#TFAA2016: The great, the bad and the starting very late

Anyone familiar with the events terrain in Nigeria will not be surprised to hear that one started late. Last night’s 11th Future Awards Africa, however, took it to nearly-new heights with a 1-hour 48-minute delay.

For an event that announces itself as the future. The Future of Africa. An Africa that its keynote Speaker, President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana rightly suggested might be sleeping though her own golden age. This is unacceptable.

If any Nigerian event should check all the boxes for being true to the time, it should be this The Future Awards Afrrica – in its 11th year and its football-themed set-up.

Speaking of the football theme, here, the organisers got it right. Almost everything was impeccably announced with the silhouette cut-out of a winning player wearing a number 11 jersey.

Yet when you catch a glimpse of the magnificent stage that carries the biggest cut out at 7:30 pm; 30 minutes after the event ought to have started and Falana still looks like she is rehearsing (because she had to have been performing to an empty hall).

Many of the guests, a mix of celebrities and their stylists, students, business and creative professional milling as they nibbled on small chops and Chapman, looked like they were getting restless already. Who can blame them? Chika Ike had walked the black carpet about 6 times already. The gorgeous glory of her red dress was starting to become a bore.

At 8:30 pm, guests had finally been let through the doors and the robotic voice of an MC assured it was about to start and people needed to be seated. When we did start, 18 minutes after this first announcement, it took the hosts, Mocheddah and Wole Ojo another one hour and a change of outfit after to come up with an apology for the late start.

The future for African youth has started late and the most important awards ceremony for the best of them appeared to be miming the act.

It would be unfair not to mention how much work must have gone into this production because the stage set-up, the people that showed up – from keynote speaker, Nana Akufo-Addo to Rotimi Amaechi, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, to name only a few – were testaments to the fact that people must have poured in intense amount of time, energy and resources to make this event amazing. Except that something snapped somewhere before the final product was delivered.

You could tell this because each performer, every host, and all the presenters seemed to understand what was at stake: that this was not just an event for the show, it was an event that truly should shape the future by harnessing every good that the continent has to offer.

It started with the young winner of the God’s Children Got Talent competition, Onome Enakarakpor’s blessed spoken word rendition begging the continent to wake up from her big dreams to realise our full potential. And the undeniably soulful voice of Okemutie literally making Nigeria great again through the national anthem. Timi Dakolo, Falana, with her most immediate delivery of the classic, Wonderful World, did not fail to pass the message – we need the wonderful world now. There was also Simi and the young wonder, Davido.

The only draw-back at this event was untimeliness which just threw everyone off and for a night-time event, it’s the worst kind.

But, what a brilliant night for Nigeria’s young.

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