Saturday, 3 January 2015

The Good, Bad and Ugly Side of the Headies Award... See Winners

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By Azuka Ogujiuba
Every year it is like Ayo Animashaun’s HEADIES award gets better despite one or two hitches here and there. The 2014 edition of the HEADIES award took place again at the Eko Hotel and Suites with the conspicuous HEADIES logo screaming so loud on the red carpet. As usual, this musical event, which is now being regarded as Nigeria’s version of the Grammy Awards, has its impressive trail of glamorous and fashionable parade of stars, but not all the stars scored well in their outfits.

Ayo Animashaun’s passion for the Nigeria entertainment industry has no bounds as he tries every year to make sure the award night holds whether there is a headline sponsor or not. If the present government of President Goodluck Jonathan is sincere about his support for the Nigeria entertainment industry, people like Ayo Animashaun, who have effortlessly supported the Nigerian music industry, should be involved in his entertainment policy for the country.  l still don’t understand MTN’s ‘once in a while’ support of the show; one day they are there and the next they are not. l also think that a big conglomerate like MTN that portrays itself as a top supporter of the Nigeria entertainment industry should not even falter when it comes to big events like HEADIES awards; or is it that someone at MTN is asking for too much from the organisers? It is very irritating that MTN should be seen acting so confused and inconsistent when it comes to supporting and promoting the growth of the Nigerian entertainment industry. Seriously, I ask again, where does MTN stand?
I personally was expecting to see the MTN yellow carpet and to do the usual photo-up my friends and I do on MTN’s yellow carpet.
I was curious so l made inquiries about HEADIE’s not getting headline sponsor this year and, this is what Animashaun said, “I believe it’s important to be consistent and keep growing as a brand and that’s what we have been all about. Brands will also come and go. Even at the World Cup and Grammy level, sponsors come and go. I don’t get too excited when I have them and cry when I don’t. The most important wthing is to push the brand to a level where we will be too important to be ignored. My philosophy is in line with Johnnie Walker brand. I love their slogan...”keep walking”.
Personally, l have issues with the limousine ‘effizi’ rides that is part of the HEADIE’s awards every year, especially with the limousine ride to get to your accreditation tent and then back to the venue of the show. I know Animashaun and his team are trying to give the stars, the VIPs and the VVIPs (Whatever that means) a special treat like it is done during any big award event in the western world but with the kind of space we have at the venues of these events it can’t work. It paralyses and defeats the whole purpose. Guests stand almost forever waiting for these limousines or executive rides to get accredited and l wonder why. As far as l am concerned, it is a stressful punishment for his guests. I spent over an hour going and coming back just to get my VVIP wrist band before l got into the venue. Everybody complained and grumbled inside the limousine and there was no form of refreshment inside the limousine to calm the nerves of the agitated passengers and, because of this, the event which was supposed to have started at 7pm started at 11pm, so you can imagine the frustrating waiting game.
The comperes
Initially, it was supposed to be the duo of Bovi and Toke  Makinwa but to my astonishment Basket Mouth emerged with Toke Makinwa. Basketmouth looked so dapper in his outfit; I can’t remember if he ever mentioned who created the outfit and look. Toke’s first outfit was the best of all the crap she wore through the duration of the award. And the organisers didn’t deem it fit to explain why Bovi was left out after the whole promo.  I was excited it was Basketmouth who replaced him anyway and he saved the evening from Toke Makinwa’s inability to host a big show. We hope she will do better in the nearest future.
Toke Makinwa
She obviously loves the limelight; she enjoys being called and seen as a celebrity, and she loves the good life of being a star, which sincerely is not a crime and it is equally her business anyway. For me as a journalist, if l am to pick any of the known on-air personalities to interview then Toke Makinwa will never make number 50 on my list because l don’t know what she wants to tell the world about her career and personal life again. Her life is practically on the social network but it is truly her choice. There is no doubt that she works hard and can be aggressive. She probably wants to be the most popular radio personality and, of course, probably has to add the ‘fake it till you make it’ attitude into everything she does. Her strategy is working for her. I actually used to think Toke was so loved and revered by her fans until she co-hosted the 2014 HEADIES awards. Initially, l thought she had butterflies in her stomach, because l have been a victim before, when l had to present an award to the family of the late Dagrin, who died a month before the award in 2010.  When l saw the crowd watching me on stage l was scared and immediately became dump, l was so overwhelmed by stage fright that D1 came to my rescue. Through that short time the crowd booed me off the stage, and it should be worse for a wanna-be  ‘celeberity’ like Toke whom l used to think has more fans than the likes of Funke Akindele, Tu face, Genevive Nnaji and co, because that is how Toke Makinwa rates herself. Maybe she thinks she falls in the category of A-list celebrities. Well, to some people she might be.
