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Ayodeji Rotinwa: The Shoki Opera & Other Cool Stories From the AMVCA

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Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards - AMVCA 2015 | BellaNaija 054“Now, we can breathe again,” with that statement, rolled eyes and a clucked tongue, a colleague of mine registered her feelings about the curtain fall on the AMVCAs. I didn’t blame her. The AMVCAs were another (especially gruelling day) at the office for her. She had to be at Eko Hotel bright and early, get accreditation, set up for the red carpet, prep her hosts, and, shepherd dozens of egomaniacal celebrities to her section on the red carpet so she can score great interviews and her senior producers would be happy. I didn’t completely share her sentiments. I was privileged (yes, I do say privileged) to see the set- up of the awards ceremony before lights, camera, action and it was very impressive to say the least. The red carpet area though badly ventilated and suffocating was impeccably sectioned off with TV media and photographers properly allotted space without them having to fight and jostle to do their work. The red carpet itself was rolled out from the inner chamber of the Expo Hall to the Eko Hotel lobby and unto the concrete, Oscar-style. Life size awards were stationed all around Eko Hotel. Makeshift seats on raised platforms were rigged in the hall itself, as one would see in stadiums. You could not help but get a sense that this was something BIG. And then it was showtime…

Shuga should NOT have won Best TV Series!
Why? No it’s not because I have a thing against Chris Attoh’s especially sinister (and spectacular) delivery of the wife-beater character or against Beat FM’s Maria Okanrende and Emmanuel Ikubese’s forgettable acting or the impossibility of a full-figured Sharon Ezeamaka making it as a model cover girl in reality, as she did in the series. The answer is simple. It was NOT nominated. On December 12th 2014, when Africa Magic announced nominations, the nominees were Gidi Up, The XYZ Show, Jack Okeli, Rush TV Series and Maliposa. Shuga was not included. Of course, in my opinion, Shuga is a very compelling television series and should have been nominated in the first place but it wasn’t. So how then did its name end up in the envelope? Perhaps we should call the Sherlock Holmes TV show to solve this mystery.

Doro-Disaster
Just when one thought that upstarts Korede Bello, Di’Ja and Reekado Banks would grab their chance to shine on such a big (Pan-African) stage, they doro-disappointed. To some extent, one can excuse Don Jazzy whose performance body language is that his work was finished in the studio. His stage performances are typically as exciting as D’banj releasing a new song. We know we’re over it. Even though the super pop group was only miming, singing (if it can be called that) over the DJ playing their hit track, they still weren’t in sync with the beat. Only Di’Ja seemed to be remotely interested in attempting to entertain. When their sonic torture of a performance finally ended, I could swear I heard a collection of quiet ‘Hallelujahs’ in the hall.

The Meeting’s Curious Case of Benjamin Button
For those who don’t know, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a movie about a man who’s aging in reverse. The movie opens with him as an elderly man and as the years go by he grows younger. That seems to be the case with Rita Dominic & Mildred Okwo-produced ‘The Meeting’. Its accolades seem to be coming in the reverse, as the movie grows ‘older’. Released in 2012, it boggles the mind how the movie is still eligible for awards in 2015. Now, the AMVCAs hasn’t opened its rule book to us but standard award ceremonies judge/consider only movies released in the past year. That is to say if the award is holding in 2015, only movies released between 2014 and 2015 will be eligible. Pray tell, how then can the Meeting win (four) awards three years after eligibility window?

And the Award for Most Dramatic Acceptance Speech goes to…
Femi Jacobs. It was apparent that Mr Jacobs, a talented individual momentarily forgot that though cameras were rolling, he was not on set and the character he was playing was himself. In his roll call of thank yous, he reserved something special for co-star Rita Dominic. He uttered such an emotion-laden ‘I LOVE YOU’, Shakespearean’s Romeo would have been jealous. Immediately (and quite cleverly) the camera cut to Rita Dominic who it seemed wasn’t quite sure how to gather her facial muscles to look appropriate, at being put on the spot like that.

Basketmouth’s Triple Shot
Only Basketmouth can take apart Tonto Dikeh, D’banj and Patience Jonathan in one stroke and get away with it. Comparing Tonto Dikeh to a singer, D’banj to a hit maker and Patience Jonathan to an English professor are the kind of jackpot jokes that crack ribs and the hall was certainly howling in laughter.

Vimbai & IK Osakioduwa Chemistry
They say the third time’s the charm and that was certainly the case with these two. They have hosted the awards ceremony three times in a row now (with the notably unfortunate inclusion of Osas Ighodaro in 2014) and they keep getting better and better. Previously it seemed IK set the pace but this time they both fed off each other, entirely with improvisation, it looked like, to Kodak-moment effect.

