Ghana’s Central Music Awards 2018: Retrospection

January 2, 2019 Music , MUSIC/FILM/TV



Nana Arhin Tsiwah



Music— the soul’s heartbeat, a fluid collection of sentimental harmonies punctuating the ears and filling the pores on the tongue. One would have their own meanings drawn out of every musical piece they listen to. While some adapt to its stream for purely pleasure or entertainment, others sit on the bench and siphon incredible philosophies from a recorded masterpiece. Whatever the reason, the effect of music on the lives of humanity and to a further extent other animate beings can never be undervalued.


On the front of the economic impact, the reality is for us all to dig for ourselves. It’s irrefutable to downplay the monetary gains and contributions to both industrial players and governmental set up within this space.


The Central Region with its capital Cape Coast is one of the most elite regions in Ghana. This region particularly its capital city, Cape Coast, is notable for its historical, educational and arts revolution, of which music in this case can’t be overlooked. The development of music in Ghana can’t be written without solid references to Cape Coast. The region has become one of the fastest developing music hubs over the last half decade with emerging big shots taking the Ghanaian musical landscape by storm.


The Central Music Awards (CMA), which is in its 7th edition evolved, out of its erstwhile names: Obama City Music Awards then to Cape Coast Music Awards. Being a brainchild of Candymann Lucas Mensah, this event meant to award musical acts from Cape Coast at the end of the year has expanded beyond its initial threshold to include all musicians and industrial players from the Region in order to make it more holistic and regional based.


This year’s edition was primarily powered by Heritage Promotions and took place at the Centre for National Culture (CNC) on the 26th of December, 2018. The show which was officially meant to commence at 9pm had its green carpet tipped by 7. Although the auditorium got filled to its capacity, the actual show down started in the lean hours of 11:12pm and anchored by the indefatigable Master of Ceremony (MC) Raza Swaggy of ATL FM.





The night had its highest blissfield in the area of performances though one would interject that the awards should score at the top of the benchmark. But obviously, many of the audiences pegged their lot with the performances. It is within this lens that many validations can be forecast and future projections sown.


The biggest performance of the night was that of TeePhlow. He brought to bear his mastery and demonstrated an epic skilled performance lobbied on maturity which sent the audience into a frenzied atmosphere. What more could one bargain for that TeePhlow couldn’t have fed them? From opening his act with his monstrous rap freestyle then lighting up the ambiance of the auditorium with tracks from his Phlowducation EP, this was nothing but an intriguing moment.


Other worthy acts who took the stage by storm and made the night worth remembering include: Soft Metal, Real MC, Kwamima MP, and Queen Haizel among others.





As expected of every awards event or programme, this was no exception. From the ultimate award of the night, the Artiste of the Year, through to the spotlight New Artiste of the Year; everyone present anticipated big wins for their Artistes.


Some Awardees of the Night:


—Real MC: Artiste of the Year

—TeePhlow (Preach): Rapper of the Year

—Chikel Baibe: New Artiste of the Year

—Harbour City Records: Event Management of the Year

— Best Blogging Site of the Year

—Snow Beat: Producer of the Year

—Ofasco Ne Beatz: Sound Engineer of the Year

—Joe Willie: Best Group of the Year

—Queen Haizel: Best Female Vocalist

—Twicy: Male Vocalist

—Mikey Benzy (Slow Down): Best Music Video for the Year

—Isaac Crentsil (Pentecost): Gospel Song of the Year

—Adeline Baidoo: Gospel Artiste of the Year

—Size Zero (Anthem): Best Hip Hop Song of the Year

—Jay Baba: Best International Act

—Eddie Khae (Do the Dance): Most Popular Ghanaian Song of the Year

—Kwamima MP (Wiase Ye De): Song of the Year

—Real MC (Yen Da): Hip Life Song

—Gully Grunk (Jah Know): Dancehall Song of the Year

—Sticker Songs (Duabo): High Life Song of the Year

—eShun (Fa Me Kor): Reggae Song of the Year

—DJ Nat Bubu: Best Promoter (Best DJ)

—Kweku Saki: Best Radio Presenter



Prominent great minds who have contributed to realising the fate of this award scheme were honoured on the night. Candymann Lucas Mensah and Mr. Candy GH among others were awarded citations on the night.


The unforgettable surprise of the night was with I.K Aning and Okotor Perry not winning any award at the event despite their heroic traverse in the musical landscape throughout the year. But whatever could have contributed to this can be estimated from the reason that the public votes were enormous in terms of the final aggregation of winners.


It must be noted, however, that among all the 24 categories or so slated for the night, only two came with cash prizes. That is, the Artiste of the Year (GH¢1000) and the New Artiste of the Year (GH¢500).



The Highs


This year’s event if anything to go by as in the truce of encomium is the most well rounded organized awards ceremony of its pedigree since its inception.


The incorporation of dexterous and highly laced metaphoric Poetry Performance by MC HAYMAKER (of the THM Poetry/Village Thinkers) coupled with the incredible Cultural display to set the show on edge shall remain etched as far as records remain atop.


The stage lights were beautifully tweaked to harmonize the show. The sound was of good score. Though there were times the DJ of the night was faced with difficulty trying to pick the right song for an artiste on stage.


The MC for the night, Raza Swaggy, handled his bait well so as the toastmaster who kept charging the audience from time to time. On the low, the female Co-MC was too monotonous for an event of this calibre.



The Lows


The most unfortunate moment of the night was with the time the programme started. The reality of timeliness whipped the orgaziners. Since it’s an event for people from every nook and cranny of the region, most of the audience had to leave the auditorium when they realized that time was fast gone.


How do we expect an award show to end around 4:15am in a city which almost seem deserted after 12am, especially at that point in time when all feet of educational institutions are on recess?





1 – It would be in the best interest of the organizers, Heritage Promotions and other stakeholders to reconsider the time within which the event is organized.


2 – Presenters of the awards need to be cautioned to be circumspect of the unnecessary time wastage and the undue antics used when given the opportunity to present Awards.


3 – Slots with specified time should be given to performers before the main night of the event and backstage prompters be up and doing.


4 – Performers should be scaled down, probably auditioning new acts who want to be given the opportunity to perform.


5 – Individuals given the chance to make speeches or addresses should be monitored to make it succinct and straight to the point.





This was a well-organized show. Aside a few shoestrings, Heritage Promotions need to sit and review the show in its entirety, make changes where possible and factor in other minds where necessary.


The dream to put Central Music onto the global stage shall be realized with continued efforts and pragmatic steps as taken by Heritage Promotions.


All hands must be on deck!






Nana Arhin Tsiwah

The writer, Abeiku Arhin Tsiwah is a Ghanaian International Award Winning Poet, Critic, Africanist, Author and Village Thinker who writes from his fatherland, Cape Coast.

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