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African Music Awards – What Really Happened?

People read my blog and expect Mr Mahogany to be truthful and to the point. So this is one story that has really made me struggle as to whether I should do a review on the AMA’s or not. I know you are thinking “that what is the big deal, just say it as it is” and in a way you are right but before I do I feel it is only fair that I explain why I am feeling this way.

The organiser of Ama is a young man that has put a lot of effort into trying to make the AMA’s a top international awards show and he is someone that I know and it hurts me to have to do this review, but I think it is only fair to him and also a way of ensuring that people hear what is fact from fiction.

So here goes (it’s a long one)... The African Music Awards was due to take place at Wembley Arena on the 15th October and trust me when I heard it was being done at Wembley Arena and was being sponsored by O2, I was thinking my boy has made it and I was very proud of him. Then on the Thursday the day before the show was meant to take place rumours started circulating that the event had been cancelled and I checked the Ticket Master website and yes it was confirmed as being cancelled. So being the person I am I felt that I had to find out what was going on and if I could help out or confirm that it was truly not going to take place. I made some phone calls to the powers to be who were in the know and I was told that a new venue was been sourced and a new venue hopefully would be found by late that evening. Anyway later that evening I got a phone call to say that a new venue had been found and that the event was still going ahead.

I have been doing events for many years and I knew that this would be a major problem as to try and inform everyone that the event was still going ahead would be hard especially at such short notice, also people would not really want to buy another ticket when they had already purchased one and of course most people would be very sceptical and possibly not take it seriously. So the organisers were in a catch 22 situation, should they cancel it and lose an even bigger fortune or try and do it at another venue in an attempt to try and keep the AMA’s keep some credibility.

So moving swiftly on... I won’t bore you with all the bits in between as I know you must be asking why did it not take place at the Arena? I have my ideas and thoughts as to why but truth is, it is only speculation and as such I can’t give my views as I would be adding to the speculation (but trust me I know the truth). So what happened to the sponsorship money and how much did they get? once gain I can’t give specifics but I am sure if the organisers could do it again they would do it all differently including using Max Clifford as the PR company for the event.

The event itself... now this one I can comment on as I was there and am not relying on hearsay or rumours. As much as I would love to gloss it up I can’t. As much as some key figures within the black entertainment industry did their best to try and make it work and attended to give their full support it just did not work. It was poorly organised from front of house to backstage. They had some great presenters lined up including myself, Kanya King (CEO MOBO’s who unfortunately had gone to Wembley Arena as no one had told her it was no longer taking place there), Alexander Amosu, Fatima Jabbe and Jermaine Jackson to name but a few. But can you believe it after spending about 2 hours at the venue we were eventually told that we were not needed as they would not be presenting the winners with any awards. In fact they just read out all of the winners names in one go from a piece of paper.

When we were eventually shown to some seats in the hall, can you believe it some of the hostesses came and asked us to move to some rows behind because they wanted some beauty queens to sit where we were sitting. Trust me in no uncertain terms I politely said I am not moving.

Organisers that is so not cool when we give up our time, not being paid, no food or drink and no VIP seating to then be told to move for some beauty queens , you definitely got that one wrong. (PS before I am bombarded with emails from present and former beauty queens I have nothing against beauty queens but a number of us at this event actually put the events together to make you the queens that you were/are so in terms of the pecking order we sort of should be a bit more important than you).

The show ended very suddenly with no warning after about an hour and a half and a some people even started shouting that they wanted their money back especially as some of them had paid for VIP seating and were not provided with appropriate seating.

Most of the advertised acts such as D’Banj did not show up and same with the hosts Simon Webb and Genevieve Nnaji who gives her reasons as to why on her tweet page “I agreed to host the show, signed a contract and even publicly announced my participation on a tv program in the uk last time I was thr.. mostly because I wanted an opportunity to meet some of u 1on1 at the show. Unfortunately the organizers wr unable to fulfill any of. ..their obligations even to the last minute which is this morning. (Eg; no ticket arrangements). At this point I feel partially used.. publicize the show and I owe it to u guys to explain my absence”.

Even though the venue had a capacity of 2000 people it had just over 700 people if that in attendance.

To be fair though the acts that were there were really good such as JJC, Big Brothaz with ‘We Are Africans, and a Fela Anikulapo Kuti tribute band.

