AFRO-ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY UK 2013 – SYNOPSIS VOL#2
We all know that 2013 was filled with great shows, massive concerts and successful musical events. Well luckily, it didn’t end there!
We were also blessed with amazing fashion shows, entertaining beauty pageants and successful award shows, Oops! I’m sorry! I meant some successful Award shows!!
Speaking of fashion Shows I must give a special recognition to the ‘African Fashion Week London’ (AFWL) for taking pride in providing African and African inspired designers a well affordable platform to showcase their work with a global audience and international media. They have not only provided designers with a platform to share their work but also had payment plan in place for these designers and exhibitors who took place at the AFWL 2013 in August. With their event taking place in 3 days consecutively, this leaves enough slots for so many designers out there to have the opportunity to share their work and showcase their talents.
Another interesting platform that gives designers the opportunity to showcase themselves are the Beauty Pageants. Luckily for me, I was able to attend the ‘The Miss Black Africa 2013’ grand Finale. Congratulations to Dele Onabowu (the ‘Miss Black Africa’ pageant director) for his success in this event and his award from BEFFTA as the ‘Best Beauty Pageant Director 2013’. It was a successful show in terms of presentation and integrity, it was over exciting and there were live performances on the day. I noticed a lot of fashion designers sitting in the audience and a couple of actors and actresses including INI EDO who happened to be one the Judges who honored the show with their attendance. However, I spotted two different things, which I found quite interesting – one of which doesn’t surprise me as much and the other didn’t seize to amaze me.
Firstly, why is it that we Africans have seemed to make the term “African Time” a tradition at event we organise? It’s quite unfortunate to be labeled with a term that means “never on time”. As organised as the ‘Miss Black Africa 2013’ was, final results did not get called out until way after mid-night due to the fact that the event did not start at the right time. In my opinion, I think African event organisers really needs to deal with issue and the sooner we fix that, the sooner all Africans and non-Africans attending our event will respect us even more. Another interesting fact of the Pageant was that all of the beautiful and dazzling 30 contestants only hailed from 17 African countries that are all against child marriage. Lovely concept! But what happened to 13 other African countries that are also fighting against child marriage?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the 10 countries with the highest rates of child marriage are: Niger, 75%; Chad and Central African Republic, 68%; Bangladesh, 66%; Guinea, 63%; Mozambique, 56%; Mali, 55%, Burkina Faso and South Sudan 52%; and Malawi, 50%.
Judging from the above list, 90% of the countries with the highest rates of child marriage are African countries. In the Pageant show we saw representatives of the following countries Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Malawi, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Cape Verde, Ghana, Congo, South Africa, Senegal, Mali and Chad.
Now this is what baffles me, amongst the final 10 contestants there were 5-6 contestants that were Nigerians and this excluding the fact that there was NO contestant hailing from the country that has the highest Child marriage rate in the whole world – NIGER!
Maybe no one came forward to represent these countries, but it’s very hard to believe that they couldn’t find anyone from countries like Niger, Mozambique, South Sudan or even Burkina Faso to join the contest. I’m just saying, maybe if they had more girls from other qualifying countries, they might not have had over 50% of the final list of girls representing Nigeria. And Oh! By the way, the winner of ‘Miss Black Africa 2013’ was Precious Okeke – a Nigerian!!
However, regardless of all these ‘Miss Africa UK’ deserved the award and Dele Onabowu deserved his reward for putting up a great and inspiring Show. I hope that in 2014, the show will be nothing but better than the last few ones.
Click here for more photos of the contestants at ‘Miss Black Africa 2013’ grand Finale!
Moving on, award shows happens to play a very important role in the world of entertainment. I believe that it very essential to show some recognition to those who truly deserve it and that they hold it with enough integrity and respect.
Within African entertainment UK, there were two main awards held this year to show recognition to the African entertainment. One of them was the ‘Black Entertainment, Film, Fashion, Television and Arts Awards’ (BEFFTA) and the other was the ‘Zulu African Film Academy Awards’ (ZAFAA)
The 5th year BEFFTA UK grand anniversary took place over two days on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th of October 2013. The event was filled with content just like its name. On Friday the 25th, they had thirty-six (36) nominees to give out awards to whilst on Saturday the 26th; they had another twenty-eight (28) nominees that attended for their awards. I personally think this was absolutely fantastic because there was an award for everyone who deserved it. Even the ‘unsigned artists’ and ‘online production’ got their recognition.
Click here for the full list of BEFFTA Awards winners announced for 2013
This is why it is called “black entertainment”; every single platform that creates entertainment in any shape or form to the black community in the UK was recognized. In terms of the awards night itself, I must say the turn out wasn’t too bad. Excluding the fact that event started almost three hours late – again blaming it on “African time” just like every other African event – the red carpet was well organized, the stage was well set with good lighting, the performances of the night were absolutely up to standard and once again the turn out was great!
However I wonder how Pauline Long (founder of BEFFTA) would have felt after reading Wendy Smith’s article as she states a couple of criticisms about one of the nominees of the day – movie ‘Shameful Deceit’ – concerning nollywood actress Theodora Ibekwe-Oyebade in action. She declares Theodora’s acting as “rubbish in ‘Shameful Deceit’ and the movie was not good enough to be given 10 nominations”. She also refers to Theodora as Pauline Long’s friend. What baffles me is this; should Wendy Smith be right about them being friends, could this be the reason as to why the movie ‘Shameful deceit” had 10 whole nominations? Regardless of everything I do think Wendy was a little too harsh on Theodora and I think one of the two women should have said something except if Wendy Smith was 100% right Of course!
However, congratulations to Pauline Long for her success in their 5th year anniversary and if you ask me, I would say last year’s event was better than this year’s in terms of integrity.
ZAFAA on the other hand, continues to portray “what not to do” at award events. Of course the event started late and the red carpet was all over the place. Additionally, the turn out was not all that and the stage setting was crap.
Before this year, I had never heard of ZAFAA so I believe something must have changed about their coordination team this year plus the ‘British Arts Counsel’ commented on the day that this year’s was the best ZAFAA Awards event so far because it has a fusion of other African countries and not just Nigeria. However, that does not exclude the fact that the wrong winner was highlighted on stage; how ridiculous is that? Additionally, I’m still trying to understand why or how Yvonne Nelson would have picked up seven awards on the night – some for her and the others for her fellow Nollywood co-actor, Michael Majid and Pascal Amanfo from ‘Single & Married’.
Click here for the full list of ZAFAA Awards winners announced for 2013
What happened to the rest of the nominees? What happened to all those names on the flyer? Jackie Opiah, John Demulo, Bimbo Oshin and RMD? We might have to wait till next Christmas to get the answers to these questions…
Congratulations once again to Marie Gomez as she was awarded the “Best Upcoming Actress” by ZAFAA on the night. I truly agree that she deserved it – she’s beautiful and a great actress too. Job well done on that!
On the contrary, what smashed it for me was the fact that the agenda got so messed as they spent 45mins – 1 hour awarding the Governor of Kano state. Was this a movie awards night or a political event?
All I’ve got to say is that ZAFAA has to really step up their game if they really want to be in the level of comparison with other movie awarding platforms or organisations.
I wonder if BenTV will ever start it’s own Award show. In my opinion they are more than capable and qualified in standard of hosting an award show successfully. I really think they have a great chance in filling the missing gaps and having the same level of reputation that BET Awards have earned within the Black American community. That is something I am most definitely looking forward to!
Guys, I’m sorry this was a bit longer than Volume1 but we all have to rise and support the Afro-Entertainment Industry in UK; give constructive criticisms in order to have better representatives of Africans as a whole.
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