The 20th edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) was nearly marred by Stonebwoy and rival dancehall (or should I say Highlife) Artiste (insert tongue-out emoji), Shatta Wale. This has been widely condemned, and rightly so.

The event had been built to be a spectacle. The pre-event hype was on point; a new dome had been erected just days before the event, and for the first time in a couple of years, Shatta Wale was back on the bill after ‘smoking a pipe’ with Charter House – Organizers of the show. We were all obviously excited and naturally, tension within the two dancehall camps were very high. Since 2012 when I quit working at Charter House for school, I have not been to the GMAs. Before you think it’s because I had to buy my own tickets which usually doesn’t come cheap, remember that that I still have good friends there who wouldn’t mind sneaking one or two complimentary tickets for me if I requested.
The massive hype around this year’s event however got me interested and it wasn’t difficult landing a ticket to the show though I eventually handed it to a random lady at the gate. I rather headed straight to the “Red Lounge” specially created for high valued customers of Vodafone. There was a cocktail stand serving free drinks of choice; music; finger foods and screens beaming live scenes from the auditorium, which was about hundred meters away. Tell me if you wouldn’t have chosen such treat over sitting in the auditorium.

We would occasionally turn our attention from the drinks to catch a glimpse of what was on the screen but largely, we couldn’t be bothered. The audience uproar when Shatta Wale entered the hall couldn’t be missed, and all seemed to move on smoothly afterwards till that moment; That moment when Abeiku Santana mentioned that for the fifth (5th) successive time, Stonebwoy was the Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the year. The tension prior to this announcement was tangible.

My name is Pasino Man

Obviously unhappy with the announcement, Shatta Wale approached the stage, followed by an army of SM “Militants”, ostensibly to congratulate the Stonebwoy for the feat, or as Bulldog will have us believe on ‘Citi TV’ on Monday night, “to go greet the Minister of Tourism” (insert Rolling eyes emoji). Whichever of these two ‘noble’ reasons motivated Shatta Wale to surge with his convoy towards the stage, an obviously frightened and emotionally weak Stonebwoy reached for a gun (which he later claims was a toy gun) from one of his aids. The rest of what happened is public knowledge and I won’t bore you with that.

But wait, what was Stonebwoy’s biggest fear when he saw the group of SM boys surging towards the stage with their boss?

He feared that they will stab him like he claims was done to the wife during his BHIM concert in his own backyard, Ashaiman? – and they will do this while he’s on stage, on live TV across the continent, , before thousands of live audience and with armed security personnel all around the stage? Did he possibly fear that Shatta Wale was coming to snatch his award? Assuming this incident degenerated into a real gun fight, was Stonebwoy ready to stand ‘pa-tu-pa’ with whoever will be shooting from the other side? If it was to put some fear in the surging fans, why didn’t he raise the gun aloft so that the group could clearly see that Commander has a gun, or even fire a warning shot to disperse them? What was the briefing when they loaded the gun from home and agreed that it will be given to Stonebwoy incase anything went amiss.
I have seen several arguments online blaming Shatta Wale’s seeming attempt to climb the stage (Bulldog disputes this narrative though) as the root cause of melee. They ask what business he had doing on the stage? – Funny. What business did Stonebwoys Manager and the other guys with him have doing on the stage as well. Were they all accredited by Organizers to be on stage just because they are friends of the winner? If they could be there, why can’t a fellow artiste climb same stage too? Who determined who was right to mount the stage and who wasn’t? – Obviously not Stonebwoy and his team.

Let’s flip the script for a minute and imagine if Stonebwoy had tried a similar stunt of walking up stage and Shatta Wale was rather the one who pulled the gun. Would we be making same excuses of provocation for Shatta Wale too? Or like some have said, Stonebwoy wouldn’t do any such thing. Well that’s mere assumption because clearly, till Stonebwoy cowardly pulled a gun for a fear which existed only in his head, we all somehow believed he couldn’t even kill a mosquito sucking his blood.

Will the known neighborhood rapist or paedophile be justified just because once more, Adjovi chose to wear skimpy revealing clothing at night? To wit, so because Shatta Wale has issued verbal threats and taunted Stonebwoy on social media, Stonebwoy was right to pull a gun and claim Shatta’s presence was enough provocation?
Wale had a right to enter any part of the hall he wanted to, so far as his tag for the event granted him “All Access” in the auditorium. He didn’t physically or verbally attack anyone, and so far, no one has proved that he personally directed the fans to be violent once they got on the stage. In fact, from the video footages that are on social media, the first blow or push back which started the brawl came from a member of Stonebwoy’s camp. Who then are the aggressors here?
As Kwame Sefa-Kayi eloquently said on radio on Monday, if the gun is licensed, same should be revoked immediately and the gun seized because clearly the BHIM nation boss lacks the emotional intelligence to handle a weapon as delicate as a gun. If he badly needs a weapon to feel personally secure, he can start with a catapult or cane because a gun in a wrong hand is just a fatal disaster waiting to happen. – And someone please tell Stonebwoy to stop that childish attempt at always playing victim cos it makes me sick. It was same victim posture he sold to us when he was reported to have fired a gunshot in March 2018, in an incident involving him and Bulldog at Champs sports bar in Accra. Not this time, Aaaabwoy – we won’t be fooled a second time. Why are you always the victim whenever You pull out a gun –Why always you?

Charter House should just ban Stonebwoy for three years from the awards, strip him of the award he won on the night and deny him the Artiste of the year award he was set to win… and while at it free Shatta Wale from cells cos he was only taking a walk in the auditorium. He did no wrong.