In Conclusion... this is a great event that must continue and despite all of the mishaps and problems it is an event that we must continue to support and now I am being unashamedly tartest here and would say to the AMA’s if you need an event run and managed properly you need to hire me to produce it for you or act as your consultant and I can assure you this would never happen again and you would have a great event.

To all of you that have been kicking a man whilst he is down, shame on you. This could happen to anyone and I can assure you that the AMA’s will be back bigger, stronger and better next year.

TMC Press Launch... 

TMC Finalist Press Launch took place on Sunday 17th October at the Jewel in Covent Garden. The finalist were dressed to kill in a variety of purple outfits and entertained the audience by doing a variety of poses on the podium. Press and celebrities attended and everyone had a great time.

The evening was hosted by Jordine Bartlett and was beautifully organised by Sassi PR. If you would like to do a review of the event or require pictures and further information please EMAIL

Limited tickets are still available for the TMC finale taking place on the 27th November at the Porchester Hall. Tickets can be purchased ONLINE or by calling 0845 388 7249.

Uti Wins Big Brother All Stars (African Version)
Uti Nwachukwu out fought all of the other Big Brother contestants to win Big Brother All Stars and pick up a lovely sum of $200,000 (I wish I was his best friend)

The final two left in the house were Uti and Zimbabwe's Munya Chidzonga. Uti being a proud Nigerian did the most patriotic thing when he won and that was to sing the Nigerian national anthem.

Yes I know it is only Big Brother but he is still a Nigerian and we are proud of him. 

Moan and Groan

Nigerians Why?

As a true green blooded Nigerian it hurts me to have to once again say that we have made the news for the wrong reasons. I have no problems with such programs as Louis Theroux documentary entitled “law and Disorder in Lagos” as it is well known that western reporters tend to only show Africa in a negative light, so I can live with that

BUT it pees me off no end when we put ourselves into a position that we confirm that we are nothing but a corrupt nation. Why is it that once we get into a position of authority we will use and abuse that position to try and make as much money as possible.

A number of countries are currently bidding to host the 2018 World Cup including the England and representatives from the FIFA committee will be voting on the 2nd December as to which country would host the 2018 World Cup. The Sunday Times did an undercover sting and allegedly exposed corruption in the voting process. When I first heard this I immediately prayed to God and said please let their not be a Nigerian involved and low and behold a Mr Amos Adamu who is a Nigerian and the West African executive committee member on the FIFA bid panel and he was allegedly willing to sell his support for £500,000. To make it worst he was caught on video doing this.

In Nigeria we understand that to get things done you grease peoples palms and as far as I am concerned that is the way things are done and that is cool, it is done in the west but it is called corporate hospitality in the UK or contributing to an election fund in the USA and appropriately entitled lobbying.

However if you are a Nigerian sitting on a foreign committee of any kind you are prime material for a sting operation and you are the most stupid human being in the world to think that you can allegedly ask for a bribe and not get caught. This once again has just shown that Nigerians are allegedly corrupt or open to corruption and you just make it harder for the rest of us to be viewed as being honest in anyway shape or form.

Nigerians enough is enough, if you really need to make money and cannot resist temptations and feel you will be open to bribery and corruption then do not take a job abroad, just stay in Nigeria and that way we won’t have a bad reputation abroad.

I am so peeved off by this aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

Is Reality TV Really Real...

Reality TV is back in full force from The Apprentice to X Factor and of course they have all come with the drama that is needed to get them plenty of press attention.

X Factor...

This is by far the UK's biggest reality TV show especially with the demise of Big Brother and one must give enormous credit to the guru himself Simon Cowell for being able to keep X Factor fresh and making front page headlines.

I am sure that you are aware of Gamu Nhengu who was the unfortunate X Factor contestant that seemed to out sing the other contestants at Cheryl Coles X Factor rented mansion in Berkshire of all places (maybe it was good that it was in Berkshire otherwise Gamu would not have been able to travel to one of the foreign destinations). Unfortunately Gamu was not chosen to go onto the live shows. It is very possible that you signed the petition to get her back on the show and had a lot of sumpathy with her and felt she was unfairly treated.

