How the Shatta-Stonebwoy brawl erupted at the 2019 VGMA

Stonebwoy with manager Blakk Cedi and crew

In the 20th year of running the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, organisers Charter House together with lead sponsor Vodafone Ghana had high hopes for this year’s edition which happened on May 18.

And things kicked off on a good note when the team erected a dome within a week to house patrons on the Accra International Conference Centre grounds instead of using the conference centre of the facility as has been done for years.

Respected face; Kwame Sefa Kayi was recruited as emcee aided by Berla Mundi. On the red carpet, there was Giovani Caleb supported by Osei Sika.

And things begun quite well from about 10:00pm when the new theme song ‘Our Music Lives’ got performed by Amandzeba, Adina, Akwaboah Jnr, Gifty Osei and Teephlow.

DJ Black would then set the tone with wicked throwback songs ushering in Kwame Sefa Kayi. Co-host Berla Mundi would then be introduced to patrons after a documentary on the history of the awards was screened.

Traditional Artiste of the Year’, ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’, ‘Lifetime Achievement’ and ‘Unsung Artiste of the Year’ awards all got presented.

Efya renders a gospel tune followed by Alison Hinds the ‘Soca Queen’ from Barbados who did her bit.

There is a resumption of awards presentation. Diana Hamilton scoops ‘Gospel Song of the Year’ award for her ‘Mo Ne Yo’ tune. Shatta Wale would get mentioned for his first award for his ‘My Level’ tune, he secured for the ‘Highlife Song of the Year.’ He again scoops the ‘Reggae/Dancehall Song of the Year’ for ‘Gringo’.

Kidi would take the stage to offer a few of his hits not sparing ‘Thunder’ joined by Kwesi Arthur to also perform ‘Don’t Keep Me Waiting’, a tune they share.

Kwesi Arthur would then deliver ‘Woara’ and then go hyper in delivering ‘Mensah’ with Kofi Mole whiles Quamina MP captures Arthur for himself to perform ‘Wiase Y3 D3.

The awards presentation gets back on track when Kwesi Arthur takes the ‘Hiphop Song of the Year’ for his ‘Anthem’ tune. Yaa Pono after years in the awards wilderness gets one for his ‘Obiaa Wone Master’ which featured Stonebwoy.

‘Akwaaba’ by Guilty Beatz featuring Mr. Eazi, Pappy Kojo and Patapaa land ‘Afropop Song of the Year.’

Things then return to the performance wing when Sarkodie spares no expense in delivering something memorable in executing ‘Biibi Ba’ featuring Lyrical Joe, Tulenkey, Frequency, Kofi Mole, Toy Boi, Yeyo, Amerado, 2 Fyngers, OBKAY and CJ Biggerman, some who would never mount a VGMA stage but for the smartness of Obidi in opting to perform ‘Biibi Ba’.

Obidi would then set upon his ‘Can’t Let You Go’ tune having King Promise as a wing man. Promise himself after the appetizer will set upon his own ‘CCTV’ tune backed by an orchestra.

Darling of the gospel fray, Diana Hamilton deservedly picked the ‘Gospel Artiste of the Year’ award whiles Kuami Eugene is mentioned as the ‘Highlife Artiste of the Year’.

After last year’s fiasco, rapper Medikal is finally named ‘Hiplife/Hiphop Artiste of the Year.’

Actor, Adjetey Anang surprised a good number of folks when he emerged to perform ‘Don’t Cry For Me’ by Deborah Garcia Gaitan in honour of creative persons who perished in the year.

Back to performances; Barima Sidney invoked nostalgic memories with his ‘Apuskeleke’, ‘Scent No’, ‘Obia Nye Obia’ and ‘Africa Money’ performance.

And it is here the unruly incident which threatened to mar the program happened. Already the country’s image has suffered some disaffection with some global viewers who do not know better reckoning the country was violent.

Broadcaster Abeiku Santana had been called to present the ‘Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year’ award to Stonebwoy whereupon he stood headed for the stage together with his manager; Blakk Cedi and a few others escorting him.

Things get murkier when while receiving the trophy from Abeiku Santana, when Shatta Wale in the lead with some fans and SM members made their way to the stage and despite being repelled by Blakk Cedi; stonebwoy’s manager and some police officers with one raising his gun in the air, the SM crew could not be deterred as they pressed on.  Videos of the brawl show a member from Stonebwoy’s crew passing a pouch over to him from which a pistol was drawn.

The bizarre incident on live TV and watched by global citizens for about 20 minutes showed with the gun drawn, Shatta making a retreat with his crew still on stage with Blakk Cedi also throwing blows.

It took the police throwing teargas to disperse feuding parties for the show to rally on.

And no better person to mount the stage and calm frayed nerves than the tried and tested Samini although in-form Diana Hamilton was to have mounted the stage according to an account. With the feud, Wale and his crew exited the grounds, Stonebwoy equally made an exit but returned to the dome eventually rendering an apology for drawing the gun but submitted his patience had been tested time without number by Wale adding he had also seen him make social media threats hence his apprehension.

Samini in his live performance element dished out ‘Gyai Shi’, ‘Linda’, ‘Where My Baby Dey’ amidst his on-the-spot renderings.

Given the show was for awards; the next batch of winners got announced.

MzVee and Yemi Alade took home the ‘Music Video of the Year’ award for ‘Come and See My Moda’.

Stonebwoy took the ‘Collaboration of the Year’ award for his ‘Kpoo Keke’ tune which featured Medikal, Kwesi Arthur, Darko Vibes & Kelvyn Boy.

Gifted songwriter and musician Akwaboah took home the ‘Record of the Year’ award for his ‘Hye Me Bo’ song while King Promise who had generated buzz on social media for his shoe choice earned the ‘Songwriter of the Year’ award for ‘CCTV’.

Kuami Eugene earned the ‘Producer of the Year’ award as Francis Osei became the ‘Sound Engineer of the Year’ for work on Akwaboah’s ‘Hye Me Bo’.

Back to performances, Nigeria’s Burna Boy takes the stage to dish some music from his goodies bag. He would move on to also bag the ‘African Artiste of the Year’ award.

Medikal makes it 2 wins by emerging ‘Rapper of the Year’ while ‘Akwaaba’ by Guilty Beatz ft Mr Eazi, Pappy Kojo and Patapaa was settled on as the ‘Best African collaboration.’

The Bethel Revival Choir which had own at the 3 Music Awards won big again by emerging ate ‘Best Group of the Year’.

Eugene will return for a performance rendering Meiway’sZoblazo’ before pairing with veteran Amakye Dede. Wendy Shay who some are still unsure of regarding her craft is named the ‘New Artiste of the Year’. Kuami Eugene’s ‘Rockstar’ album gets named ‘Album of the Year’.

Medikal returns and performs his ‘Ayekoo’ tune. The cost of the brawl between Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy is that ‘Artiste of the Year’ and ‘Most Popular Song’ winners which both men would have shared didn’t get announced with Kwame Sefa Kayi noting the awards would be  given at a press conference which will be organised later.

Sarkodie despite some reckoning Samini deserved it; got named the ‘Artiste of the Decade’ concluding the show in the wee hours of Sunday, May 19.

By Michael Eli Dokosi/

Stonebwoy with manager Blakk Cedi and crew