ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM examines the controversies that dogged the 2019 Headies Award and why the organisers need to sit up
It was still a star-studded night though many of the celebrities who were supposed to be on hand for the awards were not present due to clash of events with Wizkid’s Starboy Fest at the O2 Arena, London.
Many foresaw that more attention would be channeled towards the mega show Wizkid put together with Nigerian top acts as headliners.
Though people like BBNaija host, Ebuka Obi Uchendu, BBNaija ex-housemates and winner, BamBam, Mike, Sir Dee, Avala, Tobi Bakre, Rico Swarvey, and Mercy were some of the early birds at the venue, others spotted included Do2tun da energy god, Joeboy, Victor AD, Ubi Franklin, Eyinna Nwigwe, and Ruggedman, Teni, Falz , Rema etc.
Headies is viewed as Nigeria’s Grammys’ and every artiste wants to win it. But of late, the awards has never gone without controversies as many alleged that some of the categories are bought by influential entertainment organisations.
A flashback to a past Headies Awards shows how Mavin Records boss, Don Jazzy and YBNL CEO, Olamide fought each other shamelessly for allegedly influencing the organisers to award Rekado Banks, who was not as hot as Lil Kesh at that period. Lil Kesh was responsible for introducing one of Nigeria’s popular dance steps “Shoki” which got lots of rave reviews. But the award for “Next Rated” artiste of that year rather went to Rekado Banks. It was obvious as the mood in the hall changed dramatically.
The two artistes had engaged in war of words while on live television during the award ceremony as the fight spilled over to Twitter with both pouring out emotions.
It took the intervention of Africa’s richest man and the President of Aliko Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, to reconcile them.
Fast forward to the just concluded Headies award that saw again, young prospective artiste, Rema, picking up the award for 2019 Headies ‘Next Rated.’ This didn’t go down well with many on the day as Zlantan was tipped to be the best for the award. Some even suggested that Joeboy even did better than Rema, but Headies organisers thought Rema was better off than the other two artistes in that category.
Some of the artistes who won most of the awards shocked guests but not Burna Boy who won ‘Song of the Year’. Killertunes emerged the ‘Producer of the Year and Teni who has been somewhat consistent since her emergence into the industry went home with four awards including ‘Best Female Vocalist of the Year’.
Yemi Alade won Best Performer, Johnny Drille won the award for Best Alternative Song, Burna Boy and Zlatan Ibile won the award for ‘Best Collaboration’ and Falz surprisingly won three awards on the night including Best Rap Single.
Reacting to the just concluded 2019 Headies Award, Azeez Fashola better known as Naira Marley, who was obviously not present at the event because while the Headies was ongoing in Nigeria, Naira Marley was in London at the O2 Arena where he performed at the Starboy Fest. He had one of the most outstanding stage highlights with his skillful legwork and zanku.
Hours after Headies, Naira Marley threw shades at the award organisers on Twitter. Unfortunately he did not pick up any award after enjoying a massive year with hits like ‘Opotoyi’, ‘Soapy’ etc.
In a tweet, the head Marlian said ‘legwork bigger than Headies 2019’ an apparent diss at the award body. His close friend Zlatan did not pick up any individual award except for ‘Best Collaboration’ with Burna Boy.
Also, Nancy Isimi and Reminisce, the hosts of the night, were not on top of their game as the blend of the duo wasn’t it. While Reminisce looked and sounded very incoherent with his presentations, Nancy was contaminated by the influence of her co-host.
Every year, the organisation of the Headies and the award categories continued to raise eyebrows and it’s believed they can do better than what is obtainable.