It is a well-known fact that since the inception of the Ghana Music Awards 17 years ago, no gospel artiste has owned the bragging rights to the coveted Artiste of the Year award.
And this year, as the event comes off at the Accra International Conference Centre on Saturday, many pundits have already written off gospel artiste SP Sarpong, who is in contention with some popular artistes such as Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, EL, Bisa Kdei and VVIP for the ultimate on the night.
But in an interview with gospel diva Ohema Mercy on Tuesday, the Wobe Ye Kese hitmaker, who has in the past lost out the same award to Kwaw Kese and Sarkodie in 2008 and 2010 respectively, said she is confident a “brother” will carry the day.
“I think the gospel fraternity must make history this year. that is why many of my colleagues and I are rallying behind SP Sarpong. We have all the qualities and have also worked very hard within the various years some gospel artistes got nominated, but unfortunately, the dream is yet to become a reality after 16 years,” she stated.
The “curse” of the gospel artistes’ inability to clinch the Artiste of the Year award started in 2001 when Cindy Thompson lost it out to Kojo Antwi with her hit song Ewurade Kasa which made waves in the previous year after it was adopted by the then opposition NPP as one of its campaign songs.
It was another unfortunate story in 2004 when after winning the admiration of the public with one of their all time favourite Bebree song, Daughters of Glorious Jesus lost it out to the then energetic VIP trio.
2011 was undoubtedly the year many had tipped Cecilia Marfo to majestically walk home with the Artiste of the Year plaque when her Afunumuba song got all the attention in the year under review, but the success of the song wasn’t enough to make the history that many in the gospel fraternity had yearned for over a decade. VIP once again went home with the ultimate award.
But, despite all the disappointments in the previous years, Ohemaa Mercy said she is confident that SP Sarpong would pull surprises at this year’s event.
“It isn’t just Ghana that gospel artistes fail to pick the ultimate award when they are nominated alongside secular artistes. All over the world, commercial award, of which the Ghana Music Awards is one, hasn’t been a platform to honour gospel artistes with the biggest award.
“But as gospel artistes, I don’t think that should really be a bother if you don’t win. This is because, the many testimonies and feedback from the songs you produce are enough inspiration for you and evidence that you are already on the winning path,” the Firi Mu artiste said.
Currently, Ohemaa Mercy is preparing for a four regional peace tour to sensitise people to the need to eschew violence at the upcoming elections in November with a concert.
Apart from that, the award winning artiste who was honoured by the Students Representative Council of the University of Cape Coast last Saturday, told Showbiz that she plans organising a second edition of the Tehilla Experience on August 7, this year.