The Headies Awards is unarguably the biggest music awards in Nigeria and until the 2015 Edition the most prestigious Awards. This short essay will discuss the controversies of its 2015 edition and lessons to be learned from it.
The Headies Awards premiered in 2006. It has since then been doing well and getting more recognition and less controversial until the 10th edition which was held on January 1st, 2016 which is considered by many as the most controversial edition. Some big artistes like Wizkid, Davido, Burnaboy and Cynthia Morgan were absent at the event. It is possible that they were busy with other events they consider more important. Their absence however suggest one more thing: its credibility may have waned. At this edition, controversy started when Reekado Banks was announced winner of the Next Rated award. YBNL boss, Olamide had the conviction his label mate, Lil Kesh was the rightful recipient of the award because of his back-to-back hits. He indirectly accused Mavin Boss, Don Jazzy, on stage, of buying his signee, Reekado Banks, the Next Rated award. The Mavin leader responded when he came for his award on stage : ‘Egbon Olamide, if you want the car, come and collect it’. He said this because there is a Hyundai car prize presented the award winner. Enraged Olamide thereafter rained insults on Don Jazzy and his crew on Tweeter. This prompted numerous bloggers writing about the issue: while some believe it was manipulated in favor of Reekado Banks, Many believe Lil Kesh deserved to win.
Here are 5 lessons, I believe, must have been learnt from the controversies of the event:
1. Headies Awards organizers will now be more careful as to those that would form the panel of judges in subsequent editions. The judges must be totally honest and incorruptible.
2. The Headies organizers will be more transparent and make the results and the voting process open to viewers and audience.
3. Leave absolute judging power to voters by making every category a voting category.
4. The Next Rated category may be divided into two or even three categories as: Next Rated for Rap; Next Rated for Pop; and maybe Next Rated for Alternative song.
5. Some other award organizers also must have learned. Hence be more careful as to methods of selection of winners.