Looking For The Girl Group: A Throwback To VGMA ’17

As VVIP collected their award for best group of the year for the third time in a row, it occured to me, there were no girl group in that category.

The VGMA ceremony over the years has recognised music groups and it is curious to learn that over the last 11 years, no girl group has made it to the nomination list let alone win it.

The award was presented by vintage gospel duo the Tagoe Sisters which gives more reason to wonder. After these steller groups, there has not in recent times risen any other girl group to strongly contest with the guys.

Talk of female music groups, the gospel arena seems to do better than the secular folks. Daughters of Glorious Jesus have blazed the trail for years and they are still going. Tagoe Sisters have been outstanding in their own right. Jane and Bernice, Suzzy and Matt, would be names we would long remember. Tongues of Fire and Hallelujah Voices and quite recently Adehyemaa, though it’s sad to say that the latter’s appearance on the gospel music scene has been like a movie cameo, are some female gospel groups that caught our attention.

The promising duo of Efya and Irene disbanded and took solo roles. Triple M, who holds the record of being the first female hiplife group disappeared from the face of the earth leaving only a remnant of their wannabe musician individual selves which have also long disappeared into thin air. Dela Hayes and Women of Colour Band is another female music group who had sought to become the feminine version of Osibisa but not much is heard of them.

A case could even be made for the fact that the two strong female groups actually are made up of family members. Daughters of Glorious Jesus is made up of two sisters and their friend. Tagoe Sisters are actually twins. Which leaves me thinking, is it difficult for girls to get together unless they are family??

But while we delibrate on the matter as prevails in the local scenes, this issue seems to be a global phenomenon. I mean, look at all the music groups that have survived and a lot of these are male groups. Evidently, international male music groups outnumber female ones both in success and longevity.

Songs by Westlife, Boys II Men, Take Five, Backstreet Boys, UB40, Black Eyed Peas are easily recognisable, and you can say besides the quality of music, it’s also due to the fact that these groups stuck around for longer. Songs by TLC and Spice Girls would be hard for a young person to identify.

There are and have been more male music groups that I can count than females’, and yet the population of women is greater than that of men.

I know this is just a small observation that pertains to the music industry, but what are such observations worth if they do not allow for a broader consideration of things? And so I ask the questions: is it still a man’s world where his musculinity suppresses the woman thus? Or is it the effect of a long time ago law which did not allow women to do certain things like voting and publishing considered then as only a man’s right and has since left women needing to catch up? Or is it simply that girls can’t get together for longer?

I would love to see a vibrant female music group rise up again and give the gentlemen a ran for the money. But even noticing that our female music artistes hardly do collaborations and feature themselves leaves my hope dangling by a spider’s thread.

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Kwaku Feni Adow

Kwaku Feni Adow is a writer, poet and student from Ghana. He is a member of Africa Haiku Network, Ghana Haiku Society and UHTS (United Haiku and Tanka Society, America). He writes Haiku from his home country and has received publications in haiku journals the likes of The Mamba, Brass Bell, Under the Basho, Frameless Sky, Cattails, Failed Haiku, including Honourable Mentions in online haiku contests. He is the winner of Babishaiku 2016, Africa’s first haiku contest organised by Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation, Uganda.

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