Dear Bikwaphi, AMVCA Was Fantastic, But Still A Rip-Off of Nollywood

Kunle Afolayan's best film so far

Kunle Afolayan’s best film so far

Dear Bikwaphi,

Were you at the 2015 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCAs) last night?

Wow! Did you see Belinda Effah’s out of Africa hairstyle!

Indeed it was a magical night in the largest mega city in Africa with Kunle Afolayan’s historical drama winning 9 of the awards, including the most coveted awards for Best Movie and Best Director.

It was a fantastic event at the Convention Centre of the Eko Hotel and Suites on Victoria Island, Lagos. It was a red carpet event with all the glitz and razzmatazz that dazzled all the Africa Magic stars and thousands of others who graced the occasion that is now called the biggest entertainment event in Nigeria. But Africa Magic is still a big rip-off of Nollywood, because Africa Magic is where Nollywood producers sell themselves cheap.

Why should South African film producers get paid over 100% more than Nigerian film producers on the same Africa Magic?

A Nigerian film producer was offered US$2000 (two thousand dollars) only by MultiChoice Nigeria for his new full length movie that has not been put on DVD. But he rejected the US$2, 000 and sent the movie to an agent in South Africa who took it to the MultiChoice head office and was offered US$5, 000 (five thousand dollars) only for the same movie. Then the agent confirmed that he would have been paid more than that if it was a South African movie.

Why should MultiChoice rip off Nollywood producers by paying than far less than South African producers?

Then the Nollywood movies are broadcast on Africa Magic channel in over 50 countries and repeated for several years for as long as MultiChoice wishes without paying the producers for all the repeats. And I wonder what kind of terms of agreement and contract will allow such a rip off?

How and why should Nollywood producers sell off their movies to MultiChoice for such a paltry sum of US$2000 without any time frame and without asking for more payments or royalties for repeated broadcasts?

“My people are hungry and so desperate to make ends meet. It is so sad,” said a popular multiple award winning Nollywood actor and producer.

Another prominent stakeholder in Nollywood said that Nollywood producers have permitted their humiliation, because they don’t have any alternative. “If they have, they will not go to Africa Magic.”

But there is a better and more profitable alternative! There is iROKOtv that is offering more than US$15, 000 (fifteen thousand dollars) for a new Nollywood movie. And iROKOtv, the Netflix of Africa can now be viewed on Panasonic Smart Viera Led TV‎. So, it is a better and more profitable alternative for Nollywood producers.

“Many of them go to Africa Magic so that their movies can qualify for the annual Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA),” said a notable movie buff in Nollywood.

Hello Nollywood! So, because of the attraction of competing and winning laurels at AMVCA, you sell yourselves cheap?

AMVCA that did not even recognize the greatest Nollywood producers, directors and marketers who are the major builders of what Nollywood is today as the largest film industry in Africa and a global socioeconomic phenomenon of Nigerian creative industry. One of the greatest filmmakers in Nollywood, Dr. Christian Chika Onu came all the way from Port Harcourt to Lagos and was not even invited to the 2015 AMVCA! And this Nollywood veteran is the famous multiple award winning director of the all time Nollywood classics “Living in Bondage” 2, “Glamour Girls”, “Peace Maker” and more than 50 other movies played and repeated several times on the Africa Magic Channel. Another accomplished Nollywood director and producer Ralph Nwadike was not invited to the event. Other leading Nollywood producers could not get IVs. But the girlfriends and boyfriends of many members of Staff of MultiChoice Nigeria got the highly coveted IVs for AMVCA! A typical case of “Monkey dey work, but na bamboo dey chop”, meaning while some people are doing the real work, others are eating the fruits of their labour.

How can the organizers of the annual AMVCA fail to know that the first people to give invitations should be the top Nollywood producers who are the major content producers for Africa Magic, because without them, there will be little or no content to make Africa Magic a million dollar money machine for MultiChoice Africa.

What have the girlfriends and boyfriends of members of staff at MultiChoice Nigeria contributed to Africa Magic for them to get IVs that accomplished Nollywood producers could not get?

It is really incomprehensible. And that is why is called Africa Magic!

Bikwaphi! Where should the report be sent?

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