The fourth annual All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), came to an end on Sunday, November 12 2017, as winners emerged in all thirty-four categories of the award hosted by African American Senegalese superstar, Akon and Paris based Cameroonian, Sophy.
But what many will fail to tell you, are the flaws that organisers of the event must address, for subsequent editions.
The AFRIMA Stage went up in Flames and Eko Hotel could not provide Fire extinguishers
It was indeed a night to remember for Wizkid (Nigeria), as he won three awards in all: Artiste of the Year; Song of the Year; Best Male Artiste in West Africa.
Immediately he was announced Artiste of the Year, the organizers had planned to use the stage flame effects, in what would have added spectacle, in the most publicized category of the award. However it resulted in a fire, what was interesting about the entire fiasco, was the fact the ‘prestigious’ Eko Hotel was unable to provide a fire extinguishers to put out the flame. It took the intervention of those at the VIP section, who handed over the bottles of water on their table, to put out the fire, before it would become a fire disaster.
Power Outage as DJ Jimmy Jatt and 2Face came on stage
DJ Jimmy Jatt and 2face were called to present an award and there was power outage, plunging the entire hall in darkness, apparently Eko Hotel did not have emergency back up power or it did not kick in immediately, who knows.
Both celebrities were practically left stranded on stage as they had to wait for about 30 minutes, before the technical team could put the microphones and other stage equipment back on.
As an amiable celebrity, 2face apologized on behalf of the AFRIMA organiser, saying “Naija we go upgrade but Na small…small”. The message he tried to pass across was that Nigeria would get better but it is a gradual process.
Talk about mortifying!
The crowd Shunned Tiwa Savage’s Performance
The phrase ‘African Time’ is not an empty one, because Nigerians are not exactly known for being punctual, unfortunately this bad habit manifested itself in the award ceremony. AFRIMA was meant to start much earlier than it did and it kept guests waiting because of the lateness.Many disgruntled guests left the ceremony rather early-immediately Wizkid received his final award.
By the time Nigeria’s leading female singer, Tiwa Savage mounted the stage, the hall was practically empty. She ended up performing in a hall filled with empty chairs and had to stop her performance halfway. Indeed organisers must learn to keep their events punctual.
Akon also left the stage quite abruptly
The Senegalese- American singer was the host of the ceremony and was expected to perform as well, however he abruptly dropped his microphone and left the stage, to save himself from what was beginning to be very embarrassing. Attendees were getting quite irritated with how disorganized the entire affair was, so they were less receptive to Akon as a host.
Too many absent Awardees
As the award progressed, there were points where it got really boring, as awardees meant to be present were unrepentantly absent. Imagine a scenario when the name of an awardee is mentioned and then nobody comes on stage. It got quite embarrassing, and as a result most awards were received on behalf of awardees.
Babafemi Ojudu Booed at AFRIMA
When Senator Babafemi Ojudu was called on stage to present an award, the reception he got from the crowd was anything but welcoming. Even worse when he introduced himself as a Special Adviser to President Buhari, he was booed and hissed at all through his time on stage.
Dele Momodu was Barred from the AFRIMA after Party
This was indeed quite shocking and embarrassing as the bouncers at the venue of the after party did not let the celebrity publisher into the After Party. Apparently they did not recognise him as a distinguished guest, hence he was barred, even worse they did not confirm his guest status.
The Ovation publisher took his exit with dignity and he did not cause a ruckus or blame the bouncers for doing their jobs.
Thugs Gained entrance into the Event hall and began harassing and robbing guests
If you left before the event ended, you are among the lucky ones, as those who stayed behind till the end, were suddenly enveloped in a throng of thugs, who began harassing and robbing guests. Thus most guests regrettably lost their possessions e.g. phones and purses.
How they even got into the premises of Eko Hotel, is the question on everybody’s lips. It would seem guests at events on the hotel’s grounds are no longer safe. This is coming weeks after singer 2kay was robbed and assaulted in his room in Eko Hotel.