Moji Olaiya's untimely death was one of the major incidents of the 2017 entertainment calendar.
Awards by their nature can be contentious; fans always feel like their favourites deserve more. After JAY-Z released what is arguably one of the best albums of his 22-year career, 4:44; it was inconceivable that the hip-hop legend did not receive one single award from the eight categories he was nominated in. Fans declared that the man was ‘robbed’- never mind that he has an incredible haul of twenty-one Grammy plaques to his name. Similarly, the Headies which has earned the reputation of being Nigeria’s biggest and most sought-after award platforms released its nominations of thee 2018 edition a few weeks ago. The list wasn’t well received by a large section of the populace, with many dismissing it as ‘trash’. Even industry insiders who one may assume to have an inkling of how this works were loud with their criticisms. Either rightly or wrongly, the perception is that a ‘cabal’ chooses who to reward, most time based on relationships (or lack thereof) with the organizers. Who can forget the Psquare ethnic shot at the Headies in 2008? (We’re not surprised, it’s a Yoruba people’s award?) Or more recently, Olamide’s invective-filled tirade when Reekado Banks pipped Lil Kesh to the Next Rated Award?
So it was not much of a surprise when the list of nominees for NET Honours came out and fans reacted exactly the same way: the agreed with the categories that included their favourite entertainers. For ‘Most Popular Musician (Male) had the quintet of Wizkid, Davido, Tekno, Mr. Eazi, and Olamide.
However, a number of people were surprised that late Moji Olaiya, the 42-year-old Nollywood actress who passed away in 2016 was among the nominees. She appeared in three categories namely Most Searched Actress, Most Popular Actress and Most Popular Individual. ‘Allow Moji to read on peace na haba!’, said one fan while yet another wrote ‘Why is Moji Olaiya Olaiya on this list when shes late? If she’s to be given an award, it should be a posthumous award dedicated to her and not to be competing with the living. The person that compiled this list is not very o.k.’
Tell them why you’re mad sis!
When we instituted the NET Honours People’s Choice Awards, it wasn’t to reward our friends nor castigate those who don’t see us as friends. The entire idea, as we said in the announcement on Friday, is to identify top performers during the year- from the data found in our annual report of trends and searches, using website and social media analytics.
Anyone familiar with how the internet works will know nothing is hidden. The numbers are there and they don’t lie.
Moji Olaiya’s untimely death was one of the major incidents of the 2017 entertainment calendar. Although all deaths are shocking, hers was made more so by the nature of her career. She was well known, well liked and had just been delivered of a baby daughter. Fans and colleagues alike had a lot to say about her and had a lot of grief to express. For days, she trended online and even after the funeral she continued to be the topic of several conversations. Tragedy, it appears, often brings people together. By the end of the year, she was on the list of Google’s top searches in Nigeria.
That said, should it be surprising that certain individuals have high engagement with the audience? No. Is it surprising that Moji Olaiya is one of shortlisted nominees- including Adesua Etomi, TBoss, Tonto Dikeh and Funke Akindele? It should not be. Will she win any of the categories she was nominated in? We’ll see when winners are unveiled at NECLive6 on Wednesday 25th April 2018.
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