Apparently under the hang-over of eventful 2008, artistes and fun lovers seem to be observing a break. They are rather taking stock of their activities last year while mapping out strategies for 2009. In the interim, players in the entertainment industry have agreed that 2008 witnessed a harvest of awards.
The year 2008 witnessed series of events, ranging from award nights, musical concerts and dance competitions. It really was a year that not only took the entertainment industry to places but was also a year that really brought to limelight the stuff the indigenous artistes were made of as they showcased their talents to the world.
One of the major events that heralded the year was the Soundcity Music Video Awards organised by Soundcity at Planet One, Maryland, Lagos, for excellent performance by musical and movie artistes. Multitalented award winner, D'Banj and Actress Ashionye were the MCs at the award night.
The award categories and winners were as follows: Best Male Video, Jimmy Jatt; Stylee: Best Female Video Kween, Jebele; Fresh Video Booty Call, Mo Hits All Stars; Best Duo/Group Video, Infinity, Olori oko; Best R&B/Pop Video TY Bello, Greenland; Best Cinematography, P-Square, Do me; Best Direction, The director for Olori Oko by Infinity; Best Special Effect, Gbenga Salau, Aye ole by Olori oko; Viewers Choice Award, TY Bello.
Best Hip-hop Video, Ill Bliss, You go wound; Best New Artiste, Asa;
Best Video, P-Square, Do me; Best Choreography, Faze, Kpo kpodi kpo; African Video of the Year, Freshly Ground, Pot Belly; Hip-hop Legend Award, Nas. Asa and Faze were among those who won awards but were not present at the event.
After rewarding excellence in music videos, the star studded African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) was held at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja on April 26, 2008, where movies that had excelled in the previous year were recognised and celebrated. This shift from Bayelsa State, its usual venue, to Abuja was due to the political instability in the state as at the time the event was staged. The heavy downpour that occurred that night did not prevent Nollywood stars and dignitaries from both the public and private sectors from attending the event which had the former Federal Capital Territory Minister, Aliyu Modibbo as the chairman, also witnessed the presence of top Hollywood actress, Angela Bassett, who in her speech, eulogised AMAA organisers and Nollywood actors and actresses for always telling African stories in their movies.
The first segment of the award which was anchored by Osita Iheme and Chinedu Ikedieze popularly known as Aki and Pawpaw saw Star actor Nkem Owoh, and actress Kate Henshaw-Nuttal winning the Best Actor and Best Actress, over their excellent performances in the movie Stronger Than Pain while a Ghanaian movie Run Baby Run carted home four key awards in the categories of Best Picture, Director, Screenplay and Child Actor.
White Waters, the Amstel Malta Box Office (AMBO) movie organised by the Nigerian Breweries Plc, parted with four awards in the categories of Best Soundtrack, Cinematography, Upcoming Actor (O.C Ukeje/Hoomsuk) and Actress in a supporting role (Joke Silva). While Mirror of Beauty, by Atlantic Overseas, won the Best Music Score. The rest are Mission to Nowhere, Best Upcoming Actress category, Kingsley Ogoro's Across the Niger and Heart of Africa won the Special Effects category, for the Best Costume and Make Up category, the Ghanaian movie Princess Tyra won the slot. The Most Outstanding Indigenous Actor and Actress went to Doris Simon in the movie Onitemi, and Ayo Akinwale in Iranse Aje.
In the best documentary and the short best documentary category Do you believe in magic and Not My Daughter all Ghanaian piece won. Aranse won the best Nigerian film while New Jerusalem won the best art direction. Emeka Ossai, carted home the award of the best actor in a supporting role.
For their meaningful contributions to the development and sustenance of the motion picture industry, two Nigerians, Chika Okpala and Jide Kosoko, were honoured with the Life Time Achievement decoration.