Gideon Okeke throws MASSIVE OC Ukeje Shade
Remember that time when Mr Okeke came out on Twitter to blast Tinsel writers for being boring? The man’s just full of controversial gems. AMVCAs were no different though it seemed everybody missed it. Fresh after losing out on the Best Actor in a Drama award, Gideon Okeke was called upon to present the next award. (That in itself is rather distasteful; AMVCAs producers should look into that.) The first thing out of his mouth, “Everybody put your hands together because OC season is still on!” Nobody seemed to have gotten the sarcastic undertone. Let me explain. OC Ukeje has won in acting categories every year since AMVCAs inception. Is OC deserving of the awards? I daresay yes. Every year though? I don’t think so. This year, he was nominated against himself, (something else the AMVCAs should look into) as this limits the recognition of a larger pool of actors. Let’s not even start on the fact that the movie he was nominated for Confusion Na Wa was also released in 2012!

And finally…

THE SHOKI to end all others!
The Shoki Skit was undoubtedly the stuff unforgettable moments are made of. This was the AMVCAs Oscar Selfie moment. Femi Jacobs, OC Ukeje and Blossom Chukwujekwu turning the popular club banger to opera was the highlight of the entire evening and the best closing skit one has ever seen on TV.

With so many hits and misses, fingers crossed that the AMVCAs can top itself in 2016… Till then!

Ayodeji Rotinwa is a writer with a keen interest in documenting, reviewing and critiquing the arts / (pop) culture of our time. He also comments on how technology and business play into these fields. He is a columnist, the lead features writer at THISDAY Style (Newspapers) and a contributor to Forbes Africa magazine.

44 Comments

  1. Tim

    March 12, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Now thats a review….love this. The writer however forgot to mention Geneviv’s brand ambassador blunder.

    • The Kinkster

      March 12, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      Now that was a huge gaffe! LOL

    • grace

      March 12, 2015 at 4:30 pm

      Do you mean the part she associated Amstel malta’s six months give away with getting fat. I felt that was somehow too

    • ...just saying

      March 12, 2015 at 6:34 pm

      And Omotola’s conspicuous absence.

  2. Bolu

    March 12, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    My thots exactly on the meeting, I was wondering if it wasn’t too old to be winning awards in 2015……..but oh well………….

  3. Morolake

    March 12, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    hahahaa @ the meeting’s curious case of benjamin button. Well written.

  4. omg

    March 12, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Reeeeeeeeeaaaad b*tch!

  5. Frank

    March 12, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Nice piece! Everything is spot on

  6. The Kinkster

    March 12, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Great article. Anyway I enjoyed the show overall but agree with so many of your points and observations. I’ve been scratching my head about “The Meeting” and “Confusion Na wa” nominations for a while now, but as usual I got the “stop hating” response when I asked around as to why those movies were still eligible 3 years after release.

    I think the AMVCAs needs to at some point publish what the criteria are for being eligible for consideration (As with all other award shows do) including the period under consideration, because it appears very ad hoc for now.

  7. Uche

    March 12, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    The writer selected what to highlight and leave out. and by the way Basketmouth cracked the driest jokes i have even heard……….. damn…………

  8. ilaugh

    March 12, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    OK. Enough with the reviews already

  9. msmaduba

    March 12, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Exactly my thoughts! He said everything! Good criticism… pls dont come on here and start calling anyone a “hater”esp if u didnt watch the award show! The meeting was a great movie but its 2015 already! Lol femi Jacobs was really dramatic tho. I totally agree Vimbai and Ik are much better now I really feel like they are co hosting properly!

  10. Single Shalewa, Bitter Bintu!

    March 12, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Femi Jacobs winning Best actor in a comedy (The Meeting) was absolutely wrong. Frank Donga was ROBBED. *In Kanye’s voice* Femi should just hand over that award to Frank Donga, Femi needs to respect real artistry…………………Lol
    But for real, Donga is the best!!
    PS: I think I’m the only who didn’t like Vimbai’s presentation this year. It was too dramatic and forceful for me. She was great last year but this year was…..nah!

    • Olohi

      March 12, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      I’m not a supporter of Femi Jacobs, but it wasn’t robbed. It’s just like O.C winning when you have someone like Adjetey on the list. This isn’t about how good/bad you are; viewer’s choice. If you get the most votes, you sadly win.

    • Chioma

      March 12, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      Now here is the issue! We hv sat down to review and decide who was to win and who wasn’t to win. Did u vote for the person of your choice? No. These pple won canvassed for votes and got the votes.

