BY ‘SEGUN ODEJIMI
So, as it usually does, the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards (AMVCA) decided to give out its Industry Merit Awards to veterans who have contributed their talent and craft to the growth of the film and television industry in Africa.
In 2013 it was Olu Jacobs who was awarded. 2014 and 2015 were for Pete Edochie and the late Amaka Igwe respectively. Last night, two deserving icons were honoured. Bukky Ajayi who recently clocked 82 and Sadiq Daba.
It was quite an emotional experience as Bukky Ajayi received her award seated in a wheelchair. She jokingly remarked, “It’s an honour to see you all standing for me but I cannot stand myself. If I do, I’m going to fall.” The reception she got from the crowd moved her to tears as she declared, “You will never know how much this means to me.” It was beautiful to see what little gestures like these can mean to people who have given the industry their all. However, the irony of seeing mama Ajayi in a wheelchair is a damning reminder of our societal shortcoming. Why do we wait until most of them cannot stand before we honour them? Some are already gone before we decide they are worthy of honours. Amaka Igwe a glaring example.
While it is a good thing to encourage the young ones – Kemi Lala Akindoju got a brand new car for claiming the Trailblazer Award – why didn’t mama’s award come with an equally substantial gift? Or have I missed out something here? Is she too old to own a luxurious car? Or a well-furnished apartment? While we learn to honour these deserving heroes with merit awards, let’s also learn that they also entitled to the good stuff too. They don’t have much time left. I would have been a more happier being last night if mama had got the car instead of Kemi.
Another dark spot was the absence of the second Industry Merit awardee, Sadiq Daba. Oga Daba did not show up and the organizers did not think it was only right for them to tell us why he wasn’t present. No word. Even if he was going to be absent, couldn’t the organizers have tracked him down and have him record his message beforehand then screen it, like they did for the CEO of M-Net? Last night was supposed to be about Bukky Ajayi as much as Sadiq Daba but it didn’t for one second feel like that. Not good enough.
These are lessons we should learn, as Africans, going forward. What we think is worth doing should be done well. And two people this year is good but not enough.
By the way, Nollywood people, na true say una no even call mama Bukky Ajayi on her birthday? Na wa o. Na so so make una dey form Russian accent on top red carpet una sabi. Shior!