Out of the 304 movies that were submitted for edition, 191 came from Nigeria. Also the Nigeria Music Award which was hosted for the first time in Owerri, the capital city of Imo State, saw artistes being treated to a delight as they were airlifted by two Chanchangi Soul Flights 101 and 102 with Mandy and Emeka Smith entertaining the passengers with some rib cracking jokes. Former governor of Cross River State captivated the audience with his medley of songs, in addition to traditional dancers who thrilled the artistes at the Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri.
The NMA award was in nine categories. They were: Nigerian Artiste of the Year Award, P-Square; Album of the Year Award, Grass 2 Grace by Tu Face; R$B Song of the Year Award, Tu Face; Song of the Year award, Yahooze by Olu Maintain; Best Highlife Artiste of the Year, Nda Chineke by Ugo Stevenson; Best Gospel Artiste of the Year, Sammy Okposo; Best Traditional Gospel Artiste, Paul Nwokocha; Best New Artiste Male, 9ice; Best Female Artiste of the Year, T.Y. Bello.
When the award was held in 2007 in Abuja, the Imo State governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim promised that subsequent NMA awards would continually be hosted in Imo State as long as he remained in power.
The Urban Music Awards, which has Ayo Animashaun as its Chief Executive Officer also organised the Hip-hop World Award 2008. Last year's edition of the event which took place at Da Event Place, Planet One, Maryland, Ikeja, Lagos, saw artistes and comedians such as Neto C, Banky Cobham Asuquo, Roof Top MC, GT, Wale Cole, 9ice and Batman Samini all performing.
The awards won at the event were as follows: Album of the Year, Recording of the Year, Best vocal performance (female), Asa; Producer of the year, Cobhams Asuquo; Artiste of the year, D'Banj; Song of the year, Olu Maintain; Best Music Video of the Year, DJ T; Best Reggae Dance Hall, Timaya; Best R&B/Pop Album, Tuface; Best Rap Album, Ruggedman
Best Vocal Performance, 9ice; Next Rated Award, Wande Coal.
Lyricist on the Roll award, Mode 9; Best Rap Single, MI; Hip-hop award hall of fame, Obi Asika of Storm Records and Olisa Adibua of Cool FM.
Basketmouth and actress, Dakore Egbuson, also thrilled the audience with their comedy and musical performances.
The MTV based Africa Music Awards (MAMA) was held for the first time in Nigeria at the Velodrome, near the National Stadium, Abuja, with Nigerians carting away almost all the awards. This was one award that met international standard, organised by MTV and sponsored by Zain.
The award night saw the following artistes winning: Dance Competition, Jozi; Best Male Award, D'Banj (Nigeria); Artiste of the Year, D'Banj; Best Video, Ikechukwu (Nigeria); Best Female Artiste, Wahu (Kenya);
Best Hip-hop, 9ice; Best Group Gee, P-Square; Best Live Performer, Jozi (South Africa); Best New Act, Naeto C (Nigeria); The Legend Gong Award, late Fela Anikulapo Kuti; Best Alternative Group, Seether (South Africa).
Modemen Magazine also organised the maiden edition of the Modemen Man Of The Year Award for men who excelled in various spheres of life. Unlike other awards which were specifically for artistes, comedians and film makers, this particular award was all encompassing as it included men in the sports, business and political sectors.
The event which saw professionals from all walks of life in attendance held at the Hilton Hotel, Abuja, with the following personalities carting away the awards: Politician of the Year, Adams Oshiomhole; Man of the Year, Tony Elumelu; Sports Personality of the year, Samson Siasia; Super Comedian of the Year, AY; TV Personalities of the Year, Kenny and Dayo Adeneye (D1); Young Entrepreneurs, Igho Salomi; Best Radio Personality, Bruce Ayonote and Wale Tinubu; Businessman of the Year, Mike Adenuga; Woman of the Year, Mo Abudu.
The Editor-in-Chief of Modemen Magazine, commenting on the event, admonished Nigerians to play a more active role this year in choosing men who contribute much towards the socio-economic development of the country.