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Read Charles Novia’s Review of the 2014 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards



Beverly Naya & Desmond Elliot - 2014 AMVCA - March 2014 - BellaNaija

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 ‘Ukwus’ 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.

Charles Novia - 2014 AMVCA - March 2014 - BellaNaija

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.

The correct visual was replayed and Mercy Aigbe, the announced winner came up to the stage for her prize. ‘Oh my God! Oh my God!’ She shrieked out in what sounded like an explicit moan which got many in the audience looking at one another. However, Mercy won the crowd over with her acceptance speech in which she acknowledged her husband and family.

Osita Iheme won the ‘Best Actor in a comedy’ award and graciously acknowledged his other contestants. That was one of the best parts of the night. He gave a moving but stumbled speech on African unity and the Arts. Thereafter, Osita and his screen sidekick Chinedu Ikedieze presented the ‘Best Actress in a comedy’ award to Funke Akindele who seemed to be the obvious winner during the nomination reel having being nominated for two movies in the same category.

As Funke left the stage for backstage, we all could hear her happy screams of ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ backstage during the commercial break as she gave out bellows of excitement. Congratulations, Funke.

Bikiye Graham-Douglas won the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ award for her role in ‘Flower Girl’. I did say earlier that I’m not much of a fashion buff but I couldn’t help wondering what on earth she wore to the event while she was on stage!

When Waje performed, I became totally convinced that she is the Best Female Vocalist presently in Nigeria. That lady sure can sing! Wow! And with the very talented Cobhams Asuquo backing her up on the keyboard, it was one of the best moments of the night for me and a memorable one too. Waje might be wishing she ‘didn’t have a heart’ as her song goes but I bet there were many guys there wishing for her heart that night!

Joseph Benjamin and Mercy Johnson presented the award for ‘Best Comedy’. Mercy Johnson seemed nervous or perhaps shy on stage and intermittently clutched her frock, raising it off the floor nervously. But she did regain her composure a bit when presenting the award with a jibe at Elvis Chucks, the winner.

I found it curious though that when Mercy came on stage, a lot of ladies in the audience were having hushed conversations about her dress or perhaps her tactless lifting of the dress onstage? Whatever it was with that, no one could fault the impression her ‘Ukwu’ made on the audience when she turned to leave the stage!

Ramsey Nouah and Bimbo Akintola presented the award for ‘Best Movie Drama’. Ramsey looked good in his kaftan and I would vote him as one of the best dressed for the night.

Frank Rajah Arase’s movie , ‘The Price’ won in that category and amid his acceptance speech he curiously said ‘Yvonne Nelson, I give you all the glory!’.

Huh? Some of us looked at ourselves, askance.
Was Frank Rajah telling us that Yvonne Nelson is his ‘saviour’ or was that a nervous flow in his stream of speech? Frank, you get case to answer o! Hmmmm. You nor fear, you carry Jesus Glory go give woman! For this season of Lent! Issorait! Lol.

Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva presented ‘The Industry Merit Award’ to veteran actor, Pete Edochie. There’s something always cool as cucumber about Pete Edochie. His taped acceptance speech was played in which he ensured the whole world recognised that he’s a titled Igbo Chief with the way he was dressed and the calm and collected manner he spoke. He ended his speech with an advice for aspiring actors; ‘Don’t run after the press, they will run after you when you are successful’.

His award came with a brand new Hyundai SUV which was collected on his behalf by his representative.

The award for ‘Best Actress in a Drama’ was won by Nse Ikpe-Etim. Deservedly so for a very intense actress! Congrats, Nse. Her award was received on her behalf by Ashionye Raccah.

OC Ukeje and Genevieve Nnaji presented ‘Best Actor in Drama’ won by Tope Tedela. Many people expected Majid Machel to win but I guess Tope must have held his own somehow in the voting process. Besides, it is good to know that a new generation of actors are taking the reins in Africa.

The show ended at about 21.33 CAT and the impressive KAKADU ensemble closed the show with a good performance as the guests left the hall.

One must mention that one appreciates that a lot of time and energy goes into planning events such as this. Theorganisers must be commended for investing their resources in Africa’s film industry by institutionalising an annual reward system for the burgeoning film sector. However, this year’s AMVCA had a few flaws, though it is an improvement from last year’s.

While the entertainment value of the event this year was quite good, one couldn’t help leaving the event with a nagging analogy that the much-hyped ‘night of Africa Magic’ had something akin to a magician who had an outstretched hat to perform a trick but the audience just didn’t see the rabbit this time.

Charles Novia posted this article on his website –


  1. @edDREAMZ

    March 10, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Lmao…. This dude is hillarious, he really took his time to watch everything that was going on there….. Still on still am loving this write-up..

  2. Jjohnson

    March 10, 2014 at 9:41 am

    I enjoyed reading thus recap

  3. Vanessa

    March 10, 2014 at 9:42 am

    I quite agree with Charles. A lot of the things happened the way he wrote it. Frank Arase shocked me when he gave the glory to Yvonne, but he quickly corrected himself when he thanked God for Majid. On another note, why do ladies wear gowns with long tails and then end up carrying the tails when they are walking? Several times, Osas nearly fell because her tail was obviously inconveniencing her.

  4. NIRA

    March 10, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Mostly positive, nice for a change!!