This is a wake up call, reality TV shows are fake and are manipulated to sucker in you the audience, get maximum ratings and ultimately make the producers a barrel full of money (being someone that produces and consults on such shows, trust me I should know as I have done it many times myself). The golden rule of X Factor is to make Simon Cowell and ITV tons of money and that ultimately means choosing people that the public would vote for and/or if they did win that they had the right look and personality to make a lot of money (once again for Simon Cowell as they are signed to his record label).

My take on it: firstly you only see an edited version of what really takes place at the judges houses as each contestant sings more than one song and for viewing purposes and suspense what they showed of Katie Waissel and Cher Lloyd made far better television than them singing their song well. Secondly I definitely feel  Cher Lloyd deserved to go through as she is quirky and original, not so sure about Katie Waissel though, but what I can say is from a financial perspective she is a better bet than Gamu. So for me I can live with the decision not to put her through.

I am not being heartless (but besides Gamu's immigartion problems) it is a win win situation for everyone, Gamu got more headlines then she would ever have got if she made it through to the live shows and will be famous regardless and X Factor got loads of free publicity and over 14 million people tuned in.

Roll on Money Man Cowell.

The Apprentice...
Joanna Riley

I absolutely love the Apprentice but for the first 2 episodes our sister Joanna Riley, is she aggressive or what? In the second episode or i should say how they portrayed her on TV she came across unnecessarily loud, rude and aggressive. I think she is smart as she was brave enough to lead the first task and made it through by the skin of her teeth and then she came up with the idea for the second task which they could have won if the team leader had been a bit braver and sharper, she has made her bones so now she can afford to take a bit of a back seat. I do hope that she takes Lord Sugar's advice and calms down otherwise she is out for sure.

I don't know why but my money is on Melissa Cohen to win.

Fashion Diversity Goes International...

TMC Grand Finale 27th November 2010...

News In Brief...

Africa Music Awards Change of Venue..

Africa Music Awards is no longer taking place at Wembley Arena on the 15th October 2010, at the time of going to print the new venue (which maybe at Westminster Central Hall) has not yet been confirmed.

I really do hope that it takes place but it is going to be a close call.

Merit of Excellence Award...

I am truly humbled and proud to say that on Saturday 9 October I won the award for most outstanding achievement. Other nominees in my category included Sade Adu, Patti Boulaye and Adebayo Jones very esteemed company as you can see.

Well done to Yomi Oyekanmi & Chermiah Hart for putting on a fantastic show and we were well entertained by presenters Kayode Akintemi and the beautiful long time friend of mine Samyra Gellatly-De La Torrezz (yes i know it is a mouthful).

This award is dedicated to all of you that have supported me throughout my career and my two beautiful children.

Black 100+ Exhibition of Black Achievers in Modern Britain ...

I was fortunate enough to be included in the Black 100+ exhibition. The 

Black 100+ Exhibition & Legacy consists of photographic images of modern day achievers within the black community.   It includes VIPs, celebrities, professionals, community leaders and members of the general public.  These inspirational individuals are from the world of politics, sport, business, religion, media, entertainment, music, the arts, education and community support.

Their photographs, complimented by a brief biography about their personal achievements, form part of this inspirational exhibition, which creates a record of achievement that will influence the aspirations of generations of people.

Moan & Groan...

This is a bit of a funny moan and groan and it is a quick one and goes as follows. You live in a house where you are fortunate that all your bills are paid for or inclusive of the rent, however you in your big self see a phone socket in your room (with no phone) and decide to go out and buy a phone and plug it in and start using it and when confronted about how come you are using the phone which you are not suppose to, your response is I thought using the phone was inclusive of bills.

I can hear some of you laughing your heads off as you think yeah right phone is inclusive of bills, can you imagine what the bill would have been like if it had been an African, Caribbean or Asian person living in the house and they took that attitude, the landlord would have been bankrupt.

On this one i am so lost for words.

Nigeria is 50 Today...

It would be very wrong of me not to congratulate Nigeria on its Golden Jubilee, which I whole heartedly do but at the same time I think that it is a good time to reflect on our beautiful country Nigeria. 

Nigeria is the biggest and richest black nation in the world with over 150m people scattered around the world and we are extremely rich in natural minerals such as oil, sadly though Nigeria is still wrecked with numerous problems from the inability in this modern age to provide 24 hour electricity and non stop flowing water, to a worldwide reputation of corruption and unfortunately the last one which I can and would never be able to explain we are on the USA terrorist watch list (now this one has nothing to do with us for sure and is an unjustified tag).

