Review of The 2014 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) by Charles Novia

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Charles Novia

For those that watched the Live transmission of the 2014 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA), you might have found a number of things wrong with the event and ended up being disappointed. Well if you’re one of those people, take solace in the fact that you’re not alone as tons of other people had qualms with the awards show such as Nigerian filmmaker Charles Novia (Alanpoza) who had a great deal to say about the award show in his latest blog entry which we’ve got excerpts from.

It had been months of hype and media activities for the 2nd Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards. Expectations were high for this year’s edition and many practically grovelled for the invitation cards! Who would miss an evening of this magnitude in Africa’s entertainment calender? Did this year’s Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards have the Crunch Factor, that ‘ooomph’ punch which leaves the guests and viewers speechless and mesmerised?

Wait a minute! I am jumping the gun here! Let’s start from the beginning as I witnessed it.

I arrived a few minutes to the scheduled live broadcast of the show and as I walked past the Red Carpet section straight to the hall, I couldn’t help noticing how glamourous ( and perhaps amorous too!)many of the ladies and gentlemen looked. One thing to thank the AMVCAs for; the fashion and make-up industry would have rolled in some moolahs these past few days. I am not an experienced fashion buff, I would leave that to Nigeria’s amorphous Fashion Police to determine who was the Best Dressed or Worst Dressed for the evening ( er…Emmy Collins? That’s your plate!)But I did see enough to appreciate that many people actually took time to look quite good for the night. And there were some few ‘Ukwu’s’ pushing out for cursory recognition and appreciation inside the dresses too! (Apologies to Timaya) One can safely say that it was a night of evening dresses, half-hidden cleavages and unpadded ‘Ukwus’ on the Red Carpet but let’s leave that aspect to the fashion bloggers.

The show opened with a nice performance by a dance troupe, supposedly the KAKADU musical ensemble. I was just taking my seat when their performance ended to appreciative applause from the audience. Kudos to the organisers for getting the stage ensemble on the show. It speaks volumes of an ancillary support of sorts for the thespian arts by that gesture. Being a theatre arts product myself, any support given to that sector by any means is most welcome.

The Presenting Threesome ( no pun intended) of IK Osakioduwa, Vimbai and Osas Ighodaro came on the podium to kick off the show proper. IK and Vimbai were quite at ease all through the night when they had their slots but Osas seemed to be trying to catch up with the other two. Throughout the night she put up a spirited performance but there were a few stumbles over some words as she followed the teleprompter and she seemed overtly mechanical most times. Perhaps, as she goes on over the years, she would find her rhythm. However, the Three Presenters had some impressive Costume Changes in the course of the night which looked good to me. Vimbai was spot on as a co-hostess and put up a confident performance. We all know the artistic prowess of IK and he didn’t fail in flipping his Bic and writing his own lines when it mattered. Osas was just the last end of the Salami who could have done with a bit more greasing.

The Hall gradually filled up as the show progressed. There was an improvement on last year’s event when the commercial breaks came up during the show. The Organisers had a live orchestra playing some recitals most times for the live audience. Though what the orchestra played sounded like a drone most times but at least the audience was engaged and concentrated on the flow of the show. There was a Floor Manager who came up intermittently on stage to reel out names of the next set of scheduled Presenters of the awards and implored them to go backstage. I didn’t know what to make of that but it was better than some other local award shows one has attended where the Floor Managers would either point a finger at the Presenters of the next awards or tap them on the arm in a disconcerting manner.

It seemed like Kenya and East Africa had a good outing as ‘Nairobi Half Life’ won some of the early categories. However, when Shirley Frimpong-Manso and Herty Nwusu from Ghana came up on stage to receive the award for ‘Best Writer’, it seemed like there was a little friction between both ladies on the podium over who should pick the plaque and make a speech. It was subtle but noticeable.
Bez performed on stage with a live band. The audience loved it, though there seemed to be a little self-restraint on his part to really let himself loose but maybe that’s his ‘mellow cool brother’ image he has given us over the years. Something tells me his next album would show us his metamorphosis for the better.

Flavour was on the bill too and started his performance with ‘Ada’ which got me thinking that for aesthetic purposes, perhaps an ‘Ada’ might have done well to be on stage with him to enhance his stagecraft. But Flavour held his own and took the crowd to another level with other hit songs, ‘Kirikata’ and ‘Asewo’. However, despite a simultaneous synch by his live band and the programmed tracks, Flavour lost his flavour a couple of times in his performance by subtly missing the cue of his songs. A few ad libs made up for the technical sidestep. Flavour is a good cultural ambassador of the neo-Nigerian Highlife Music. He stands out on his own in his genre and really knows how to work a crowd.

The sound in the hall was really a minus. For most of the live performances, the sound output was below average and I’m told there were microphone glitches too which those who watched the live broadcast tweeted about. The sound output was bad during Davido’s performance. He came on stage and started with his hit song ‘Skelewu’ backed by a live band. To us in the hall, or perhaps to the trained ear for live sound, it sounded like a pride of lions devouring some killed game and one could barely differentiate the music from the din. His next track, despite the technical shortcomings, got most people in the crowd dancing though. ‘Aye’ seems to be another hit song from the OBO exponent.

The biggest blooper of the night happened when John Okafor and Monalisa Chinda were up to present the award for ‘Best Actress in a Yoruba movie’ as announced by Okafor. Somehow, what flashed onscreen were the names of the nominees in the Hausa category, which got the audience mumbling in confusion. Maybe someone in the control booth misheard or ‘mufu’-ed that segment? The Presenters announced the winner as Mercy Aigbe perhaps without noticing the mistake or not knowing what to do after a typical Naija live ‘awkward moment’. John Okafor professionally switched to his ‘Mr Ibu’ alter-ego by saying ‘Na Yoruba dem give us’ which cracked up a lot of people. – Continue Reading at Charles Novia daily

 
Mistah Cole

Mistah Cole

is a Nigerian-born Music critic and movie blogger

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