She almost cheapened and marred the show with her dry jokes and her ‘fakeness’, trying to be who she is not. l think Animashaun imagines his event as a huge joke that was why he opted for Toke. The fact that Toke presents ‘Trends’ does not mean she has the capability to host such a big show and a large crowd. And the crowd was not merciful at all, as the audience made Toke realise she was not wanted on stage; nobody replied her calls or laughed at her jokes. They just wanted her out of the stage every time she came out in any of her horrible outfits which, as usual, were given to her free by designers, who also have fallen prey to her ‘fakeness’. The response was so bad that at a point l felt so sorry for her. Less l forget, l also wore an outfit courtesy of Kina Buti to the awards night.
Her second outfit was a sequin jump suit, which got the audience laughing when she walked up the stage. l didn’t see her at first because I was actually chatting on my blackberry phone, but the laughter from the crowd made me look up quickly. People talked openly not caring who was listening, and l heard from the seat behind me someone asking ‘Why is this girl fooling herself? What nonsense is she wearing and why would she wear a’ Padded Butt’ in this kind of outfit? Another said she looked like she wore pampers, and the comments and laughter at Toke’s foolery went on and on. And l just thought to myself who is actually her stylist? Who is doing this to Toke? Or is she her own worst enemy? She made it worse when she tried to thrill the crowd with the various dance steps which she did badly as the crowd continued to bully and boo her. It was so hard not to laugh, as she kept making jest of herself on stage. Toke invited Julius Agwu on stage to assist her in dancing shoki, and Julius Agwu flawed and also threw jibes at her and her ugly/funny jumpsuit. It was then with the large crowd that l realised Toke has this ‘we love to hate you kind of personality’. She’s liked as much as she’s disliked and draws negative and controversial attention. In a way, l think she loves anything negative or positive as long she is seen on the pages of newspapers, magazines and for her stories to be on the blogs. For people like Toke any publicity is cool as long people know or read about her. As long as it makes her join the league of ‘celebrity world’ she does not care.
Her third outfit was made in adire with a funny big bow. It was equally ugly and drab; I don’t know which designer made the outfit and, the fourth outfit reminded me of a turkey for thanksgiving. l don’t understand the dress or is it the feathers? Biko, who is her stylist, l ask again and, the exchange of wigs, was that really necessary?
During the awards, she did everything she could to make the crowd happy but they were very hostile to her, to the extent that at one point she had to plead with the crowd to accept and laugh at her jokes or even applaud her efforts to make them enjoy the show, but the crowd still ignored her until Basketmouth as usual came to her rescue. Even her jokes at Basketmouth’s marriage was quickly hushed and halted by him.
The truth is Toke Makinwa has no business hosting the show, because her presence almost marred the event. She is what people in the crowd described as ‘a die-hard wanna-be’ and it is working for her l guess. And her accent is a gist for her another.
Dr Sid
I guess we have a new Dr Sid. Once upon a time, he was just like one of the boyz in the disbanded Mo’Hits group, but thank God D’banj and Wande Coal are out; so it is time for Dr Sid to rise and shine. Now, what is all this body guards’ drama for? Is it a sign of elevation or his new status as the ‘Surulere crooner’? That song was one of the best songs in 2014. I love the song and can never stop listening to it even if l don’t understand some of the lyrics. I didn’t understand the aso ebi maroon colour suit he wore with the Prince.
When the Mavin All Stars win the Best Pop Single, they came on stage to receive their award, and why did Reekado Banks, David Fresh and Koredo Bello, Dija style- l am trying so hard not be too hard with the choice of my words- but why did they all look like beggars or should l say house boys? They are young, maybe playful, or could it be their style or is it that the senior Mavin members wanted to differentiate themselves from the boys in the group, or was it just a coincidence? ¬ I didn’t know Don Jazzy was even in the building until he shocked the crowd as he performed Surelere with Dr Sid.
