BY ‘SEGUN ODEJIMI
Where do I start from? I probably would have written a small speech about how grateful I am to have survived last night’s shambles of an award ceremony, but I’m still scarred by over one hour of utterly unnecessary speeches and remarks that the organizers of Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) – what was supposed to be the most prestigious awards ceremony in Africa – put us through.
- One hour after the main event started, no award had been given out. Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, Shaibu Husseini, Tonye Briggs-Oniyide all took turns in warning everyone that it was going to be a long night with their speeches that dragged on and on. Briggs-Oniyide, the Rivers State Commissioner of Culture and Tourism kept stumbling over her speech making one wonder if it was written in Aramaic and she was translating it into English as she read it.
- When the first award was handed to Meet the Parents as the Best Short Film, I foolishly thought the dark times were over. But, this is AMAA. What was I thinking? For those who were not at Obi Wali International Conference Centre, NTA, “Africa’s largest TV network” transmitted. If like me, you couldn’t stand the sight of NTA, there was a dedicated YouTube stream. This stream didn’t come alive until much later in the show and when it did, there was no audio. Picture quality was awful. Well, this is Nigeria… Maybe it is a bad thing to ask too much of a continental award strolling into its 12th year.
- Whoever was in charge of this should be job-hunting by the end of today. Well, in a sane society, at least.
Really? How Shaibu Husseini became Shuibu Amodu is a mystery only those in charge of AMAA can explain. This was not the only unpardonable gaffe. You can see more here.
- Lights out folks!
Who in their right senses runs a major awards show on PHCN power? Or what serious-minded organiser does not have a backup power plan for when a generator messes up? Only AMAA, my friends. As unbelievable as it sounds, power was out at the event venue for close to one hour. At a point, guests began to leave. They were too embarrassed to stay. Even NTA had to discontinue its live broadcast. You know it is THAT bad when NTA feels embarrassed by you. SMH!
- Mike Ezuruonye should apologize to AMAA. Or maybe it should be the other way round sef. They should probably be the ones to apologize for asking him to do what he can never be comfortable doing in a thousand years – hosting an awards ceremony. But wait, even if dem ask you to come and embarrass yourself, why not politely offer your “No thanks!”? Watching paint dry would have carried more excitement than whenever he spoke into the microphone last night.
- The Nyesom Wike Campaign Show. We know it was the government of Rivers state that “bankrolled” this edition of the awards, but was dedicating a quarter of an hour to telling Africa (and the world) about the roads and houses he had patched up really unavoidable? Nollywood! Why won’t the world continue to think that we are government stooges? Puppets in the hands of he who is in power?No wonder some people still defend the government setting up a motion pictures practitioners council with straight faces. Lai Mohammed‘s countenance last night spoke volumes. But I’m sure you all are busy rolled up under his kaftan to see it. Oshisko!
- AMAA Twitter and Facebook pages. Let me not get started on these again this year. They are annual embarrassments.
In all, AMAA has outdone itself this year. It has given the world a perfect example of how NOT TO put up an award show, and while you may want to commend the effort, at least, twelve years of doing this does not give any room for defence.
Shamble na shamble, no point sugar-coating it.
Our distinguished guests from across Africa, you see, we’re not this bad. Our AMVCA is cool, even if it is a popularity contest.