NMA: THE GLITZ, THE GLAMOUR AND THE FLAWS
The 2007 edition of the Nigerian Music Awards (NMA), held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, has come and gone but the memory will linger for a very long time.
Different people will tell different stories about the awards ceremony as it was an occasion that made some people to travel to hell and back. To some, it was smooth and nice, while to others, it was the other way round.
Despite all odds and delays at the new local airport terminal in Lagos, the first flight conveying artistes, awardees and other people, took off at about 12.30 p.m.
The convener of the event, Chief Tony Okoroji, welcomed all passengers on board the aircraft and introduced two stand up comedians in the persons of AY and Mandy, who dazzled with rib-cracking jokes, making those on board to forget their initial fears when the air conditioner of the plane was malfunctioning.
While on board, Yinka Davies sang a chorus and was joined by others. The high point of the journey was when a birthday song was rendered for Kalu by Onyeka Onwenu and joined by others aboard the aircraft. Stella Damasus-Aboderin and Benita also entertained on the aircraft.
At the end, it was a smooth journey from the Lagos Airport to Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja.
Entertainment Cafe learnt that the second aircraft, which conveyed the second batch of people had an engine problem and the passengers went through hell, before another aircraft was provided for them.
On the D-day, Saturday, 19 May, the show, which was scheduled to start between 5 and 6 p.m., did not commence until at about 11.45 p.m., when Tony Okoroji appeared on stage to welcome guests, enjoining those present at the Banquet Hall of the International Conference Centre, Abuja, to observe a minute's silence in honour of the late Chief Osita Osadebe.
After the initial razzmatazz, the first award to be presented was the Producer of the Decade, won by Kobans Asuquo, followed by Music Video of the Decade award, which was won by Infinity, who was nominated with the likes of Weird MC and Faze.
Before presenting the award, Chief Chika Okpala a.k.a. Chief Zebrudaya Okoroigwe Nwogbo Alias 4.30 and Ramota of the New Masquerade, performed an intresting drama sketch.
Other winners were Yinka Davies, who bagged the Female Voice of the Decade award, while the Male Voice of the Decade award went to Obiwon; New Artiste of the Decade, Weird MC; Best New Artiste of the Decade, P-Square; Best Song in Diaspora, JJC & 419 Squad; Best Artiste in Diaspora, Diya Ojo; Artiste of the Decade, Sunny Nneji and Song of the Decade, selected through short message service (SMS), was won by Tuface Idibia with his hit song, African Queen.
In the Special Recognition award category, Pastor Kris Okotie, Dan Maraya Jos, Sir Victor Efosa Uwaifo, King of World Beat, Otunba Sunday Ishola Adeniyi Adegeye a.k.a. King Sunny Ade and the Elegant Stallion, Onyeka Onwenu, got Lifetime Achievement award.
The late Abami Eda, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, bagged Posthumous Award for his contribution to the music industry. The award was received by Dotun Ransome-Kuti on behalf of the Anikulapo-Kutis.
One of the major flaws of the award ceremony was in the area of nominations. KSA and Oliver De Coque could not have been nominated with the likes of Sunny Nneji and others.
Also, the Lifetime Achievement award was too crowded as about five artistes were recognised.
Despite the fact that the award was all about music, Nollywood stars dominated the hall and presented most of the awards.
The President of Performing Musicians' Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Admiral Dele Abiodun, was the only music star that presented an award.
Also as at the time the awards ceremony came to an end at about 2.46 a.m., there were lots of loose ends, reflecting poor coordination in the area of presentation, music performance and other things, but at the end, the likes of Sammy Okposo, Zule Zoo, The Jewels, Sun Tee, a South African artiste and others, saved guests in attendance from boredom.