I will like to lend my voice to the series of ongoing conversations on IAMA 2018 and why key players have distant themselves from the award.

Before I am accused of ‘Pull Him Down Syndrome’ , let me begin by giving kudos to the organizer of the forthcoming Ibom All Stars Music Awards for such laudable initiative.

First off, the key words here ‘Ibom’, ‘All Stars’ and ‘Music’ should be given utmost regards and not abused. I may have been too quick to observe the sentiments played out in the nomination process, which was the reason I was yanked out of the WhatsApp group, that’s not the reason for my unrest or distrust.

I am bothered by the combination that makes up the several nominees in each categories listed, also the categories that make up the entire IAMA as a whole.

In as much as it is good to carry along many sectors, there are too many unnecessary categories, for instance; why have dance, comedy, hypemen and lounge categories? Isn’t this mockery of the award itself? Maybe that can pass for an ‘All Star’ award, not when music is mentioned. Yet they seem to forget about sectors like Artiste Managers (which the organizer is), Event Managers, Music Marketers, Promoters etc.

Another loop hole is repetition of categories; Song of the year and Gospel Song of the year, interesting but then why Male or Female categories for the same category? Gender equality I guess.

Even Gospel or Secular also have a sub-category, I don’t want to delve into this, so it won’t seem I am not religious or too religious. If you want to organize a Gospel Awards, pls do. Industry is not ministry. Or else one day, we will hear Best Music Church, or Best Church Choir.

I have kept quiet all along because of my industry and religious affiliations, but like the Bible says in Romans 6:1: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” No. This is why it is pertinent to set the records straight.

This is not the first time we have boycotted award ceremonies with self-interest and selfish interests. Unfortunately, like in the case of one Niger Delta Award, it is the same people whose industry is made mediocre of that will return to clamour for the crumbs they call plaques. Little wonder why Pattina who has not dropped a single in years got nominated, or DJ Santo, who was nominated before his video was released.

Akwa Ibom people are too talented and intelligent to be meddled with such mediocrity, especially in the light of the Dakkada spirit, since 2015, all creatives have been top notch in their game and we will not go back on that. That was how Brandiny’s body wearing a native attire was photoshopped with President Mohammadu Buhari’s face. Wack designs, that’s what you get when you join the broom family.

Jokes apart, please, when you are not sure of the class of branding your event will have, try to leave the ‘Akwa Ibom’ brand out of it. Akwa Ibom has got talents in various creative sectors who are patriotc and will be willing to do great stuff when it has to do with the state, If only your pride will allow you go to them. I don’t mean those feathers the former tourism commissioner called ‘Amazing Akwa Ibom’ logo.

However, as a stakeholder in the music- entertainement industry in Akwa Ibom State, I will like to state categorically, for the sake of records and history, that the IAMA 2018 though commendable, is not a true representation of the Akwa Ibom state music – entertainment industry. The vision should be revisited.

To all the talents that have been nominated. I celebrate you. Also, congratulations to the winners when they emerge.

Good bless Akwa Ibom State.

Best Regards,

Written By: Nelson NseAbasi
Talent Manager, Media & Entertainment Entrepreneur