The 2018 AMVCA has come and gone. Did you tune in? Maybe not. It was the usual award fare preceded by a red carpet ruckus with celebrities trying to out-dress each other. Bridget Chibufue came out as Bat Girl (which feels meme-worthy really), and Oreka Godis probably saw Crazy Rich Asians on Friday and came out as a geisha. I was hoping the red carpet would continue the #MeToo conversation but it never happened. It was fun while it lasted though.
Hosted by IK Osakioduwa and South Africa’s Minnie Dlamini-Jones, I couldn’t fathom why the stage had a cheap faux laminated look. That said, it was a huge relief that Moses Inyang’s Alter Ego didn’t clean out, winning Best Actress for Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde who was favoured over promising child actor Mariam Kayode in Imoh Umoren’s Children of Mud. With nothing against Inyang and Omotola, I have stated my dislike for Alter Ego several times, a film that epitomised how bad Nollywood was in 2017.
Jadesola Osiberu’s splashy rom-com Isoken came out shining, and deservedly so. Although Dakore Akande missed out in the category of Best Actress in a Comedy and TV series to Nyce Wanueri (Auntie Boss), the movie clinched Best Director for Osiberu and her acceptance speech was dedicated to the hardworking and diligent cast that made Isoken a success. Disappointingly, I didn’t see Marc Rhys on stage with Osiberu. Maybe it was for the best; his good looks would have devastated me.
Phoebe Ruguru’s 18 Hours took home Best Overall Movie. As in, it knocked out Inyang’s Alter Ego and ate Shirley Frimpong-Manso Potato Potahto for breakfast. Biggest news, perhaps, is Falz winning his second AMVCA for Best Supporting Actor in Tope Oshin’s New Money, beating Wale Ojo (Betrayal) and Gabriel Afolayan (Okafor’s Law). For Falz, this is new bragging rights to annihilate his rap rivals. His stage performance (no This Is Nigeria, for controversial reasons) was a kinetic mash up of Soft Work and La Fête, with backup dancers doing the shaku shaku as usual and the gwara gwara.
Mid-performance, Falz’s energy levels dipped and he began to sound out of breath. Towards the end of his performance, the dancers closed in on him with the women touching him flirtatiously. “I wish I was an artiste so that I can have irresponsible girls dance around me like that,” Osakioduwa joked. Sure, it was funny to most, but the sexism and misogyny jumped out. And of course, most will defend Osakioduwa by saying “it’s not that deep” or “can’t you take a joke?” without realising how we have normalised sexism and misogyny and how women continue to benignly and violently suffer under it.
After Falz Performance at the #AMVCA2018:
IK Osak(Host) said “In my next life I want to be a music artiste so I can have irresponsible girls dancing around me”
My thoughts: I find this very insulting, not because am a professional dancer or model or vixen but because am a woman
— South East Boss Lady (@SEastBossLady) September 1, 2018
Singling out just the female dancers for ridicule show’s Osakioduwa’s bias against women who work as dancers and video vixens and the overlapping nuances of sex work. It’s even more dangerous when you think of how men like Osakioduwa would still participate in transacting with these women while holding their sexist, misogynistic views. Which is why rape, violence and all kind of abusive exploitations still prevails in the sex work business and its allied industries, perpetrated by men who feel entitled to women’s bodies and harm them.
Interestingly, Big Brother Naija alumnus Bisola Aiyeola won the Trailblazer Award. I don’t know the requirements for this but hey, kudos to her. Also, she sounded off in her singing during that solemn tribute but it’s OK. It’s all over, phew. For a comprehensive list on the winners and losers, we have you covered here.