Yes it has come and gone, but the agony of going through a ceremony that can be tagged "abysmal" will remain with some of us forever. The 3rd edition of the 2014 Nollywood Movie Awards, took place yesterday at the ground ballroom of the Intercontinental Hotel, Kofo Abayomi Street Victoria Island. It is the second one I am attending after attending the 2nd edition last year (read myreview here). I was determine and somewhat excited as I was busy retweeting and posting out information regarding the event, thinking that maybe my effort will earn me a ticket (guess my luck didn't shine bright).
However, as luck would have it, I eventually got a ticket, was able to attend the event and got a great table right in front.
Without much ado, here I go:
The Green Carpet: The Nollywood Movie Awards prides itself on being truly African and as such, we had a green carpet as against the typical red carpet. There were 3 interview areas with other interviews in between, but it wasn't the craziness of the carpet that rocked, it was the networking. There is the notion that Nollywood peeps are pretty snotty, and I was probably expecting it, but to my surprise, it was fun all the way. I worked my way on the carpet, introducing myself to directors, actors and actresses that I had seen their works and were commendable. They accepted and listen to me with open arms. Much love to Blossom, Blessing Egbe, Kalu Ikeagwu, Wale Macaulay, Obi Emelonye (I just had to ask about the arrest), Uru Eke, Demola Adedoyin, Chuck Venn and Charles Novia for taking their time and listening to what I had to say even with various programme producers pulling them to come over for interviews.
Performances: Once there is silence about who is performing, there is always that excitement as to what to expect. We settled into the hall with the sound from a sax and once we were all settled, we kicked off with the national anthem by Yhumie Sax which was soothing and calm. The next performance was from SPAN, a mix of ballet, hip hop and off course our Nigerian vibe. For the final performance we had Skales of Baseline Music, he got us up on our feet and dancing to his popular tracks. I expected more from a 5 hour event, but then, it’s an award show and not a comedy or music event.
To those we lost: There was a memoriam for Nollywood stars that had pass away from September 2013-October 2014. We were wondering why Justus Esiri wasn’t included but since he had passed on in February, he didn’t fall under the category. It kicked off with Amaka Igwe, one could feel the sense of lost that was felt in the room, a host of other acts as well as Kefee also rolled by and at the end of it, we were asked to give a moment silence to those that had passed away.
While, some certain aspects can be commended, the fact is, we still haven't been able to get it right when it comes to events like awards and like I also mentioned, this industry(film) is meant to be our guide as to the do’s and don’ts.
Timing: The African Time syndrome can be truly sickening, by what can I say, you win some, you lose some. The invitation card stated 6pm. By the time I got there at 7ish the carpet hadn't really kicked off, as some acts had just arrived and were barely mingling. While I walked the carpet, I spent 3 hours doing my own thing, (not like it was announced that we should head into the hall) I didn't get into the hall till 9:45pm and the event official kicked off by 10:04pm.
Sound Quality: A major hiccup for our events that we never seem to get right. Microphones didn’t work; presenters arriving at the podium and had to wait for them to be turned up. Those walking the floor had to come together to use one mic and for some reason, presenters felt it was okay to scream turn this mic on, as in!!!Have you guys heard of runners, a production assistant, sound technician a bloody director??? Seems like the crew went to sleep immediately the event started, also bugging me seriously is the lack of either a recce or rehearsal the day before the main event.
Technically Gremlins: The work of any production team worth its salt is to ensure these aspects never happen, but there are so prevalent in our events that it screams bad organization and planning. After the introductory message of the comperes of the event, a video showcasing the history of the country as this edition of the awards was a centenary one, was meant to air, turns out, it didn’t, was it on cue, did it hang, did it just refused to play? There was also the short video clip of nominees speaking on how they felt to be nominated and there were only 2 clips of Kemi Akindoju and Michelle Bello for a ceremony that had 17-18 different categories! *sigh*. The prompter was also a horrible mess as particular presenters had to call out for it to be set to their lines, however, is this a blessing or a curse, what happened to the era of adlibbing, because I remember the era when there were no prompters as these awards and presenters got their lines, so what the heck!!!
No Show presenters/Winner: While I can excuse the later as they might be away for one reason or the other, but, why call up a presenter who was present on the red carpet and all of a sudden, the person disappears! Weren’t they briefed on their roles and what was expected of them, were they not placed on certain tables so that when it was their cue, you indicate and get them to head to the podium, so many unanswered questions but in this day and age, not acceptable at all.
Choice of Presenters: Having performed alright at the AMVCA, Denrele was also on ground for this awards, both green carpet and then eventually host of the show (feels like a lack of presenters to me) but he was okay as his energy, can never be missed. However, that, constant joke of “people not wanted their kids to look like him”, even though it works and gets us clapping, it's beginning to get stale. Dakore was back again this year, smooth and claim as well as graceful, she did alright as well, but at a point, it felt like she disappeared from the awards *sigh*
The introduction of Uru Eke and Gideon Okeke as compere for the floor was pretty cool. Gideon brought his ‘A’ game and worked the room pretty well. Uru wasn't too bad herself, but this question weighs heavy on my mind, were there rehearsals before this event?
The Clothes: The ensembles of our various Nollywood celebrities at the NMAs were pretty glamorous as they truly brought their game to the event. Of course there were the hits and misses; I’ll leave that to the fashion critics and the likes. White blazers rained for the men as OC Ukeje, Ikay Ogbonna and Frederick Leonard dazzled in them, while pale pink/ nude must have been it for the babes as Uru Eke, Ivie Okujaye and Beverly Naya rightly stood out. My top five for the night (ladies) were- Ufuoma Ejenobor, Uru Eke, Dakore Akande and Ireti Doyle. While for the dudes, Frederick Leonard, Gideon Okeke, Blossom Chukwujekwu (who had this weird white rose with a brooch on it on his suit), Wale Macaulay (rocking south south), Demola Adedoyin and Alex Ekubo.
Sponsors: I must give kudos as this event was totally backed up. However, the event organizer needs to be charged as to how to creatively use all the sponsor logos wisely as well as the space Intercontinental has to offer. Creatively, finesse and zest needs to go into planning this event cause at the end, one always feels like it’s a sham especially when there was good publicity and hype! The need to up their game cannot be overemphasized biko, we are not stupid and we are not requesting for a better production, we are demanding for one!
So there you have it, the highs and lows of the 2014 NMAs. Have you seen any clip or news report on the NMAs, drop me a line about it.