inclusion of his son in the matter at the police headquarters which led to his son spending the night in police custody.

He said, “Shatta didn’t pull out any gun, it was Stone. They pulled a fast one on us. My lawyers and I would certainly take the matter up”.

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