This is my attempt at a very objective (as much as possible) review of this event.
Performances: I should start with the HOST. Singer Omawumi was the host for this event and she was magnificent and funny. She held her own very well, plus I liked the change of outfits although her shoe choices didn’t work for me (shoe lover, sorry).
The Good: I thought Modele started the event very well with her song, I have no idea what the name is though. Then there was Tolumide and her dancers, who I thought killed it and the only person who gave us a “performance” (never mind the fight that took place during said performance, we will talk about that later”). Lara George and her song “Ko ma si” had me standing throughout, this woman can siiiiinnnngg, her voice was great and I believe she was the only one to get a standing ovation. Lola Savage, I thought was pretty decent. Jesse Jagz’s performance was the most memorable one might say, because of the nice background and good song choices. M.I, I felt only did the bare minimum he had to, but he performed a never –heard song just for the ladies, so you know that went well and then there was Tuface. In my opinion he is the best artist out of Nigeria and it shows when he performs, I have heard he is a great entertainer and I didn’t really get that, again like M.I I think he did the bare minimum and did it well.
The Bad: I refuse to go into name calling even though that’s exactly what I want to do. Let’s just say Dewave, Earthquake, Iceberg Slim and Jaywon had no business being on that stage, no business whatsoever. Whatever it was Dewave thought he was doing was in my opinion (emphasis on MY opinion) a disgrace. I understand why Earthquake’s Alanta dance itself is a big hit, but the artist himself needs to not be in the music business. Iceberg’s decision to start with the 2009 freestyle where he calls out M.I with M.I in attendance has to be the dumbest thing I have ever witnessed, but let’s move on. Jaywon I think can be a good artist, his choice of song was just not it for me at all.
Organization: Let’s start with the fact that I think the organizers of this show are extremely fraudulent, promising us a whole bunch of artists, actors, actresses who were not present. This is not acceptable, nowhere in the world and it shouldn’t be amongst Nigerians also. Then there were the presentations; in announcing the nominees, they played already prepared clips they created with Windows Media Player. I cannot understand why they would do that. Windows Media Player, like are you kidding me? If they could not afford for it to be done professionally, why not get someone to announce it, or even get the presenters to call the names of the nominees while showing their pictures, surely that would have been a better option. It was bad enough that they prepared it on Windows media player, but whoever was in control of that obviously was not aware of what they were to do, putting up the wrong presentation many at times. It was painful to watch. The issue with seating still has me perplexed. I understand that maybe they had to have people pay at different rates because the Hall would have it no other way, but I would rather they had asked us to all pay $50, than have us pay at different rates ($25, $35, $45) and yet have everyone end up seating anywhere, most seating in the so-called assigned VIP seating so much so, that when artistes came in late, people had to be reassigned so they could be seated. Such a Mess!
Categories/Winners: There was also the fact that they did not announce/present a lot of the awards. Bare categories were completely forgotten about despite the fact that some of the winners were present. I am also convinced that the awards were not based on votes like they said it was rather choosing to give it to some of the artists/actors that were present and if you are part of the NEA body, you can dispute this and please prove it to me. I like Omawumi but I do not think you can tell me she won best Pop artist over P-square and I also do not believe any right thinking Nigerian voted for Jim Iyke, when Ramsey Nouah was on that list for example. They had the perfect opportunity to shine with what would have been a memorial performance for Da-Grin who died earlier this year. Fine maybe they could not get anyone in his camp to represent him, but a moment of silence, a video slide while playing a song of his or the millions of songs that came out when he died? Anything! They didn’t even let us know that he had won an award.
So what did they get right? Getting some relatively big names like models Agbani Darego, Nnenna, Ify and Kendra, Miss Black USA 2010 who is Nigerian, even saw Oluchi at the after party. They had the sponsorship of Arik Air which is why I was even more disappointed with this year’s event than I might have been in previous years and with what they (Arik) saw, will not be surprised if they refuse to sponsor next years. The reasoning that this was only the 5th year and we should not have expected much is why Nigeria might never prosper, accommodating and making excuses for all situations. Of course NEA has nothing to do with the stupid girl who decided it was ok to throw a purse across the room in the middle of an event, but they take all the blame for lack of organization of this show.
I am especially burnt about this because the name “Nigerian Entertainment Award” carries so much with it if you ask me. As far as I know this is the only show that incorporates the film and music industry and should be Nigeria’s Grammy/Golden Globes. I hope there is a change really; I hope it will get to that reputable standard I dream of someday. In the meantime if they want to hire me to be their event coordinator I am available and cheap and I promise you a banging show. #justsaying. Till then I am NEVER attending any such shows, like I said except I have a hand in it.