By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo
Over the weekend, I found myself at the Kempinski Gold Coast Hotel in an unplanned appearance at the Radio & Television Personalities (RTP) Awards and I left the auditorium with a big smile etched on my face – excited for the organizers, Big Events Gh. Ltd led by Prince McKay.
My excitement stemmed not only from the panache of the event that seemed well-put-together, but also from the presence of the top brass of almost all the big media houses in the capital.
After 10 years, the impression derived from happenings over the weekend was enough testament that, the awards have indisputably been heralded, celebrated and approved by stakeholders within the media fraternity.
A Well-loved Scheme
Let no naysayer delude you into thinking that the RTP Awards is not a cherished and relished awards scheme. In fact, it equals the popular Vodafone Ghana Music Awards as the most cherished awards in Ghana, in all sectors of our award system.
The indisputable fact is; radio and television personalities and their firms love the awards. They graced every edition of the scheme with much aplomb and elegance. They cheer hysterically when they win and vent loudly when they miss out. When they win, the laureates display their plaques with feelings of accomplishment, pride and fulfillment.
The awards have catapulted personalities in the media to higher grounds and media houses have utilized the awards won as leverage in their dealings.
Turbulent Years Seen
It has not been a rosy road for the awards for the past 10 years. The scheme has received the most negative press, more than any other scheme in the past years. Every negative attention that counts in events and awards have been attributed to the RTP Awards – and most are true, albeit exaggerated sometimes.
From challenges with production to issues with venue to late commencement and the usual credibility issues, the RTP Awards scheme has seen every sort of tribulation that has the potential of thwarting it, but it braced through them.
There have also been the very uncomfortable episodes of media personalities openly calling for their exclusion from the scheme with some even chiding organizers over the wrong spelling and projection of their names.
The RTP Awards is no different from any major awards scheme in the country that flounders for support. Organizers are noted for always grousing over the lack of governmental and corporate support for a scheme that is geared at rewarding personalities who are perched in media that is overly critical to the development and progression of the country.
Prince Mackay, the Chief Executive Officer for Big Events Ghana, almost broke down in tears on radio just days before the 10th anniversary event, over how difficult and frustrating it has been for him and his team to maneuver through years of attracting support for the scheme in the last 10 years.
The dearth of support has been a bane for major projects in the creative sector for the past years. It takes resources and wherewithal to put together any quality event that merits a stage where awards are dished out to personalities within the sector. It takes effort, dedication and commitment to stick to an event for 10 years that has not attracted any meaningful succour.
Only One Still Stands
The RTP Awards is not the first scheme within the media space but it is the most longstanding. There’s no private-owned scheme within the media landscape that has survived the test of time of a decade – none!
Interestingly, in the 10-year duration of the RTP Awards, there were other schemes that attempted to feature within the space and offer some competition. They huffed and puffed but after 2 editions, they were no more.
The RTP Awards is the only scheme within the media domain that is well-received, well-attended and heavily validated, making it the second most highly anticipated awards scheme within the creative industry after the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards.
10 years is no joke! Congratulations to Prince Mckay, Big Events Ghana, the Board, and the legion of supporters that have aided the scheme in diverse ways in the last 10 years.
Last weekend’s event was a grand depiction of a scheme that has survived the turbulent times and has found its mark, never to entangle itself in over-exaggerated bad press.
It was a celebration of excellence, not only for the hardworking media personalities that were nominated and picked up awards but ultimately for the organizers who stood firm, preserved and never gave up!