  5. oaa

    March 10, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Good Minute-taking!

  6. Teris

    March 10, 2014 at 9:56 am

    i’m surprised Mr. Novia waited till Monday to enlighten us with his opinions of the awards ceremony.
    Mr. Novia, … perhaps, as you go on over the years, you will find your rhythm… and deliver better edited prose.

    • odine

      March 10, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      So if this write up is not enough or even good enough prose, I’d like to read yours, you must be a literary genius then.

  7. Lilly

    March 10, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Waje u were amazing.i had goose pimples hearing u sing.what a voice

  8. Lilly

    March 10, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Waje u were amazing.what a voice

  9. Blessmyheart

    March 10, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Yep, I watched the show. Good review Charles. The areas that particularly caught my attention:
    1. The dance troupe performance – awesome
    2. John Okafor and Monalisa – I thought they shouldn’t have read out the name of the winner yet. Seems they were not paying attention.
    3. Mercy Aigbe’s ‘speech’ – “Oh my God, oh my God!” Loool
    4. ‘Yvonne Nelson, I give you all the glory!’ – Huh????????? Figured it was a mistake though
    5. Pete Edochie – Yes sir!

    • Blessmyheart

      March 10, 2014 at 10:07 am

      And was Mercy Johnson joking or she actually made a mistake after presenting the Best Comedy? I heard her start saying, “I thank my husband…” before handing over the mike to Elvis.

    • nonye

      March 10, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      she was joking… she said something like “oh! i thought it was for me” before handing the plaque to Elvis

  10. jummai

    March 10, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Nice write up, well put together, and i agree with most of his observations as most of them were true. Nice one!

  11. Debee

    March 10, 2014 at 10:06 am

    … OK

  12. Nominee

    March 10, 2014 at 10:08 am

    I hate the way the word ukwu has been made derogatory. I sooooo hate it. You walk on the road and people call out ukwu, mightily annoying. Novia you put me off by using it. But I quite agree on Waje, no other voice in Nigeria comes close.

  13. Changing Faces

    March 10, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Very apt description of the night! I watched it and he captured my sentiments. Osas looked stunning but didn’t quite cut it as a presenter. It got me thinking on her cv? Does she have any professional training, or once you’re from “overseas” and have “fune”, you automatically qualify for acting and presenting. Vimbai was good, but she needs to calm down! It was a good show overall… with plenty room for improvement.

    Btw, why is Last flight to Abuja still being nominated in 2014?

  14. Opsy

    March 10, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Nice review. I watched and most of the things stated by Charles are true.

  15. Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

    March 10, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Two thumbs up to Charles Novia. The best report of the event and enough for a documentary on it.

  16. Modella

    March 10, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Some of who couldn’t watched can now visualised what went down…Tanks Charles…BN still waiting for the Redcarpet fotos…Agbani and Osas were flawless in their looks!

  17. B-WEST

    March 10, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Charles Novia has stepped it up a notch! way to go! atta boy! lurv the professional delivery punch after punch ,slightly interlaced with our local lingua franca to make the whole piece sizzle ! no dissing & stuff . u’ll go places.gradually finding your forte innit? *winks”

  18. nonye

    March 10, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Cant quarrel with Mr. Novia on this article. Mercy was indeed quite nervous, she is usually a “home-body” when she is not in front of a movie camera.

  19. chidera

    March 10, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Great show to say the least. as per Frank Rajah’s speech i believe it was probably a state of confusion with which words to come up with and when to say them in regards to the “i give you all the glory ” thing , but the first thing he did say was a big “thank you to the man upstairs who is
    Jesus”..I think it was just an honest state of confusion lol ..the monalisa /john Okafor part tho was just sad on the part of the organizers tho all the same things like these are bound to happen in live shows but i acknowledge Africa magic for celebrating Africa through this platform.. they will be better and greater as each year comes up

  20. nene

    March 10, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    this is an accurate description of the night. Waje was amazing! I didn’t like Osas as a presenter.

  21. Aa

    March 10, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    pete Edochie`s advice, don’t go after the press let them come after you. Hope Toke n co heard that

  22. Diamond

    March 10, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    I disagree with the fact that Osas was not a good presenter…matter of fact,she was more natural on stage than vimbai..who was forcing everything even her smile!Osas was an absolute delight to watch

  23. ACE

    March 10, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Faaaaaantastic write up Charles! Way to go!! Aptly captured. Osas still needs to be schooled, me thinks. She stumbled on many words for a “been to”… Plenty of room for improvement but all in all GREAT Job Africa Magic #thumbsup

  24. bisolar

    March 10, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Come on!Osas was nervous!But she more than held her own and she can only get better. We have to learn to support our own.

    • Sopono

      March 12, 2014 at 5:38 am

      Osas did not hold anything. I was actually embarrassed watching her. A simple case of let’s give the fine girl a job. It was baaaaaad. It is not helping that they keep repeating it. At one point she even asked for her TelePrompTer. If she was an ugly girl with no accent we would have finished her even more

  25. Anne

    March 11, 2014 at 12:37 am

    Im not even interested in these awards but I just had to read this. I love Charles Novia’s reviews. He’s really good.

  26. lyn

    March 11, 2014 at 1:54 am

    where’s bimbo’s picture?

  27. Stephanie

    March 11, 2014 at 10:17 am


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