If you watched any TV at all, you’d have seen or heard something about The Headies. And if you, like me, checks out Hip TV (dstv 324) now and again, I imagine you must’ve have had an overdose of The Headies. Everywhere you turned, it seemed someone was talking about The Headies. Through it all, I’d been looking forward to watching the awards on TV because there’s something to be gained by being the fly on the wall.
So expectant was I that I put my tiredness aside (I had travelled from Abia State to Abuja on Sunday December 14) when d-day for The Headies arrived. The show proper was to begin at 9pm. So it was that by 9 pm, when my TV auto-tuned to Hip TV, I was ready to go.
Except that it wasn’t the show I’d been waiting for. This was something close to the Red Carpet I’d thought I’d successfully avoided. Without any warning two female and one male presenters were thrust on me. Meanwhile a fourth presenter, Julius Agwu was in charge of the Celebrity corner.
I could’ve enjoyed this bit of the broadcast but it was difficult. First, there was the sound issue: too loud for some presenters and too low for others. And there was a general lack of coordination between the camera guys and the presenters. Or that there wasn’t effective direction from whoever was supposed to be in control of that section. The transition from Presenter A to B to C to D was anything but tidy. Let’s not try seamless. I am not talking E! Channel standards here. Just a simple matter of Presenter A knowing camera is moving from her to Presenter B and Presenter B not being caught unawares. Presenter C at this time is all frantic while Presenter D could be dancing shoki.
It would’ve also helped to have captions with which to identify presenters and guests. Not everyone who was being ‘dragged’ to the mic was necessarily well-known. There is nothing wrong with talking to an interesting looking guest even if she/he isn’t very popular. A polite: ‘Please what’s your name’ or the Nigerianese equivalent: ‘May we meet you’ would’ve sufficed.
I could go on. Unfortunately, around 11.40 pm when my 17 year-old daughter Odiche came to rouse me back to the living room to watch the real ‘live’ Headies, weariness had finally overtaken me. Nature had taken its course and I didn’t wake up till the next morning.
THE HEADIES’ HIGHLIGHTS
- Frenetic Laura
Laura was the only presenter whose name I caught but I did recognise her voice as one of the voices behind the Hip TV News. With flailing hands, she kept on as if there a huge fly she was trying to swat. There was just too much movement, too much busy-ness. Why was she (and her female colleague especially) screaming?
- The Headies Ad-When selling was no longer necessary.
The Headies Ad, the one which tells you about the upcoming event and where to buy tickets was still running as at 11.15 pm. Could it have been that hard to factor out the ad on the day of the event itself?
- “We are going live as we have been for the past 4 hours”.
This is proper foot-in-the-mouth. I believe statements like this happen because no one has decided what’s going to be said. Was there a script? And if yes, was it being followed? How can you be going live if you have been live for the past four hours?
- ‘Describe your outfit with a song’.
Would an Okpameri song suffice? First of, many people didn’t understand the direction this question ‘was coming from’ or ‘ where it was going to’ for that matter. Sorry, not all of us are lucky to be that witty and smart. Asking people, some not so sober, to describe their outfits with a song? Why couldn’t they have described their outfits with a poem or a line from Shakespeare? One musician thought it best to repeat the lyrics to one of his old songs. Really?
- Julius Agwu’s ebola victims gaffe
In the past, I’ve described comedian Julius Agwu as not being politically correct. It is not a crime to be politically incorrect. Even in our ‘eye-service’ centered society. But there still is a difference between being irreverent and being downright insensitive.
Julius was chatting with lovely couple Dakore Akande (ex-Egbuson) and her husband Olumide. Husband and wife were good sport and made interesting guests. Then Julius asks about their colour-coordinated black ensemble. Something about if they were wearing black for the ebola victims? It wasn’t asked with any sense that real people had died or that any of their grieving family members could be listening. It was supposed to be a joke to be laughed out loud at.
The fact that people have died and are still dying should make us more conscious of what we say. There are thousands if not millions of jokes that can be made out of ebola. Opa Williams made a brilliantly hilarious (or hilariously brilliant) movie about HIV featuring Bovi many years ago. One way of coping is surely the ability to laugh about a scary disease like ebola. Just don’t joke about the ebola victims.
- One last note…
I have no doubt that The Headies were interesting to those ‘on ground’. I don’t also doubt the quality of most of the awards given. It’s just that if you are going to put a show on TV, either live or recorded, you have to take the viewer into consideration. And even more is expected from an award that’s being organised by people who run a TV channel.