THE SMVA LOGOIn the buildup to this year’s event, SOUNDCITY, owners of the SOUNCITY MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS (SMVA) simply said “Expect Everything” and while their employment of this phrase cannot be comprehensively delineated, it definitely pointed to their intention to explore a wide range of options in putting up a display of activities at this year’s show.
So on Saturday, November 20, 2010, after elaborate and painstaking preparations have been made and last minute details tidied up, the crème de la crème of the entertainment industry in Africa trooped down to Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos for the third edition of the SOUNDCITY MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS.
PRE-AWARD RED CARPET AND FASHION SHOW: As is usual with similar events all over the world there was a red carpet session where the stars and guests were welcomed. This was the paparazzi’s forte and they had a field day as star after star happily posed for their cameras. This session also accommodated the fashion show which held at the poolside of the hotel while cocktails and small chops were being served round. It was an exciting visual experience produced by the Namibian-born Jan Malan Umzingeli who is the Creative Director of the event. He brought together some of the continent’s best, most accomplished and boldest designers and labels to put up an amazing show similar to what he does for the FACE OF AFRICA and AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL. Designers on parade were David Tiale and Dax Martin of South Africa; Jewel by Lisa, Lanre Da Silva Ajayi, Momo, Odio Mimonet, Tiffany Amber, Zizi Cardow and Mai Atafo all from Nigeria plus Tanzania’s Mustafa Hasanali. They lit up the poolside of Eko Hotel and the guests who excitedly gathered to watch beheld a sight reminiscent of the classiest fashion shows anywhere in the world.
This however dragged beyond its allocated time of 6:00 to 7:30pm because it wasn’t until almost 10pm that the guests were allowed into the Expo Hall of the hotel where the awards proper was to hold. And even by then, they were only dislodged by the rain. Then came the long wait inside the hall as behind-the-scenes arrangements continued while the guests sat idly and listened to music being dished out by the DJ. It was a live broadcast on the SOUNDCITY channel and even the help of prolific director, Clarence peters, was also enlisted.
THE EXPO HALL: As guests waited for the start of the show, a glance around the large Expo Hall revealed a vast improvement and progress from the last SMVA. There was quite enough seating space for the audience and comfortable standing positions for those that ended up at the back. The gallery was arranged in a roundtable format while the main hall was in theatre mode. LCD screens adorned the front walls of hall and larger-than-life images of the stage were simultaneously beamed to the audience. All these were in sharp contrast to last year’s awards which was held at the now removed tent on the other side of the Eko Hotel grounds.
10:33: FINALLY THE START BY P. SQUARE: A voice boomed from the speakers and welcomes the guests. It then asked them to please resume their seats as the live broadcast would begin in the next 5minutes. It came back exactly 7minutes after to announce P. Square on stage.
The Okoye twins were the perfect tonic to kick start events and they did not disappoint. Their pumped up performance was with the full complement of a live band and they revealed the excellent sound quality that would be experienced all evening. They started off with “E No Easy” accompanied by two dancers who joined to display some of the choreography that has made them one of the most sought after bands on the continent. Kaffy come joined them as they launched into “Gimme Dat” to showcase her own GUINNESS record breaking dance steps and their combined choreography really excited the crowd. But the girls really went wild when Peter pulled up his clothes to reveal his well toned packs. Their performance helped lift up the atmosphere and they again welcomed the crowd before leaving the stage.
10: 50: UTI AND BIG BROTHER: The winner of the recently concluded BIG BROTHER AFRICA ALLSTARS, Uti Nwachukwu was the official host of the show and the ecstatic screams of the large retinue of ladies in the house revealed the extent of his newfound popularity. He arrived in a shiny overall in the company of three bikini-clad models who stripped the overall off him to reveal a black bespoke suit which he later disclosed was designed by MAI. He then went on to introduce himself and welcome the audience again. His speech was interrupted by “Big Brother” which brought a lot of laughter from the audience. Uti then announced Steve Babaeko and Michelle Dede present the very first award of the evening which was for the Best Male Video. As the nominees trailers were played on the wide LCD screen on the stage, the audience cheered heartily to the videos of Banky W, 2face and Da Grin. Banky W won with the video of “Strong Ting” and mounted the stage with his protégés EME Wizkid and Skales. He dedicated his award to Segun Demuren, Cobhams who produced it, his label EME (Empire Mates Entertainment) and Da Grin.
