From inception, the Africa Movie Academy Awards have been plagued with issues. Not the kind that we complain about with the AMVCA, which mainly have to do with the quality of nominees and/or winners, but more about organization of the event itself (which, ironically, is where the latter award show soars.)
Year in, year out, the AMAA show is fraught with complaints from attendees – poor progression of the ceremony, missed flights, late airport pick-ups, power outages mid-event, and all around logistics issues.
The show held for most of its first 7 years, between 2005 and 2011, in Bayelsa, with a stint in Abuja in 2008. In 2012 came a visit to Lagos, after which was a return to Bayelsa for 2 years, before a 2015 turn when the show was held in Rivers State.
There are any number of conclusions to be drawn from this pattern (if it can even be called that) over the years but the latest development is that the Lagos State Government will be hosting the 2017 edition of the show on the 3rd of June. There are any number of possibilities from here on out. It’s possible AMAA will move back to Bayelsa right after this. But we hope not. For better or for worse, Lagos is the nerve centre of contemporary Nigerian entertainment. The hassles involved with transporting celebrities, crew and press to Bayelsa and back are storied enough by now. Even AFRIFF, which successfully held in Calabar for several years, has made a move to Lagos in recent years, and only for the better.
But even though that one problem can be solved with a move to Lagos, it’s entirely possible that the event will still be a mess but we’d like to believe otherwise. The AMAA organisers have good intentions and have staunchly championed quality filmmaking over the years. Poor organization has been a stain on their record since inception, and there’s no way to know for sure what will happen going forward, but we do hope they can pull their pants up and get things together for good.