Golden Movie Awards Africa 2016: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly!

The second edition of the Golden Movie Awards Africa (GMAA) was held last Saturday with Ghanaians winning 23 out of the 29 awards at stake on the night. Nigeria’s film industry popularly known as Nollywood notably Africa’s biggest film industry managed only six.

Saying that the annual GMAA organised by NMJ Ghana will bring competition to the movie award schemes in the country is stating the obvious.

Though there are a lot of positives from the awards event, there are a few areas that need to be strengthened and focused on. Here is a review of the awards from my perspective.

Red carpet

On entering Kempinski Hotel Accra, there was little or virtually no sign of the GMAA taking place at the venue. There was also no signage directing people to exactly where the event was being held.

However, when one locates the actua venue for the awards, the red carpet at the entrance is a sight to behold. It was just beautiful and well demarcated with a considerable number of security personnel who made sure anyone without accreditation to be on the red carpet was politely asked to step aside.


The red carpet was scheduled to start at 7pm and end an hour and half later for the show to start but it just didn’t happen. The celebs just weren’t available at 7 pm. They decided not to show up until after the advertised time.

Interestingly after coming in late, each movie star wanted to walk on the red carpet to show themselves and their outfits and maybe catch some eyeballs from people watching back home since that segment was televised live on Gh One Television. Unfortunately not all of them were able to go on the red carpet. Next time you want to show off, make sure you respect yourself and your time.

Opening Act

The opening performance was by The Darling, the new Afro Pop crew who performed the theme song of the awards. Shortly after, dancers numbering about 10 appeared on stage with Ghana Flags.

That performance was concise and beautiful but lacked the “Africanness” of the awards. The national anthem of Nigeria is played at every edition of the Africa Movie Academy Awards hugely because the idea was birthed in Nigeria. The GMAA didn’t have to copy that. At least, they should have done something different.

I was actually expecting the Ghana national anthem to be played and later see the flags of some African countries, especially the countries participating in this year’s awards being paraded.

I know where the organisers wants to go with this award and it’s beyond Ghana, so let’s start the journey in an African way, so that when the awards becomes big and prominent on the continent, it will still be identified with Ghana.

No Speech from Winners

For the first few awards, the winners just picked the awards and left without saying a word. Yes, no thank you blah blah blah message to anyone. Some patrons were heard asking if the winners do not have anything to say.

Some also thought that was the direction for the night but later that jinx was broken as other winners gave a speech after picking awards.

Needless Advertisement

One thing worth noting about this year’s award were the needless speeches by award presenters before presenting the awards to the winners. Two worth pointing out were Sister Debbie talking about her yet to be released Jollof single video and that people should watch out for it.

Another annoying one was when announcer and comedian DKB took every opportunity to talk about his upcoming Point of View comedy show. and he constantly thanking Telecom giant Tigo who were not sponsors of the awards even for whatever they had done for him or doing for his new show. That was the most unprofessional thing ever done.

Seating of The celebs

When a winner of a category was announced, it took them sometime to walk all the way from the far end of the spacious auditorium for their awards.

I thought as nominees, they should have occupied the front seat so as to make it easy to come forward to pick their awards.

The long walk became a problem for virtually all of them especially the ladies as their extravagant outfits just wouldn’t allow them. The nominees were all seen trying to pull their outfits together as they did the long walk to the stage to pick the awards.

Come on! Yvonne Okoro is a pro and must act as such and I hope she doesn’t take this personal and to heart. She came on stage to pick the award for the Golden Story in Comedy which was won by Ehisoje Ojesebholo, Jimi Bendele and herself for her movie Ghana Must Go.

And when she was announced again as the Golden Best Actress in a Comedy for Ghana must Go, she was no where to be found. Her photographer came for the award and said she had asked him to pick for her. That was disrespectful I think..

Whatever the reasons were, she could have decided to stay away from the awards right from the onset than show up and leave when the people were happy to see her name announced and were waiting to see her and show her some love.

She should be thinking of rendering an apology as a lot of people in the audience were furious. Very furious.

Movie Titles Instead Of Names of Winners

Most award shows come with a magazine or a brochure which contains detailed information about the awards, the sponsors, the partners, the nominees and any other important information but there was none for this award.

And to add salt to injury, titles of movies were announced as winners instead of the names of the actual winners. For instance instead of announcing Ehisoje Ojesebholo, Jimi Bendele, Yvonne Okoro followed by the movie title for the Golden Story (Comedy) for Ghana Must Go, only Ghana Must Go was announced as the winner.

Now without any brochure or a magazine with the list of nominees, most patrons were confused as majority of the awards on the night were announced like that.

Kalybos Factor

Kalybos was announced as winner of Golden Actor Comedy, he came on stage, delivered his speech and left without his award. Even though he spent a lot of time on stage, his award was not on stage, so he left.

Announce the Main before Supporting

In every award show, lesser categories are announced before the major categories. Both Golden Actor and Actress in Comedy were announced before the Supporting for those two categories. Like someone screamed, if we know about the main winners, who cares about the supporting? This should have been avoided.

No Lifetime Achievement

Don’t we still have legends and pioneers of the industry? There was no lifetime achievement award. Instead, the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) awarded writer, director, producer and editor, Shirley Frimpong Manso with a Special AWDF Award. I understand that cover for the lifetime achievement.

No Tribute to personalities who have passed on

A lot of personalities in the industry passed on over the year. Names such as the former presidents of the Ghana Actors’ Guild, Rev Eddie Coffie and Samuel Odoi Mensah as well as the Guild’s Welfare Officer, Solomon Sampah were still fresh but there was no tribute whatsoever from the organisers on the night. Have they been forgotten so soon? An oversight?

These are few of the things I observed at the awards. With time, it will get better. Competition is good as it brings out the best in everyone and every situation. The Golden Movie Awards Africa has the potential to be one of the huge awards on the African continent. They will only get there with time.

Like we say in the local parlance, Anita Erskine ‘killed’ the show. She was in a usual top form and delivered as expected.