Leaving the above aside, Nigerians are fun loving, peaceful people who are resilient, intelligent, ambitious and in our own way extremely patriotic. Around the world, Nigerians that need the smallest excuse to party and make some money are currently celebrating our independence and I for one will be doing the same.

Even though I was born in the UK (no fault of my own), I am a green blooded Nigerian, I am green, white and green proud and I and like minded people like me will do everything we can to make Nigeria one of the greatest countries in the world.


How Could They Get It So Wrong... 

I woke up early on Tuesday morning, I have to emphasise the early because i normally do not wake up before 10.30am but for some strange reason I woke up switched on the TV to BBC News (BBC by the way I expect my cheque in the post for the free advertising, I  also accept credit cards), anyway they cut to showing the announcing the results of the winner of Australia's Next Top Model and then I can’t believe my eyes and ears as they announce the winner Kelsey Martinovich and 2 minutes later they announce that they got it wrong and had announced the wrong name and the correct winner was Amanda Ware. Watching it I felt so sorry for both contestants, as for one minute you feel on top of the world having just won ANTM and the next minute you are brought back down to earth with a massive bump after finding out they had made a mistake.

As a true sceptic I wonder if this was possibly done on purpose and was an attempt to get them worldwide publicity which it did, if not then the producer and everyone that works on that programme should be fired. 

Regardless though behind every cloud there is a silver lining and Kelsey has got worldwide fame, a cash prize she would not normally have got and a trip to New York - so Miss Kelsey take it from me this massive mistake has turned you into a superstar and you will be far more popular than Amanda who actually won it - LIFE IS A BITCH!



News In Brief...

Live TV Broadcast to 30 Million People ...
As part of d Nigeria is 50 celebrations I will be a part of a live studio television broadcast that will interact with Nigerians all over the world switching between our Lagos and London Studios. It will broadcast to over 30 million homes worldwide. It will be live on sky 199 OHTV & HiTV from 8.30pm
Moan & Groan...

I know I have not done a moan and groan for while and I have been getting emails etc asking when it is coming back, but I can only do one if I have something genuine to talk about and today I do.

I get invited to lots of events and ten times out of ten they are complimentary and VIP tickets but sometimes on those rare occasions like Australia’s Next Top Model something goes wrong. I was recently invited to a gala dinner (not saying anymore as on this occasion I decided not to name the event, luckily for them it is our day of independence and I am in a good mood) and I arrive there with the ticket they sent me and I am told that they have over booked and they don’t have a seat for me but they would do their best to find somewhere for me to sit.

Being the nice mellow person that I am I say no problem, as at some events there are problems around organising. So I go into the main hall and chill out by the bar (not drinking as I don’t drink) and fortunately there are a few people I know and we talk so I am kept busy. As the evening is progressing they are all running around like blue arse flies trying to sort out the mess and seat people, and I am still standing by the bar and an hour later still standing by the bar they have not found a seat for me - so my nice mellowness is starting to slowly disappear as I am thinking why am I here. 

So I am now at that stage where I feel I have to say something and ask whether they had forgotten that I still exist and whether they had found a seat for me or not and they nicely say we are still trying to sort things out. So I go back to standing by the bar, slowly boiling (I will explain why at the end of the piece). 30 more minutes have passed (hey people be patient I am getting to the crux of the matter in a minute) and now it is time to get ghetto cos they are now taking the piss - sorry I don’t normally get ghetto but when people are taking advantage of you - you have to get gentleman ghetto on them, so i spoke to the organiser and in a firm voice with a twang of ghetto I said are you getting me a seat or its time for me to leave this place - of course they found me a seat on a table right at the front next to the stage.

The moral to the story is this DO NOT invite people to your event if you cannot give them the respect they deserve, in my mind as far as I am concerned (and you should be as well) I am a VIP and that means that if I spend money putting petrol in my car, leaving my nice warm house and make my way to your event you better make sure you know where I am sitting especially as I did not ask to be invited or beg for an invitation etc and to make this worst they wanted me to do a feature for them on Fashions Finest - I really don't think I can cos the review would not be cool. 

PS Don't mess with the press, cos they can mess you up big time - a word to the wise!

Be good and take care – tomorrows another day 
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