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#AMAA2017: After 13 Years, AMAA Still Very Good At Disappointing

Lights, sound, streaming were all not good.

I hope this is the last time I will rant about AMAA‘s poor organisation. Olowogbogboro willing.

But last night was another low I didn’t think would trump (gulp!) leaving guests stranded in South Africa or witnessing a power outage in Port Harcourt.

You would not blame me for hoping that in the year 2017, and after 12 previous editions of the event which has been to Abuja, Bayelsa, Port Harcourt and South Africa, we would be presented with a ceremony that won’t make us cringe a lot.

I hoped that the failure of the organisers to announce a date for the event on time and the shift of the venue from the previously advertised National Theatre, Iganmu to Eko Hotel and Suites were just the devil trying to spoil my mind about how this year’s event was going to turn out.

The choice of Nse Ikpe-Etim as the show’s lone host was a move I wasn’t too sure of. But, as an Arsenal fan, I tend to “judge Wenger in May.”

I was wrong! Last night was cringe-worthy on all levels of organisation. Ha! It is as if AMAA is in a lifelong competition with The Headies for the should-not-attend-or-watch awards show to be broadcast live from Nigeria.

High Host?

“Is Nse high? I think she is” is the remark a friend kept throwing at me. And in truth, her performance actually warranted that question.

Nse Ikpe Etim - AMAA 2017
Nse Ikpe Etim was AMAA 2017 host

Nse was poor and that she would be better off not hosting anything that massive again was pretty evident. Her movements were mostly uncoordinated and at many times she kept prancing around like a secondary school student listing out her debate points to a panel of judges. At other times she would just laugh. Even when nothing was funny. The sight of her suddenly turning a full 360 to reveal the placement of her lapel’s receiver on her back, very close to her neck will haunt me into the new week.

The sight of her suddenly turning a full 360 to reveal the placement of her lapel’s receiver on her back, very close to her neck will haunt me into the new week.

Whoever thought it was a great idea to place the receiver there?

There was this time that it was evident that something had gone wrong with the teleprompter she was reading from. She just couldn’t hide it.

The organisers did not help Nse very much. At several points during the event, she was just as confused at the poor organisation as almost all of us.



Gubernatorial Entrance

This pissed me off. The head of the AMAA jury, Berni Goldblat was giving his remarks. He was flanked by other members of the jury. Suddenly, Lagos State Deputy Governor walked in with about 754 people in her entourage through one of the entrances in THE FRONT of the auditorium. All attention moved to her. Goldblat had to stop midway in his talk. In what seemed like 24 hours, Alhaja Idiat Adebule strolled to her seat.

Nothing could be more annoying than this.

If AMAA took themselves seriously, Adebule should not have come over 20 minutes into the show which itself kicked off much later than it was advertised. Secondly, why did not one among the organisers think it would be a sensible thing to cordon off that entrance, since it was a ceremony streamed live to audiences across the world (it was on NTA International *stifles laughter*)?

These government people don’t care about arts or entertainment. Sauntering into the venue at that time is proof. If they cared about the industry, they wouldn’t give people money. They would enable a working environment for arts to thrive not throw millions here and there and claim they have commissioned white elephant projects.



Show Production

Lights, sound, streaming were all not good. AMAA might not have money (*stifles another laughter*) but there’s nothing wrong with doing great things with what you have. Organise good with what you have.

The lights went off when they shouldn’t, sounds kept competing with one another for attention, the entrances and exits of award presenters were jammed so much that the host didn’t know when she should walk in or out at times.

If you watched the event on any of the advertised TV channels – LTV or NTA International – please take heart. Unannounced, the show was stopped by both channels because they needed to carry on with their regular programming. You have to ask yourself why they put it on in the first place.

Meanwhile, whose idea was it to use Lisa Gerrard‘s song for the memorial in honour of departed African film practitioners? Lisa Gerrard… Africa! Doesn’t add up.

After 12 years, some of these errors become greatly inexcusable.


My Kudos

I, for one, have complained about how there is little or no official real-time social media presence by the awards organisers. That seems to have been worked on as the official AMAA Twitter account did a good job yesterday. From pre-event coverage to the awards dispensation, the account did well to keep those following informed.

The official website has also been updated with information from last night’s event.

Like Shaibu Husseini once wrote, last night’s winners were proof AMAA isn’t a popularity contest. But it should strive to be able to contest with other well-organised award shows not only in Nigeria but in Africa and the rest of the world.

Little things, folks. It’s not only about “those ones” being richer. AMAA can be properly organised too.

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Written by Segun Odejimi

Apostle of Sarcasm. Writer. Editor of TNSnigeria. Producer, Segun & the Gang.

Trained as a media/theatre artist and has worked in advertising, TV and radio.