At about 2:00 am on Sunday, the streets of Konongo Zongo were filled with sweat, tears, and joyous victory laps.
This euphoria wasn’t caused by a World Cup win by the Black Stars, nor was it the return of electricity after a brief neighborhood blackout in Ghana back in the 2000s. But that young man whose far-reaching light shone through music—Black Sherif—was recognized in all his glory.
On the night of May 6, Konongo Zongo came to life as residents gathered in homes and public viewing centers to watch the most captivating night in the music industry: the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards 2023.
Ordinarily, this mix of young and old wouldn’t mind putting their night to other uses, but this time their interest was redirected to the award scheme; their hometown star was in the running for the most talented export the Ashanti Regional town had known in the past decade.
Earlier in the day, the coronation of King Charles III had been held in the UK, an event watched by an average of 18.8 million people across 11 channels and services, with audience figures peaking at 20.4 million when the King was crowned just after midday.
However, you need no soothsayer to tell you about the real priorities of the people in the small mining community, who, on this occasion, did their chores and finished the day’s business just in time to catch a glimpse of their ambassador in KK.
For the town folk, they needed no more justification to stay awake in anticipation of the win that might bring hope to the youth in the community.
In the lead-up to the penultimate moment, Mohammed Ismail Sharrif, as he is known outside music circles, put up a beguiling performance while picking up some awards in between sets.
Despite receiving many accolades in the buildup, the manner in which the Album of the Year eluded the ‘Villain I Never Was’ composer remains a largely unanswered question on fans’ minds.
It came down to the wire and Deputy Tourism Minister, Mark Okraku Mantey did not make it any easier, increasing the tension among contenders for the Artist of the Year category.
And it came to pass, after about five minutes of suspense, 21-year-old Blacko was crowned the winner.
Instantly, Konongo Zongo erupted into thunderous cheers, with jubilation filling the streets that midnight.
Alas, the over four hours spent watching the show had proven to be worth it. Aside from the ultimate prize, Black Sherif swept the Best Music Video Award, Most Popular Song of the Year, and Best Hip-hop Song of the Year with ‘Kwaku The Traveller’.
The inspiration that many of the teeming youth in the community sought to gain from Black Sherif’s journey had finally been cemented by the awards.
In my previous article, I asked whether the VGMAs will be the night that the youngster who was once at his ‘downest in life’ finally sits atop the hill.
We now know undoubtedly that King Blacko’s reign has just begun.