Don Jazzy
For a very long time to come Don Jazzy will be among the forerunners of the Nigerian music scene. He is an umbrella in the music industry and if he decides to shelter you, you might be the next D’banj. Don Jazzy has never produced a song for anybody that is not a hit song. One thing l always thought about, especially looking back at his musical split from Dbanj and Wande Coal, is that all l see is a man God has vindicated. I remember when Dbanj and Don Jazzy broke up their musical marriage. Dbanj was wagging his tongue, talking from all sides of his mouth, granting interviews and presenting to the world how his name, face and personality made the musical MO’Hits group. He even boasted he was the ‘cash cow’ of the group; that without him Don Jazzy cannot function. All the while this happened, Don Jazzy kept quiet, never did he talk down Dbanj, maybe he did privately but l am not aware. The only thing l can remember, when l encountered and interviewed him then, was that ‘I don’t want to talk about Dbanj, he is my friend and l wish him well’. l did everything to make him talk about their split but Jazzy refused to utter a word. And since then, my respect for Don Jazzy knew no bounds till date. There is no where it was published or printed that Jazzy made any snide comments about his former business associate. Now, the next act to back stab Don Jazzy was Wande Coal, and their split broke my heart because l loved Wande Coal. His Mushin to Mo’hits album which was produced by Don Jazzy is still one of the best in the country. Finally, Nigerians got to know that Don Jazzy was the talented genius and not Dbanj. After the wave-making hit Oliver Twist, music lovers in Nigeria have refuse to accept all the songs Dbanj released after Mo’Hits died a painful death. Nigerians miss Mo’Hits all stars and probably wish there will be reconciliation in the nearest future. Now, the whole world knows that Don Jazzy is the engine room of Mo’Hits and l am sure he is the best and most hardworking music producer in Nigeria, l guess in West Africa or maybe in Africa.
When Don Jazzy was announced as the winner of the category of the producer of the year 2014, he didn’t come out to receive his award and l disliked that about him. He sent his children, Dija, Korede Bello, Reekado Banks and David Fresh to receive the award or could it be that he had not arrived the venue then? I was surprised to see him appear later when he performed ‘Surulere’ with Dr Sid.
Well, l did follow his career and Wizkid’s when they were both with EMI, what l still cannot phantom by now is if Banky W supported Wizkid’s career more than Skales’. Those days, Skales always looked depressed, suppressed and oppressed. Just a few people in the industry knew him but immediately he left EMI, he released a hit song that threw him in the midst of the big stars. The first time l heard the ‘Shake body’ song l never knew it was by Skales until Joy Chico-Ejiro told me so. Although l have always liked their boss Banky W, but l never got around to ask him what went down. What l did observe is that between Wizkid and Skales, Wizzy, like l love to call him, is a total package and very sellable and maybe Banky W should have also worked more on Skales. Anyway, congrats to Skales, he has his own voice now.
Annie Idibia
Annie Idibia faked her accent when she came to receive her husband’s award and, when did all that begin? She looked so pretty in her turquoise short dress and turquoise shoes.  Is faking accent the new façade now?
Tiwa Savage
She was in the building and l didn’t know until she came out to perform with Patoraking. I have not seen her since the marriage breakup rumour began to spread. I was at the wedding in Dubai. For me l still find it difficult to believe the rumour.  Tiwa and Teeblizz still remain my favorite entertainment hottest couple. I don’t know how true the stories going round are, but l plead with them to patch it up as soon as they can.
I asked Animashaun his criteria for giving Niola the best female vocal performance, when l stumbled into him, after the awards. I don’t think she deserved the award though, l think she was given the award to give her a vague prominence. Niola has been around forever but she has not been able to jump start her musical career. l hope this award does some magic; l wish her the best.
Prof (Sir) Victor Uwaifo
He is one of the artistes that should be referred to as a legend. I am always flabbergasted when people refer to artiste like 2face as a legend. He is getting there but not yet. Sir Uwaifo was awarded the Hall of fame. He performed with his guitar; he is the original guitar boy. The crowd sang along with him as he rendered some of his memorable hit songs. He has been playing music for 60 years. He is still agile at his age, a very colourful and vibrant man with his signature afro hair which still has no strands of grey or does he dye the hair?
