Ghanaian Reggae Musician Criticizes Pay-To-Vote Award Schemes

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Ghanaian reggae musician and radio host Blakk Rasta has voiced his concerns about the current state of award systems that require cash payments to cast votes.

Speaking on Daybreak Hitz with Andy Dosty, Blakk Rasta argued that such practices diminish the significance of the awards.

Blakk Rasta believes that the financial gains from awards should not come from the nominees or voters. Instead, he suggested that nominees should cover the expense of the awards themselves.

“Paying to vote is rubbing the shine off the award. Someone might say that’s how the organizers make money, but is it merited? When organizers nominate individuals for the awards, they should be asked to pay for the award rather than asking for votes via shortcodes,” he said on Hitz FM.

Highlighting his preference for the Grammy Awards, Blakk Rasta stated, “I don’t want awards, yet, I go for Grammys. I would want an award people don’t pay for, unlike the TGMA where they do. People don’t pay for the Grammy. It is a peer award.”

Blakk Rasta emphasized that pay-to-vote systems essentially allow people to buy awards. “If people pay to vote via shortcodes, I think they are buying them,” he stated.

He also referenced a 2019 incident involving musician Stonebwoy, who was asked to return an award after displaying a gun on stage. “Stonebwoy said something similar during his beef with Shatta Wale and he was told to return the plaque. He insisted the amount of 50,000 GHS raised the previous night to win the votes be reimbursed before he could do so,” Blakk Rasta recalled.

Blakk Rasta called for changes to the current award systems to make them more equitable and accessible. “We have to confirm this, we want a better award not what people would have to pay and vote. I don’t have that money, and so are my fans in the ‘ghetto’. What happens to them is that they get rubbed off these things. We love some of these things, but some of the things should be amended,” he concluded.