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Entertainment of Friday, 31 December 2021


Award events will always be controversial - Afouda

Afouda Samuel Afouda Samuel

Afouda Samuel is the convener of the recently-organised Primus Media Awards to celebrate media personalities in the South-West of Nigeria. Also a master compere, media talent investor and radio personality, he spoke to ROTIMI IGE, on why the media needs be celebrated more, among other issues.

Primus Media Awards is powered by Primus Media City, what are they all about.

Primus Media City is a private media organisation in Ibadan. We are into everything media. We run an academy where we train people, and as a matter of fact, the training arm is the foundation of all that we do starting as far back as 2018. Apart from training, we celebrate, glamourise, report, expand and protect the media. That’s why I said earlier that we do everything media. Hence, the project Primus Media Awards is one of our core mandates that is just finding expression now. We thank God for the privilege, it’s better late than never.

There are thousand and one ways of celebrating people in the media, so why did you choose awards?

We have the mandate to do everything media and by God’s grace, we’ve been doing a lot since we started. We didn’t just choose awards, we evolved into it. We have had projects like the ‘Primus Media Nite’, which is a periodic hangout for all media practitioners in the city of Ibadan, and we seize that opportunity to always honour some specially selected and well-defined categories of people. Also, we have our monthly online media magazine, our blog, we organise seminars and workshops, all as a means to fulfilling our mandates.

So, we just didn’t start the award. The award is a necessary response to some gaps we have noticed in the industry and we are trying to bridge. By God’s grace, we believe we are fixing the issues already, despite the fact that the main event proper is yet to kick off. Isn’t that amazing?

Identifying a gap and trying to bridge it… Do you mind telling us the gap you noticed and how you are attempting to bridge it?

I said earlier that we run an academy, where we train. Most of our trainees are young people, I can say out of the over 200 people we have successfully trained in our three years of existence, 80 per cent of them are young. It, therefore, becomes worrisome when you invest and deposit a lot of knowledge/ability in these young ones, but they are not getting the deserved chance to showcase or exhibit their abilities. Media as an industry believes so much in experience, and funnily enough we feel they are not doing enough to help these young ones garner and gather the required experiences. Therefore, the award is strategically created to cure this deficiency. We have tried several other strategies before now and they all point to the fact that we need something more. Therefore, the awards is designed to identify, acknowledge and appreciate younger practitioners between age 21 and 30, this we believe will inspire the young ones and position them for value-added growth, while it will motivate media outfits to create more room for the young ones.

Awards can be controversial sometimes, have you thought about this and what steps have you taken to prevent this?

I think there is really nothing that can be done to avoid controversies. However, one can try to do what is right and satisfy one’s conscience. Knowing that very well, we have carefully considered and put some structures in place to be fair and transparent because that is the genesis of most controversies.

So, right from the nomination process, we ensure that nominations are done by stations and not us; we wrote each station, described each category of the awards to them and ask them to nominate their on-air personalities within the age range of 21 and 30 that fits each description. Also, we appointed a supervisor, in person of Dr L.B. Andah, a thoroughbred professional, whose integrity we believe is beyond any doubt. Furthermore, we appointed a 50 man jury to select the winners and we ensure that all stations are adequately represented. So, at the end of the day, Primus is only facilitating and coordinating, we have absolutely no say about who wins what and whatnot. And we dare not do anything to tamper with this structure because we believe this is a legacy we are trying to build and to achieve that our credibility, integrity and reputation must be beyond blemish.