On Saturday, 6th May, 2017, several blogs reported that esteemed music producer, Mark Okraku-Mantey, has been engaged by organizers of the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards as a member of the selection team for Ghana – but that is falsity.
According to the reports, Okraku-Mantey, claimed on Saturday’s edition of Peace 104.3 FM’s ‘Entertainment Review’ that he received an e-mail from the organizers of BET Award – confirming him as one of the members to select Ghanaian music acts for nomination in this year’s award.
“Although the music producer is not new to Ghana’s music industry, it is the first time he has been engaged by organizers since the inception of the scheme. This suggests that he will be part of the personalities who will nominate artistes to be considered for the scheme.”
But in an exclusive interview with Presspeep.com, Mr. Mark Okraku-Mantey was balled over at the twisted reports.
“As for you bloggers paa! I’m not aware of this story you even talking about because I’m not a fan of this social media thing. First, I’m not part or ever have been part of any team in Ghana that selects or nominates Ghanaian musicians for BET Awards.
“On the show, we were discussing between the old and current crop of musicians – who has projected Ghana to the world through music and I made the point that it’s out of place for anyone to argue that the current generation of musicians are selling Ghana more than the older folks did.
“I then added that due to the internet and social media, it’s easier now for the musicians of this age to get their works across the globe and that BET Award organizers have even sent me an e-mail to vote this year and I believe they might have read on me via the internet.”
Asked to interpret what he meant or means from what was actually reported, he continued:
“I am not part of any selection committee or team in Ghana for BET Award. They do their selection. I’m to vote on whoever [GH musician] they nominate or have nominated – just as we have the Academy in Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA), where the Board nominates and categorizes and industry people are asked to vote; aside the Board and Public votes.”
Also, is another conspiracy theory awash on social media that since Okraku Mantey is part of VGMA Board and the latter is having issues with King of Dancehall, Shatta Wale, he will certainly vote against Shatta, should the ‘Taking Over’ hit maker’s name come up in the list of Ghanaian musicians for consideration in this year’s BET Award.
Reacting to that, the once ‘Mentor’ judge simply giggled and asked such comments be treated as one of those social media japes. Mr. Okraku-Mantey admitted that though his vote carries weight:
“I’m just one man with one vote. I don’t even know the others who will be voting and can’t influence anyone as to whom [GH musician] they should vote for or not. Laughed!” he ended.
Mark Okraku-Mantey is the Chief Executive Officer of Slip Music and currently, the President of the Creative Arts Council. He’s also been an artist manager, having worked with musicians such as: Oheneba Kissi, Lord Kenya, Adane Best, Slim Buster, Nana Tuffour, Joe Fraizer, George Jara, Okuraseni Samuel, Nana Yaw Asare, Felix Bell, Kumi Guitar, and others.
BET Awards was established in 2001 by the Black Entertainment Television network to annually celebrate African Americans and other minorities in music, acting, sports, and other fields of entertainment.