    • iba

      March 13, 2015 at 9:44 am

      iI absolutely loved Femi Jacobs in the meeting. He made me want to cry but i didnt think he was funny there – rara! And yeah i dont get how the meeting is still being nominated nearly 3 years later! That stuff is crazyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

  11. Nefertiti

    March 12, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Tuface ‘s performance was worse than Doro performance. I was really disappointed.

  12. Jassy

    March 12, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    How about do some research and find out who or what “Jack Okeli” is. It clearly isn’t a TV show but someone who works on Shuga; so it was the AMVCA’s committee’s fault for putting up the wrong name! Shuga WAS originally nominated!

  13. Sunshine

    March 12, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    I’m still very shocked at the turn of events at the 2015 AMVCAs . It’s a shame that movies like the meeting ares till getting nominated even after 3 years. The board of oscars release nominations list and award as necessary for the particular year.

    The meeting has been winning since 2012. It’s a shame really. I was never a fan of the movie but please make way for other movies to be recognized accordingly, it doesn’t speak well of us. If we so much wanted to create an award show that recognizes art like the OSCARS do it then let’s learn to do it right. About SHUGA winning without even being nominated. I’ll just sit back and let God judge.

  14. Thatgidigirl

    March 12, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Very interesting read. However BN, are we also going to have to deal with AMCVA’s curious case of Benjamin Button? Days after the ceremony, articles and critiques are still coming in like it was yesterday, issokay kwanu.

  15. Lola

    March 12, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Beautiful write up but I don’t think the award was about when the movies came out but on when they started viewing or showing on DSTv. But now I wonder if they have started showing October 1, if not…then I have goufed.

  16. chi-e-z

    March 12, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    This writing is so funny and interesting. I didn’t watch the award show where can you watch it? I really don’t care for award shows anyways but dang I’m loving this writer lol

  17. Tee

    March 12, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    My thoughts exactly about “The Meeting”. How could Femi Jacobs have won the “Best actor in a comedy”? Maybe I don’t know what a comedy is but I do not think The Meeting totally meets the criteria of a comedy.

  18. La tea

    March 12, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Nice review. Let me also add these:
    1) RMD nominated for best supporting actor- How? So because RMD appeared in 2 or 3 scenes in 30 Days in Atlanta, he has become a supporting actor! Even an uneducated person should know that Ramsey Noah was the supporting actor in the movie. Anyway, I’m happy he didn’t win. AMVCA should put sentiments aside and do things properly. The fact that he supported AY in making the movie, doesn’t make him a supporting actor!
    2) Genevieve’s mouth diarrhea- I know people won’t like this because the screen goddess slayed it with her beautiful gown. But what exactly did she say when she was about to present? She started by saying “Amstel Malta is the best low sugar drink…….and I’m not just saying that because I’m paid to”. Then she talked about the winner of the award getting 1 million naira and free Amstel Malta for six months. Then she added ” So drink and get fat! ” Worse still, she demonstrated it, like forming a tyre around her waist, Like seriously? Did an Amstel Malta ambassador do that? Especially for a drink with a selling point of “low sugar’. That was 50 shades of wrong.
    3) Mr Okeke again- What’s up with this dude? What type of award presenter mentions that he has a particular person he’s rooting for among the nominees? Yes we know you have a soft spot for Steve Gukas of ” A place in the stars ” but I think that was totally unnecessary.
    4) IK- my reservation: I also think IK and Vimbai did a good job. But what was with IK saying ” Now that’s how to receive an award”. I know he said it after Blossom received his award. Some people even claim he said it a couple of times. It was unnecessary. It sounded discouraging, like others who had received award were jokers. I don’t get it.
    5) Kunle Afolayan- Call me whatever you like, but I think from this guy’s dressing, to his carriage and how he received his awards, he just put himself in a totally different class. In short, the dude didn’t send nobody! He was just himself.

    • Hater Slayer

      March 12, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      I believe Genevieve was drunk, because there is simply no reason why she should raise the topic of Amstel Malta and being Fat. Even if she was not drunk, she must have been a little tipsy!

    • David

      March 12, 2015 at 10:41 pm

      My dear RMD DOES qualify for a supporting actor nom, 2 or 3 scenes is quite enough Remember Lupita in 12 Years or even Judi Dench’s 11 minute oscar winning “shakespeare in love” supporting performance in 1998? Yes he was eligible. Ngwa Bye.

  19. Emmanuel Kalu Uduma

    March 12, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Mr. Ayodeji, Shuga was nominated and deserved to WIN!! The error was from Mnet. During the nomination show it was announced as Jack Okwell; Georgia Arnold instead of Shuga. Jack is the Licencing and distributions person (MTV Staying Alive Foundation) Producers of Shuga and Georgia is senior vice president (Viacom international media networks) and CEO MTV SAF. Wrote back to Mnet and pointed the error but clearly it was not sorted. Notice how Jack Okwell wasn’t among the nominees? A little research would have helped; don’t you think?

