Tension as Tu Face awaits glory in Portugal tonight
From Kabir Alabi Garba, Lisbon, Portugal
THE expectation here is very high. The expansive National Park in Lisbon has worn a new colour in preparation for tonight's ceremony, MTV Europe Music Award featuring 29 categories.
Apart from the posters of the award event that dotted every part of the ancient city, the music show is the major talk in town. The participation of renowned musicians such as Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Green Day, The Black Eye Peas and Robbie Williams has really raised the stake of the Europe Music Awards. But emphasis is more on the latest entry, Best African Act. Tu face Idibia, the Nigeria's flag bearer arrived Lisbon yesterday. Other nominees for the African segment from South Africa, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Angola had arrived too making the environment tensed up. Indeed, every eye is on Idibia with the belief that he has all it takes to win the award, thus becoming the first African artist with that honour.
Before the awards ceremony tonight at the Atlantic Pavilion, Tu face is scheduled to participate in a series of activities lined up as teaser for the spectacular live TV show. Top on the list is his Portuguese performance debut at the MTV Live Loud World Music night, a two-hour live show alongside fellow Angolan award nominees 02, and respected Kenyan rapper and former child soldier, Emmanuel Jal.
Later today, he will perform in front of MTV International President Bill Roedy and his VIP guests at his annual exclusive get-together for the Awards performers and nominees. Tu Face is expected to perform a special African showcase alongside fellow Best African Act nominees, Zamajobe (South Africa), rap artist Emanuel Jal and kwaito Drama Queen, Lebo Mathosa in front of VIP guests Akon, Coldplay, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Gorillaz, Madonna, Robbie Williams, Pussycat Dolls, Shakira, System Of A Down and The Black Eyed Peas, and senior music executives and record label representatives from around the world!
MTV base Vice President & General Manager, Alex Okosi, used his powers of persuasion to convince the organisers to include a performance element in the format of the dinner for the first time so that African artists could demonstrate their skills to the worlds music industry's elite.
Okosi who is the representative of the MTV Networks Africa at the awards ceremony had earlier commented that "This is a landmark year for Africa: first, MTV launched its first ever African channel, MTV base, and now it has created this milestone award to recognise the artistry, creativity and passion of African musicians. We have so much respect for 2-FACE and for all he has achieved so far in Africa - we are delighted that this Award nomination will bring his name and music to a broader audience the global stage of the MTV Europe Music Awards - with more than one billion viewers! While in Portugal, 2-Face will also get to see some of the sights and sounds of historic Lisbon on his trip to the stunning city, set on seven hills. He will be touring the city with the MTV base camera crew, visiting the Atlantic Pavilion, browsing in Lisbon's souvenir shops, tasting the local Portuguese delicacies, enjoying some of Lisbon's legendary nightlife, and talking candidly about his hopes and fears for the Awards. Footage from 2-Face's Lisbon odyssey can be seen exclusively on MTV base EMA Diary on MTV base at 19:00 C.A.T. on Friday, November 11, revealed Alison Reid, MTV base Director of Communications. Sponsored by Fanta SA, the awards presentation ceremony will be broadcast live on MTV base (DStv Channel 88) at 22:00 C.A.T. (9p.m. Nigerian time) tonight.