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AMVCA Snubs And False Winners: Are Awards Still Based On Performance Or Popularity?

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Every year filmmakers, actors, and actresses in Nigerian and even across West Africa look forward to the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA).

Naija News reports that the AMVCA is widely regarded as the biggest and most recognized award show that rewards and recognize talented movie stars, hard work, and creativity.

However, over the years, many people within the movie industry seemed to have lost interest in the award ceremony because of what they termed as ‘lacking credibility’.

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Similarly, the last few editions of the show have generated controversy, especially the noticeably snubbed movies, actors, and ‘fake’ or ‘undeserving’ winners.

Also, the ‘Asabahood’ (Nollywood stars in the eastern part of Nigeria/African Magic Epic) frequently lament about their exclusion from the awards.

Many fans have also castigated the AMVCA awards, with some alleging that the show has become nothing more than a popularity contest where the most popular actor/actress in a category wins the award.

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A typical example was Nollywood actor, Kunle Remi, who was obviously the ‘star’ in ‘Anikulapo’, and got accolades for his performance in the movie but failed to secure any nominations.

The failure to recognize Yoruba actor, Ibrahim Chatta’s outstanding performance in the Best Supporting Actor in Drama category in the movie ‘Agbeshinkole’ also created a buzz online.

Well, just for a sigh of relief, Femi Adebayo, receive a nomination for Best Actor, however, it was even more frustrating to see someone who bagged 8 nominations go home without any award and for a movie that earned box office success.

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Another notable uproar came after actress, Osas Ighodaro won the award for Best Actress in Drama (Movie/Tv series) in a category where Bimbo Ademoye, Ini Edo, Queen Nwokoye, Nse Ikpe-Etim, and Ini Dima-Okojie were in.

Subsequently, former Big Brother Naija star cum Nollywood actor, Tobi Bakre also snagged the award for Best Actor in a Drama for his role in ‘Brotherhood’.

Tobi’s was nominated alongside Blossom Chukwujekwu, Chidi Mokeme, Chimezie Imo, Daniel Etim-Effiong, Femi Adebayo, NKakalukanyi Patriq, O.C. Ukeje, Richard Mofe Damijo, and Tope Tedela.

These particular awards didn’t go well with many movie lovers and Nollywood stars who described the duo as ‘false’ winners.

In an exclusive interview with Naija News, veteran Nollywood actor, Jide Kosoko, said there would always be controversy regarding awards because judging the work of art is not an easy task.

According to him, the AMVCA is tagged viewers’ choice and it is believed that movie enthusiasts voted for their preferred actor/actress.

He said, “You will always have controversy, sometimes it may be out of selfish reasons, and judging the works of art is not always easy because the best on my side may not be the best for other people. The question that should be asked is whether those given the award, actually deserve it. Have they really worked hard for something we can acknowledge? And if yes, so be it because no award can be perfect.

“It is believed that it viewers awards so those who vote know the people they have voted for and if there is a platform to know the details of the vote is a different thing. However, I do not want to join the bandwagon of controversy because I personally believe in acknowledging contributions”

On issues of being snubbed, Kosoko said it is important to note that some of these omissions may be due to filmmakers not submitting their films for consideration, and the organizers may not be at fault.

“It is always depending on the movie submitted and the AMVCA organizers do not go to markets or cinemas to start picking films. The award is not based on popularity because if it’s like that, someone like me should be receiving awards daily”

Jide Kosoko added that the Nigerian movie industry is gradually beginning to gain more recognition from people and soonest there would be more awards and recognition like the Western world.

Rachel Okporu is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist with years of experience in the industry. She is a graduate of Linguistics and Communication Studies. Likes surfing the Internet and making new friends.

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