    Emmanuel Kalu Uduma
    Marketing and Partnerships Manager
    MTV SAF.

    • ...just saying

      March 12, 2015 at 6:40 pm

      Which begs the question, who then voted? Because no member of the public except insiders had this fact and would not have voted for a series they don’t know.

    • Ayishaa

      March 12, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      So Mr Emmanuel, pls explain how they still managed to win viewers award when more than half of the viewers didn’t have this info. I have watched all the shuga series ( the Kenyan one as well) all I know is it’s called shuga. If the people that voted did not have this information so how did they still manage to win?

    • jassy

      March 13, 2015 at 6:25 pm

      It was in the non-public voters category, that’s why it was not listed on their website with an option for people to vote. The AMVCA committee chose the winners!

  20. Olohi

    March 12, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    “OC Ukeje has won in acting categories every year since AMVCAs inception. ”
    I like this post, but get your facts right. O.C hasn’t won every year since AMVCA started. He won in 2013, Tope Tedela won last year.

    • Mayowa

      March 12, 2015 at 4:10 pm

      Exactly, and I’m not sure how he’s 100% sure Gideon was throwing shade. The way people assume; it’s outrageous. Seems like all Nigerians are now psychics. Yes, I do not think O.C deserved the award, it’s preposterous. I hardly ever support Ghana, I however feel Adjetey (The perfect picture guy?) deserves it more than O.C; you cannot compare their acting skills. At the end of the day, it’s viewer’s choice so I’m made to understand it’s not about your talent but by votes. O.C cannot act, I’m sorry.

    • David

      March 12, 2015 at 10:44 pm

      Dahlen i totally agree in the case of Adjetey o, which is why I feel AMVCA should become African Magic Viewers and Critics Choice Awards so that coupled with viewers votes, a professional filmmaking 100 man panel at least can also vote to give deserving actors their due.

  21. grace

    March 12, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    You forgot the silly statement Geneivive made about Amstel malta in relationship with you getting fat, if she tried that in the US, she would be crying to not the bank now!

  22. Oluchi

    March 12, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Guys people voted for their favourites. Those whining, did you vote for your favourites to win…The viewers voted remember!.. it is Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award (AMVCA).. This conspiracy theory tire me.. People will always read meaning to every thing sha…Na wa o! Commend 2015 AMVCA Award..It will get better as the year progresses. Quit been an “armchair critic’ already.

  23. Rolayo

    March 12, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Ok.
    I agree and disagree with a couple of things here.
    The Meeting probably won awards again because really how many good comedy movies have been made. And people still voted for them cause obviously no one else has impressed.
    OC is all shades of awesome. Why can’t he be nominated against himself? Beyonce, Jay-Z and Kanye get nominated against themselves all the time. I don’t think there are enough good actors yet, so he doesn’t have enough competition. Go Blossom!
    Gideon was throwing shade abeg! I can’t really distinguish between his real self and his Tinsel character.
    You didn’t mention how Rachel Oniga’s picture was displayed when Ada Ameh’s name was mentioned. That was all sorts of wrong! She should not even even have been nominated seeing as she appeared in just one scene in the movie.
    Tuface and Lola Rae was bleh!
    Best speech of the night – Amaka Igwe’s husband.

    I miss Biola Alabi.

    • Rolayo

      March 12, 2015 at 5:45 pm

      I forgot to add, 4 people did the Shoki medley, why did you mention just three?

  24. like

    March 12, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    I do not if any of you voted.. But each person was allowed to vote 100 times per category,.. I kept voting for Frank Donga.. I didnt see much support from Ndani TV..

  25. Mz Socially Awkward...

    March 12, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Hahahahahahahahaha!!! This review made for some truly enjoyable reading, even for those of us who didn’t watch the show (but now have enough grasp on what went right/wrong, going by comments and tirades on this site). 🙂

  26. asgrl

    March 12, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    now this is a review without malice. Azuka and Joy please take note. Maybe you both should go and get an internship with BN.

    • Lizzie

      March 13, 2015 at 12:11 am

      Joy Bewaji right? The chics overarching ignorance passed off as reviews dey tire me.

  27. Tosin

    March 13, 2015 at 12:13 am

    elejowewe!
    🙂

  28. Mush

    March 13, 2015 at 11:23 am

    I’m sorry, but Biola Alabi’s absence was felt this year. Everything was just tacky. The content of the event too. Biola Alabi, please come back! AMVCA needs you.
    Gidi up should have won best series sha, and waaaaaaay better than Shuga in my opinion.

    • imaginedat

      March 17, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Yes! I think you are right. I love both shows, but I agree that Gidi Up should have won best series.

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