KSB BAREFOOT FOR GOLDIE: The second award which was for the Best Female Video was presented by Darey. Goldie’s “You Know It” which received the loudest cheer during the nominees video reel was the winner and since she was absent, her KENNIS MUSIC label mate, KSB, came up to collect it on her behalf after a short lull. “It’s a KENNIS MUSIC thing,” she said on Goldie’s behalf and then went on to reveal to the audience who hadn’t noticed that she was actually barefooted because she had to rush off her seat in excitement. Eldee who featured on the song also made a short appearance on the stage.
***Rapper, 2shotz presented the third award which was for the Best Choreography and it went to Mozambique’s Dama Do Bling who was also not present.
11:07: Uti returned to the stage to congratulate the winners so far. MTN Project Fame co-anchor, Adora Oleh was the presenter of the next awards and looking delectable as ever, she came onstage in the chaperoned by three trunk-wearing male models. Djinee’s “Overkillin’” was the winner of the Best Special Effects and in his speech he thanked all those who contributed to the success of the song – Jesse Jagz the producer, his father, CHOCOLATE CITY RECORDS and his father. He then asked Niger-Deltans to put down their guns.
***Performance by Deep Level of South Africa.
***Actress, Nse Ikpe-Etim and Kenny Ogungbe were the presenters of the next award for the Best Editing. P. Square won and Paul who spoke on their behalf thanked God, SOUNDCITY and everyone. He also described it as their birthday gift.
***Photographer, Kelechi Amadi-Obi and Lola Maja were the presenters for the award to the Best Duo. It went to South Africa’s Deep Level who had just performed and when they didn’t come up to accept it, Uti had to come out to release the presenters who had been waiting for someone to come receive the award.
SASHA’S PERFORMANCE (YEMI ALADE THRILLS): The First Lady of STORM RECORDS who just returned from performing at the CHANNEL O Awards was on hand again to deliver. The stage was opened for her by soul singer, Bez, who came on with his guitar, three male flutists and three ladies. One of them was upcoming singer, yemi Alade whose single, “Efimisile,” with Eldee is still being heavily rotated on the airwaves together with its video. She was Sasha’s backup and while the STORM First Lady presented a strong performance, it was Yemi’s sexiness and sassy high-pitched voice that caught the eye.
***YQ, another STORM artist was next on stage to sing his, “I Like Girls.” He and his slightly heavy but flexible dances got a very loud cheer at the end of their performance.
11:45: GBAGAUN! MR. NIGERIA, “CAN I HEAR YOUR HANDS UP?”: Current Mr. Nigeria, 2nd Runner-up Mr. World and the fifth sexiest man in the world, Kenneth Okolie, rubbished all those records when in his attempt to rouse the audience, he blurted out: “Can I hear your hands up?” He and the current Miss Nigeria, Damilola Agbajor had come upstage to present the award for the Best Cinematography and the audience, most of who didn’t know who he was had quite a laugh at him. He made matters worse when he proffered the lame cliché, “English is not my first language” as a form of excuse. The trio of the South African Teargas lifted back the spirits with acceptance speech. Their “Praise be to God” got a very loud “Alleluia!” and when one of them dropped the lines of Banky W’s “Lagos Party” as a parting shot, the crowd gave them a standing ovation.
11:49: UTI AND BIG BROTHER AGAIN: Uti has changed into a white suit and returned to the stage in the company of three male models. But as he tried to work the audience, “Big Brother’s” voice interrupts with mimicry of Sheila’s voice. This was in obvious reference to their love affair while the BIG BROTHER AFRICA house. Their repartee delighted the audience.
***The trio of BEAT FM’s OAPs – Gbemi, Toolz and Oreka presented the next award for the Best Hip Hop Video. South Africa’s Jozi won but they weren’t around to collect it so the ladies decided to receive it for their station, BEAT 99.9 FM.
11:55: ASA’S TAKES THINGS TO THE NEXT LEVEL: The stage is set for the petite songbird and her 7-piece band take positions. Uti was heard singing the National Anthem reminiscent of his BIG BROTHER AFRICA winning reaction in the background. He then announced Asa who received a standing ovation from the audience. Performing tracks from her newest album, BEAUTIFUL IMPERFECTION, she caressed the genuine musical taste buds of the audience as she strutted about the stage and sang happily and heartily to the adoring audience. Hers wasn’t a physical or energetic act but it was emotive and her energy was felt in the inner linings of the audience’s hearts. She got another standing ovation as she left the stage.
