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#AFRIMA2017 Awards Ceremony: What Is Wrong With Us In Nigeria?


I really wanted to attend this year’s AFRIMA. All the noise about how big the All Africa Music Awards was finally got to me and I told myself I would be at this year’s event.

That was until the acknowledgement email came after I had registered to attend.

In the epistle that was written to me, they added instructions as to how I shouldn’t dress to the event. They said they wouldn’t tolerate any kind of jeans because there would be government dignitaries in attendance and it would be broadcast live. I said OK. You people can hold your show (a music awards show, not a business conference at The Presidential Villa, Abuja), if I’m still very keen on the day of the event, I will watch it in my house. Thank you.

Last night arrived and I tuned to the live broadcast of the event to see why these people were so particular about what was worn to their event.

It didn’t take 5 minutes after I tuned it for me to roll in front of my TV with laughter.

Akon, the superstar host for this year’s ceremony nonchalantly welcomed us to AFRIMA 2010 before quickly correcting himself. Mistakes shey, yeah they happen.

Then he said something about his nowhere-to-be-found co-host, Sophy trying to look beautiful for us. Despite Akon’s next appearance on stage coming over twenty minutes later, she was still absent. The madam was still busy doing whatever she was doing even though Akon’s line was that she was dressing up. Abi? Shebi the event is all about dressing up that’s why their email contained telling us what they wouldn’t accept.

When she appeared a year and half later she made an unfunny joke about arriving from Paris and ensuring she hosted the show in a buba and iro attire.


By this time, AFRIMA organisers had dealt their incompetent hand by having the dreaded blank space in between award presentations and other appearances at least three times. The humans in charge of lightning, sound and music were probably more interested in adjusting what they were wearing than doing their jobs well. After all, AFRIMA was particular about what guests wear, not so?

For an awards ceremony of that magnitude, with you not being able to go from Allen to Opebi without counting 50 small boards advertising the show, you would expect that attention would be paid to having their performers giving their best.

No. Sheyi Shay and Vector who came out to mime to their songs. At least those were the two I could agonise my eyes with before I turned off my television for the night. Sheyi Shay’s fall was an accident, it could happen to anybody so I don’t even give to hoots about that. Vector who I am a huge fan of looked like syringes had been inserted into him and his energy extracted. His performance was painful to watch partly ensured by the fact he was simply singing along to a CD rendition of his songs.

Isnt this supposed to be 2017? Oh, I forgot. Instead of arranging rehearsals with a live band for the performers, organisers were busy telling people to dress right to their event.

Now, why do these Nigerian award ceremonies keep featuring those embarrassing moments when nobody has a clue whether the award winners are around or not? The presenters keep repeating the names of the winners while looking around for them like a Nigerian policeman looking around to see how many people notices him collecting your bribe? Last night’s mixup when Fela’s one-time manager, Rikki Stein and his co-presenter were to present the award for Best Female Act from North Africa wasn’t funny at all. 

Is it too much to ask that these organisers ascertain the presence of the recipients before the categories are announced? At least you people already know who the winners are so it can’t be too difficult. Even if you people don’t know who won what (LOL!) until the envelopes are opened, at least you know who the nominees are?

On the evidence of last night’s event, I am glad I did not attend in person. What I watched was that bad and boring. And for an event the organisers were so particular about how it “looked” on live TV, they did a piss poor job of it.

Who else saw the huge difference between AFRIMA and the MTV event which held simultaneously?

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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.