The 6th edition of the African Movie Academy Awards, AMAA, was held in Bayelsa State, Nigeria over the weekend, but again, the award did not live up to expectations, apparently due to several avoidable mistakes by the organizers.

No doubt, AMAA is the only popular movie award on the African continent at the moment, but considering the enormous support it has enjoyed in the last six years, one would naturally expect some improvements in terms of logistics and other factors. Unfortunately, this year’s edition also fell below the expectation of participants and stakeholders.

The first obvious flaw was that Nigerian movie stars were poorly represented at the event, which was held on their home soil. Unlike other movie awards that usually parade an array of stars, this year’s AMAA saw very few stars. Most of the people that attended wondered, sometimes aloud, why Nigerian movie stars decided to shun the event.

Apart from Rita Dominic, Segun Arinze and Chinedu Ikedieze of the Aki and Pawpaw fame, only a handfull of A-list actors were in attendance. Funke Akindele, who emerged the Best Actress at last year’s award was also absent.

Though she was part of the Gulder Ultimate Search Celebrity Showdown, she has since been evicted, so one can only wonder why she did not attend an event that celebrated her last year.

Nigeria’s most popular actress, Genevieve Nnaji, was also absent at the event, but gathered that she would have attended if the organisers had not failed to meet her requirements concerning transportation. In fact, her refusal to eventually honour the event was said to have created a personal rift between her and the Chief Executive Officer of AMAA, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe.

Another notable defect of the award was the sound system. It was so poor that guests could not hear the comments of the awardees.

Meanwhile, the impression that most awards in Nigeria are staged-managed came to the fore when one of the foreign actresses that won the awards was called. The actress was not in attendance anyway, but the manager, while receiving the award on her behalf, told the audience that the actress sent a text message to his phone, thanking the organisers for giving her the award.

However, the question on the lips of other guests was: “How did the actress know she was going to win an award?”

A movie maker who did not want to be named told that “AMAA is a good prospect, but it seems those in charge are taking their chances for granted. If another movie award berths now and is better packaged, I can assure you that AMAA risks losing its stronghold in Africa because it is already losing its appeal in Nigeria.”