12:11: MIKE TO RELEASE AND AWARD: The smart young winner of the MTN PROJECT FAME SEASON 2, Mike Anyasodo, was announced as the winner of the Best R&B Video by the duo of Eldee and Rukky Sanda. In his excited acceptance speech he kept saying, “I dedicate this album…” instead of “award” and when he finally realized why the audience was trying to correct him, he sharply told them that what he just received was the album and that he would be releasing the award soon. He got a very loud ovation for it.
***Actress, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and Segun Arinze presented the following award for Best Pop Video. It went to 2face for the video of his song, “Implication.” The amount of love and goodwill he enjoys from his fans was reflected in their cheers. The award was received on his behalf by his producer, J-Sleek.
***Teargas performed next.
12:27: Toyin Subair and Chris Ubosi came on to present the award for Best Collaboration which went to Sarkodie of Ghana. The DJ collected it for them.
***Matse of WAZOBIA FM and Freeze of COOL FM presented the award for the DISCCOVERY OF THE YEAR to JR of South Africa. He was also not present.
THE ALAPOMEJI BELOW PAR PERFORMANCE: A trio of performances from the ALAPOMEJI crew fell well below the audience’s expectations and they were happy to see their backs. First up was a group of three which included Snow which simply failed to impress. Next was the sweet-voiced Kayefi but this time, with her song playing on the background CD, her voice only served to spoil the melody while the Ajayi brothers simply completed a set of performances which the audience didn’t appreciate.
12:49: Damilola Adegbite and Gbenro Ajibade of TINSEL presented Banky W with the award of the Best Video. Banky who was preparing for his performance had to come from backstage to receive his award. He cited this as his best year and the night as his best night.
***Former Miss. Nigeria, Omowumi Akinifesi and actor, Fred Amata presented the award for the Viewers’ Choice Video which Buffalo Souljah of Zimbabwe won. He was not in the house but Fred Amata insisted that someone come up to receive it for him. When no one arrived, he personally nominated Zaaki Azzay to receive it on his behalf. Zaaki then went on to say that he would board a plane to Zimbabwe to go take the award to its owner.
BANKY W, WIZKID AND SKALES’ PERFORMANCE: Seats were arranged on stage and Skales opened the floor. The classroom scene of Wizkid’s “Holla at Your Boy” video was reenacted with dancer Kaffy acting as the teacher. A well rehearsed and dramatized choreography followed when Kaffy told her students that she was leaving for a meeting. Her return met music in her classroom and as she attempted to restore order, Wizkid threatened to report her to Banky. Banky then entered as the performance seamlessly transferred into his own as Kaffy sexily led the choreography to the appreciation of a loudly cheering audience.
1:09: DA GRIN WINS AN AWARD: The award for the Hit Producer of the Year went Sossick for producing Da Grin’s “Pon Pon Pon.” He beat off competition from Don Jazzy, Jay Sleek, Fally Ipupa of Congo, M.I and JR of South Africa to an emotion-laden delight of the audience. He climbed the stage in the company of GINI, the director of the video and a number of other Da Grin enthusiasts. His singing of the chorus of “Dreams” drew loud sighs from the audience.
***Dr. Sid came on next to present the award of the Best African Act to 2face. J-Sleek again collected it on his behalf. Then a trailer of DJ Jimmy Jatt and M.I speaking on the impact of the SMVAs on their careers was played on the LCD screen.
***The Ghanaian trio of R2Bees performed next.
1:28: Mo’ Cheddah and Wizkid deliver a well rehearsed presentation sequence by drawing drama from each other’s songs while presenting the award of the Best East African Act to Wyre of Kenya who also wasn’t present.
JULIUS LAMENTS FOR SPONSORS: When the duo of the comedians, Julius Agwu and Tee A came to present the award for the Best South African Act to Pro of South Africa, Julius used the opportunity to lament about the lack of sponsors for such an event. “A big event like this should have sponsors queuing up but look at the wall – very empty!” Julius lamented.
1:35: THE MO’ HITS THRILL THE CROWD (D’ BANJ’S BODYGUARD GOES VIOLENT): Uti who has changed into his third outfit of the evening announce a performance by the MO’ HITS crew. They were preceded by the fat, energetic and athletic Special Ed who pranced around the stage in excited frenzy while “acolyting” Dr. Sid. Dr. Sid’s sounds are among the biggest hits of the year and the crowd’s reception reaffirmed this fact. From “Over the Moon” to “Pop Something” and “Something About You” then D’ Prince’s “Omoba” and the quite new “Give it to Me” which featured D’ banj got everyone on their feet and jumping. D’ banj and Don Jazzy join them on stage at this point “Mr. Endowed” followed.
