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Pulse Opinion It’s high time we had our own BET Awards

Nigeria's entertainment industry is ripe for a supreme award ceremony that celebrates singers and actors.

  • Published:
BET Awards 2016 play

Yemi Alade

(Instagram )

On Sunday, June 26, 2016 the annual BET Awards was held at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California.

Apart from having some of the biggest black celebrities in the world, the award ceremony also had our own Yemi Alade and Falz in attendance. Hosted by Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, the award ceremony was a celebration of black people in movies, music and sports.

The BET Awards is tagged as the black Oscars in America because it is the largest award ceremony of black people in the performing Arts. It is the pinnacle of black excellence for African Americans in the entertainment industry.

Coming back home to Nigeria while we have a plenty of award ceremonies (both major and minor) we do not have a respectable award ceremony for both the music and movie industries.

ALSO READ: Wizkid, Flavour lead NEA 2016 nominees list

For music we have the Headies award which has been on since 2006 and has helped establish the careers of many artistes today in Nigeria. While other music awards have fallen by the wayside, the Headies has been consistent in its business of rewarding artistic ingenuity.

Next Rated 2015 winner Reekado Banks play

Next Rated 2015 winner Reekado Banks

(Headies/Shola Animashaun )

 

As for Nollywood the biggest award ceremony is AMVCA (Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award) which came into existence a few years ago. Before AMVCA we had AMAA (Africa Movie Academy Awards) but the award ceremony has floundered within recent years creating an opportunity which AMVCA has seized and exploited.

ALSO READ: Power outage interrupts AMAA 2016

So one major award ceremony is dedicated to either the music or movie industry. You can argue that the NEA (Nigerian Entertainment Awards) caters to both but with the fact that it is held in New York and not in Nigeria serves as a discredit to the award. The NEA cannot permeate into the consciousness of Nigerians because of its location. The award ceremony should be bigger than what it is right now. The NEA started in January 2006, two months before Headies but today it can’t compete with neither the Headies or the AMVCA. An actor or singer would prefer to win an AMVCA or Headie than an award from the NEA.

Also the nominees list and the winners of the list has raised several eyebrows over the years with many saying they don’t reflect credibility. There is a widespread belief that if you do not show up for the ceremony your award will be given to another person in your category. With all that is going around the NEA it cannot be the paramount award for excellence for Nigerians in the performing arts.

NEA 2016 nominees flyer play

NEA 2016 nominees -Flyer

 

The time has come for the entertainment industry in Nigeria to have one defining award that celebrates Nigerian culture and creativity in movies and music just like the BET Awards.

An award ceremony like that will not only be impactful but will also bring more glamour to our entertainment industry. An award ceremony like that will be the most important date in Nigeria’s entertainment calendar. The industry will come to a stand still.

An award ceremony will also further help merge the ties between the movie and music industries. Any little dichotomy between the two will be eroded. Nollywood and the Nigerian music industry are still too weak to stand on its own properly. Having an award that caters to the two blocs will help swell our entertainment industry.

We need a pinnacle for Nigerian actors and singers to strive for, one single award ceremony that will help both industries grow.

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