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Hater Nation?



It’s award season again. The Golden Globes has just passed, the Oscar nominees have been announced and soon the festivals will start to do their rounds. It is no news that award shows will be marred by politics, accusations of them being popularity contests and general talks of their credibility. Did Katherin Biglow’s film “Hurt Locker” deserve to take the best director gong over her ex-husband James Cameron’s monster hit “Avatar”? The debate will go on. The same goes for awards right here in Nigeria.

A friend and I recently got involved in a debate about the credibility of certain awards in Nigeria. Have some of them been created as means to make a living from sponsors? That was the first argument. The second was the selection process and the third was the quality and credibility of the judges. Then the fourth was all about criteria.

My issue was that of credibility. There will always be loopholes and glitches, but the credibility is what propels integrity. I put forward the argument that from the very beginning, individuals should have the chance to submit a portfolio, fill a free entry form and write a short personal statement as to why their work deserves to be short listed.

The reason for this is that both the judges and the public would get a chance to discover unknown individuals with varied kinds of work which no one would have been opportune to see in the first place as opposed to a somewhat randomised nomination.

As for the judges, it was important that besides having appropriate years of experience and expertise in the various fields on display, a criteria is also set where they can judge based on the necessary requirements and a little bit more. So, for instance, if it was a creative category, perhaps judging could be based on technicality, creativity, effort, accessibility and impact, as well as strength of portfolio in their respective areas of endeavour. Though we agreed to disagree, my friend pointed out that we, Nigerians, seemed to make a habit of criticising even when people were doing good things. In this case the award was honouring hard working people who would be an inspiration in the country.

Though I agreed that a fair amount of Nigerians are quite the critics, I am also equally aware that quite a lot of Nigerians have also made an art out of brown nosing. Take a look at people who win awards internationally. They get fanatically praised because they have been given a stamp of approval outside of the shores of Nigeria even though we had seen their work before, didn’t care much for it, never paid them any attention or perhaps didn’t feel its worth was justified prior to the accolades. We make demagogues out of them.

Criticism in many cases serves the purpose of creating discourse and dialogue. At times, it provides a source of checks and balances. I am an advocate of constructive criticism offered with proposed solutions as means to propel change and forward movement. Without it, what you have is a space populated with mediocrity and individuals refusing to challenge themselves because they have found their sycophantic audience. The fact is that most are willing to milk that space at any given chance.

But when do you think criticism becomes personal or just hating, as it is sometimes referred?

Photo Credit:


  1. IyawoBankyWNumer0Uno

    February 7, 2011 at 9:24 am

    first… coming back to comment

  2. sandra

    February 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    is the picture in this write up wana pls will like to cos i only hear her voice on sharing life issues


      February 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm

      No. That is not Wana. It is a stock photo used to illustrate the article.

    • Ready

      February 8, 2011 at 8:24 am

      Lol…it’s hilarious that you would think that’s Wana.

  3. Akan

    February 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Hating is when you use harsh and vitriolic words.

  4. Temiloluwa Adebayo

    February 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    hahaha @ that picture!!! Too funny! That was what drew me to the post…

    Haters are those envious of the progress taking place in your life and want to pull you down…

  5. bobbydox

    February 7, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    i have been waiting for a web portal 2 write something about this but thank God bellanaija has taken the bold step so case close

  6. georgeenah

    February 7, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    @Akan: Hating is attacking someone personally for no reason.Criticism is done on people’s works or careers.there’s a difference.
    I’m glad wana chose to write this cos frankly,I’m tired of both words getting mixed up and I blame it on people adopting foreign slangs without settling down to know their meanings.Nigerians hate criticism of their work and see any attempt at critiquing as hating but,how do you know ur flaws if you aren’t criticized?I guess it explains why we have horrible movies,songs etc tormenting our sight and hearing on a daily basis.
    As for awards,its starting to look like nollywood where I can make a movie featuring my family members and put it out for sale.

  7. Timma

    February 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    When criticisng? how do u do it and why? are u doing it cos u really are interested in the work and want to see an improvement or just pissed that someone is more talented than u are? These questions need to be truthfully answered before we can really distinguish between criticism and hating. But that doesn’t mean our people have not abused the word “hate” and the term “haters”, try to correct or point out a flaw and u are immediately termed a Hater,i must admit though Nigerians love to criticise but constructive criticism is really scarce!As for awards?? hmmm! no comment yet!

  8. Ready

    February 8, 2011 at 8:31 am

    As a person who has criticized plenty (plenty plenty) on this site, it’s definitely coming from a well-intentioned place. Our country is a developing nation where the entertainment and fashion industry is a burgeoning one that’s gaining attention quick. I want to assist and share it with the world, but I gotta be proud of what I’m hyping.
    To propel our brand onto the international stage and impress people who are not aware of our limitations, we gotta insist on the best. We all know there are some subpar products infiltrating both industries; personally, I refuse to go “Let’s sha support them ’cause they’re trying.” There’s a difference between someone who’s striving to better themselves and someone who just wants to be recognized.
    As a consumer who votes with my money and my opinion, I will continue to criticize with these intentions at heart. As for those who continue to use the word ‘hater’, I believe it’s for lack of a larger vocabulary. Eyin le mo.

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