The king of the streets; every time l watch him perform, it keeps me thinking that if Dagrin was still alive by now they would have done a collaboration, even if l don’t understand some of his lyrics, l know the streets love Olamide. Before he came to receive his award, the Rookie of the year category has been mentioned and the winner has been announced. It was awarded to Reekado Banks of the Mavin All Stars. Just like Olamide, l also wondered why Lil Kesh of the shoki dance and song fame was not in the category. If he was then, obviously, he would have clinched the award. Olamide didn’t hide his displeasure about it, when he was called upon to receive his award, he strolled in with a glass of Hennessy l guess, but l am not sure. He looked and sounded angry, and personally announce Lil Kesh as the Rookie of the year as he walked away, not accepting the HEADIES organiser’s decision.
Tribute Time
The HEADIES organisers ceased the opportunity to give a touching tribute which saw tears rolling down the faces of some people in the audience. Also, Dagrin was remembered, Goldie, Father U-turn and Fatai Roling Dollars.
Big winners of the night
Dancehall act, Patoranking dominated the event ceremony, not only with his performances and winning three awards but also for carting away the covetous award; The Next Rated Act.
Patoranking won an award for his collaborative effort on ‘Emergency’ for Best Collabo award alongside WizzyPro, Skales and Runtown.
He also won the Best Reggae/Dancehall category for his hit single ‘Patoranking’. Pop star Davido won the Song of the Year category for ‘Aye’, and Artiste of the Year, while Olamide took home two Headies - Best Rap Album, and Album of the Year.
Mavin boss, Don Jazzy also went home with two awards. He and his crew won the ‘Best Pop Single’ award. Don Jazzy later won the award for Producer of the Year, while Reekado Banks went home with two awards; Best Pop Single and Rookie of the Year.
Jess Jagz
I love him and his music, and also love his elder brother M.I, our original chairman but since he left Chocolate City his career took a low dive in the Nigeria music scene. He has never been a noise maker like some of his contemporaries who love to make so much noise and to show off. He has always been the quiet type. He is shy too. He won the category of the Lyricist on the Roll 2014, which MODE 9 dominated for years. Jagz has lost weight and looked so lost, l was happy he won the award and l think he deserved the award.
When l heard that P-Square were going to be honoured and that they are also going to perform l didn’t believe it, after they swore many years ago that they will never attend the HEADIE’s awards. I remember vividly that in 2008 when they felt they should have won some categories, which they didn’t, they were livid with anger, gave interviews, calling the award a Yoruba award, and swore never to attend the award or accept the award ever. Every year the HEADIE’s organisers invited them to the award they never attended but the organisers still sent their HEADIES trophy to them, that is, if they win. Animashaun is a gentleman and he still attended every function held by the P-Square brothers even to their house-warming parties and their weddings. I guess boys are now men, and they have moved on. It was obvious the crowd loved the special performance of P-Square and missed their presence at the HEADIES, and that includes me.

The list of the winners
Special Recognition Awards – P-Square
List of Winners at HEADIES 2014
Best R&B Single Let Somebody Love You – 2Face
Best Pop Single- Mavin Crew
Best Rap Single- Phyno
Best Streethop-Oritsefemi (Double Wahala)
Best Male Vocal Performance- Timi Dakolo
Best R&B/ Pop Album – Sean Tizzle (The Journey)
Best Female Vocal Performance- Niyola
Best Rap Album– Olamide (Baddest Guy Ever Liveth)
Best Reggae/Dance All- Patoranking (Girlie O)
Best Collabo-Emergency (Wizzy Pro Ft Runtown, Skales Patoranking
Hip Hop World Revelation of The Year– Kcee
Recording of The Year- Cobhams Asuquo (Ordinary People)
Best Alternative Song – Boj (Bolaji)
Producer of The Year – Don Jazzy
Lyricist on The Roll –Jesse Jagzc
Next Rated – Patoranking
African Act of The Year- Sarkodie
Rookie of The Year – Reekado Banks
Best Music Video of The Year – Clarence Peters For “Ada Ada” By Flavour
Song of The Year –Davido (Aye)
Album of The Year– Olamide (Baddest Guy Ever Liveth)
Artiste of The Year – Davido
Special Recognition Awards – P-Square

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