Friday, May 2, 2008

Yet another Award Ceremony…

TV - Event - The Gist

Photos for this post are courtesy of Funmi Iyanda's blog

Saturday 26th April circa 2000 hours G.M.T plus 1 was the day, date and time and the TV was the way and held the sway. N.T.A. decided to infiltrate our airwaves with the broadcast of yet another Award ceremony, this time the 2008 UBA/AMMA Awards (so named by the organizers). Somehow I had managed to miss the hype surrounding the event so it was a pleasant surprise of sorts as opposed to the excessive hype that has heralded similar Award events this year.

Broadcast time kicked off with the Red Carpet event anchored by Klint da Drunk and I-honestly-don’t-know-who and typical of any Nigerian award ceremony the usual glitches began unraveling way right from the start. The poor audio, uncoordinated appearances by artistes on the Red Carpet and the NTA network cutting into the broadcast with their Abuja mini-documentary and “Heart of Africa” advertorial inserts (hey! I thought UBA was sponsoring the event?) totally ruined the already soiled Red Carpet. Klint did work hard at being funny but mercifully, NTA pathetically salvaged the situation by cutting in again around 2100 hours (that seemed to be the only thing NTA was good at anyway) for “Weekend Extra”- the weekend news package.

AMAA broadcast resumed one hour later smack-dab in the Award ceremony itself with petite comics Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme announcing the categories and ushering in the announcers for each nomination. Their not too heavy vocal sparring did manage to keep a slightly upbeat tempo on things though Kunle Afolayan seemed to have other things in his mind when called to announce his nominees. Seems he probably just missed his sleep… or who knows, maybe Aki and Paw-paw’s occasionally assassinated English put him to sleep!

The night held its Brightest and Best Moments when Basorge Tariah Jnr ABSOLUTELY murdered that stage with his well-aimed barbs at notably Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, P-Square’s “Do Me” track and the millions of Nigerian movie fans who according to him address him as “one of the actress”. His humorous recollection of his Immigration experiences and trying to pass himself off as a striking semblance of Martin Lawrence tore everyone’s ribs apart – GUARANTEED!

Timi Dakolo’s renditions of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”, Aerosmith’s “Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” and the ending line of “I Don’t Know Much (But I Know I Love You)” proved once again why he wears the Idol West Africa crown at least till this year. His totally A+ performance undoubtedly made the ladies squeal their hearts out and made the guys jealous as usual.

The FCT Minister was another surprise, successfully proving he wasn’t just a politician in a stuffed shirt as he regaled his audience with his attempts at auditioning while seriously championing Abuja as an AMAA venue. It was tempting enough to wish more politicians were like him…

Speaking of venues, the set decorations were very good too and the LCD panels seemed to be functioning as expected. There did occur one ugly moment of total blackout though if the lighting was at fault or if NTA lost the signal wasn’t too certain. What was for certain was that everyone was literally left in the dark when the hall was darkened during the screening of the nominees’ video clips.

The Goge Africa lovebirds were on hand to showcase their exceptional onscreen romance and Isaac Moses did look good with his woven hair no matter the distaste with which the men in black suits might hold such a hairstyle. He seemed to concede to corporate Nigeria though by reappearing in an Afro hairdo and business suit for his UBA Mortgages advert which screened after the mandatory sponsor’s speech which NTA (gratefully) cut again.

Another person who truly deserves kudos is whoever conceptualized the logo for the Awards. Though it was a straightforward merger of the UBA and AMAA marques the effect was graceful, simple yet graphically astounding.

Reading through this piece, what might be instantly noticeable is the lack of mention of the African movies that made the AMAA lineup. Well, the supposedly 3-hour broadcast barely managed to scrape through in roughly 50 minutes scarcely affording home viewers the chance to analyze the big movie winners or the sore losers - the very essence of the AMAA in the first place. Watching on TV made it a totally useless exercise trying to comment on any of the featured movies and their categories unless the reviewer was at the AMAA venue itself.By 2200 hours, NTA terminated broadcast of The AMAA to switch over to yet another Network Service program thus successfully ruining their Live Broadcast of Nigeria’s premier African Movie award ceremony. Their choice for a replacement? The Nigerian Breweries PLC Music Reality show, Star Quest!

Now we know who paid bigger money…

PS: My advice? They are three actually:

1. First, Nigerian event managers should plan on how to iron out the hitches and glitches from Award ceremonies especially the Red Carpet events where sound and artiste coordination are the biggest headaches. Better mics, please?

2. NTA spent most of the day running into countless hours uselessly broadcasting a boring Live discussion programme on the Adamawa State bye-elections called “Adamawa Decides” and yet they couldn’t effortlessly broadcast the AMAA without broadcast signal flops and audio losses. Little wonder the word “nta” in the Ibo language which means small aptly reflects their ability and mentality.

3. Assuming you had the patience to stay awake till the botched ending of the AMAA broadcast, you might as well have sacrificed the next hour to watch Star Quest. It was definitely more satisfying than the AMAA.See ya next post!

PSs: Just for those who think I'm just bashing the AMAAs or NTA, no problem... While I thought the broadcasting was crap, just check out the views of someone who was live at the event!

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