But here a very excited fan somehow evades the ground security to ascend the stage and would have sad tales of his experience for some time to come. Because D’ banj’s bodyguard, a well trained ex-military boxer appears from the background to give him such a violent shove that had his fall not been broken by an alert bouncer on the ground, he would have broken his neck. The stage was at least 6feet above the floor and it goes without saying that a milder approach would have nonetheless gotten him off the stage.
1:48: THE VIDEO TRAILER JAMS: When SOUNDCITY VJ, S. Dot came to present the award for Best Central African Act, the audience was surprised that there was no nominees’ video trailer. But the repeat of the same incident at the presentation of the last musical award confirmed that the trailer had failed to play. The LCD screen on the stage then remained blank for the remainder of the event. Sasha and Kingsley James presented the last award of the night to Tania Tome of Mozambique for her video “Nhi Ngugu Haladza.” The very excited lady who was present to receive her award thanked everyone possible – from two boys to her husband and so on.
***Uti then came on to present the special recognition award to Governor Timipre Silver of Bayelsa State. It was received on his behalf by a representative. Rehab and Tribeca were announced as the dual venues for the after awards party.
2:00: TIMAYA AND DEM MAMA SOLDIERS: The Egberi Papa 1 of Bayelsa commemorated his governor’s award with the final performance of the event. He ascended the stage with three of his DEM MAMA Soldiers and a large portion of the crowd remained to watch them wrap things up before departing for the after-party venues and others, their homes.
THE SMVA, A PAN AFRICAN AWARD: The expansion of the awards to include other African countries is one major part of the fulfillment of SOUNDCITY’s promise of “Expect Everything.” All African regions received something. The excellent packaging reflected painstaking and detailed preparations for the event which is a success in almost every facet. The sound production and quality is the dream of every artist and event organizer but the recurrent “African Time” syndrome has continued to bog down our events in this country. The organizers still succeeded in filling up the magnificent expanse of the Expo Hall even while selling tickets at N10 000. The exportability of this project is very visible yet that sponsors are unwilling to support speaks volumes of the entertainment industry in the country. But the $200 million dollar grant of Mr. President might just be the answer such projects need. We will continue to wait and watch while for the present massive kudos goes out to Mr. Tajuddeen Adepetu and his team for a show to be proud of.
THE COMPLETE WINNERS LIST1. BEST MALE VIDEO:
Banky W – “Strong Ting”
2. BEST FEMALE VIDEO:
Goldie – “U Know It”
3. BEST CHOREOGRAPHY:
Dama Do Bling (Mozambique) – “Moza Girl”
4. BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS:
Djinee – “Overkillin’”
5. BEST EDITING:
P. Square –“Danger”
6. BEST DUO OR GROUP VIDEO:
Deep Level (South Africa) – “We Run The City”
7. BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:
Teargas (South Africa) – “Mlobo Wami”
8. BEST HIP HOP:
Jozi (South Africa) – “Wildlife”
9. BEST R & B VIDEO:
Mike Anyasodo – “Fine Fine Lady”
10. BEST POP VIDEO:
2face Idibia – “Implication”
11. BEST COLLABORATION:
Sarkodie (Ghana) – “Lay Away”
12. DISCOVERY OF THE YEAR:
JR (South Africa) – “Show Dem”
13. BEST VIDEO:
Banky W – “Strong Ting”
14. VIEWERS CHOICE:
Buffalo Souljah (Zimbabwe) – “Ezandlha Phezulu”
15. HIT PRODUCER OF THE YEAR (As Used in a Music Video):
Sossick/ Da Grin – “Pon Pon Pon”
16. BEST WEST AFRICAN ACT:
17. BEST EAST AFRICAN ACT:
18. BEST SOUTH AFRICAN ACT:
PRO (South Africa)
19. BEST CENTRAL AFRICAN ACT:
Fally Ipupa (Congo)
20. SOUNDCITY FRESH VIDEO:
Tania Tome (Mozambique) – “Nhi Ngugu Haladza”
*AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO ENTERTAINMENT IN NIGERIA: Governor Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa State).