Insiders: “2016 was a bad year for the Headies”

Everyone agrees the show is a trailblazer, But Soundcity made it look ugly.

The Headies Awards held its 11th edition in December 2016 and with this outing came a truckload of backlash for the organisers who many perceived as out of touch with the audience and moreso, the standard the award has set over the years.

Especially from the perspective of those who watched the Headies on their TV screens, everything from production to sound to transmission went awry. Add all these to the somewhat deliberate boycott of the event by major Nigerian artistes who were in fact supposed to pick up awards.

Barely two weeks after the Headies, the Soundcity MVP Awards held. The first of its type and clearly not one to categorise as a rival for the Headies. But the near-nightmare that was the Headies was still a topic that ruled conversations so when the Soundcity Awards came, it was only right for enthusiasts to compare.

Social media platforms and blogs were awash with comments, banter and bias. The popular opinion, mildly put, was for the organisers of the Headies to “sit back and learn” from their Soundcity counterparts. Maybe it’s the effects of the economic recession in the country, maybe the organisers of the Headies have become self-satisfied or maybe the Headies has outlived its relevance, no one would ever really know why the 11th Headies flopped.

Our group of Insiders who understand the workings of Nigeria’s entertainment industry and pop culture space are a bit divided on the matter.

2016 was a bad year for the Headies“, said a music critic and entertainment writer. “It was obvious that organisers did not put in enough resources, they lost sponsorship, production failed etc but all these do not change the fact that the Headies has done enough good for the industry and remains relevant. You can’t wipe away a generation just because of one bad year.”

He maintains that “although the Soundcity MVP Awards is new, fun and exciting, the Headies remains Nigeria’s premier award show.”

For this TV presenter, it might be worth it if “the Headies is rested for a while so organisers can brainstorm on areas of improvement.” She is of the opinion that “the just concluded edition was a poor outing for a show that has been running for over a decade” and she hits the nail on the head by demanding that owner of Hip TV and the Headies, Mr Ayo Animashaun needs to do better by “paying his staff, employing more qualified hands and investing more in the show.”

She also thinks that the conduct of artistes who boycotted the show and Phyno’s failure to acknowledge the receipt of his award which she describes as “rude” contributed to the event’s flop.

One can argue that the Soundcity Awards has been around for as long but took a break to reinvent. From what was erstwhile known as the Soundcity Music Video Awards that emerged in 2008, the new Soundcity MVP Awards is a spinoff of the rested SMVAs and this entertainment writer and artiste manager reminds us that even “the SMVAs, in its time was topnotch and organisers have always been steps ahead with Soundcity spreading the urban culture across Africa.” For him, the Headies now relies on drama (the type Olamide and Don Jazzy brought on in the 10th edition) for popularity, a move that is not sustainable in the short-run.

The first isn’t always the best. Over the years, The Headies has been a trailblazer in putting on award shows, rewarding talent and achievement in the music industry. This is undisputed. However, in this time it has also proven how an awards show should NOT be run“, said this art critic. “I believe though that The Headies is aware of what it is to be done, how to raise the standard. But it wrongly thinks the audience won’t mind if it doesn’t. Because what’s yet another disappointment to the average Nigerian.”

Another online contributor thinks that “The Headies is losing its goodwill and not paying enough attention to quality”.

From the opinion gathered, it is clear that the Headies should not be condemned just yet but it has only 2017 to prove itself.




These are the members of YNaija’s Pop Culture Insiders, not all of whom participated in this week’s survey: 

Bizzle Osikoya (Bee Entertainment), Jim Donnett (TooXclusive), Ehiz (MTVBase), Timini Egbuson (Actor), Bayo Omisore (Platonique PR), Jide Taiwo (NET), Ayodeji Rotinwa (ThisDay), Edwin Okolo (), Sensei Uche (City FM), Joey Akan (PulseNG), Timilehin Bello (Media Panache), Edward Israel (Chocolate City), Uche Briggs (NA), Oreoluwa Peters (Doble Seis Entertainment), Ubi Franklin (TripleMG), Eromo Egbejule (The Guardian), Freeze (Cool FM), Godwin Tom (Godwin Tom Company), Asa Asika (NA), Dotun Kayode (Cool FM), Femisoro Ajayi (BahdGuys Entertainment), Lekan Olanrewaju (Mnet), Latasha Ngwube (AboutThatCurvyLife), Funke Babs-Kufeji (ThisDay), Isioma Osaje (Agency 106), Jola Sotubo (PulseNG), Tosyn Bucknor (Top Radio), Tosin Ajibade (Olorisupergal), Ifeoma Areh (WildFlowerPR), Foladele Falana (TV Continental)


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