Music Business

Should organizers of the Nigerian Entertainment Awards shut it down?

Sharing is caring! wrote an article about two weeks ago that asked whether the Nigerian Entertainment Awards (NEA) in New York should be shut down.The award event began and ended with many fans, media and industry insiders completely unaware of it. Further, for those who were present, there were reports that the show allegedly began in the early hours of the following morning from the date and time it was scheduled to begin. This is simply hard to believe and if true, absolutely unacceptable!

In addition, it is alleged that the respected and prestigious co-hosts of the event, Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD) and Joselyn Dumas, failed to follow through. RMD, it is alleged, pulled out last-minute. What caused such drastic last-minute changes is yet to be revealed by the organizers.

I believe that the NEA brand and what it represents for Nigerians and Africans in the diaspora, and on the continent, is strong. In addition, I believe the city it is situated in is perfect for an award event of a caliber like the Grammys or BET, by Africans for Africans. I completely disagree with the author of the article cited below that the NEA should be hosted in Nigeria. Some of my reasons are:

  1. In the final analysis, the Nigerian and African disapora is a relevant market to push the African culture and its creative industry globally. We saw 15,000 people show up, just in New York alone, for the One Africa Music Fest in June. That is a strong showing of an insatiable appetite for contemporary African culture, including its food, arts etc.
  2. While competition is becoming very stiff from Asian and European counterparts, America is still the #1 leading global entertainment market and owns most of the market share of the world’s entertainment business. I only see the market becoming even stronger as it makes inroads in new and emerging entertainment markets. This means the NEA is the perfect middleman for the interpretation, integration, rebranding and selling of the contemporary African identity to Americans and vice versa.
  3. The performances by our artists are actually really good. Our artists do a great job when they actually show up and perform. I’ve witnessed some great performances on stage.

I think the NEA’s presence in the U.S. and the African diaspora is still very essential but I do agree that the brand has been at crossroads for a while now and something MUST be done to resuscitate it, if it is to survive. I think a buyout whether from a current partner most interested in the success of the brand, or a new investor  with a clear vision, strong funding and ability to execute flawlessly, would make sense.

AML people, read the article below and let me know your thoughts on the question posed i.e. should the organizers shut down the NEA Awards, at this point?


~Ms. Uduak

“The first thing you should know about the Nigeria Entertainment Awards is that it holds in New York United States and has held there every year for about a decade.

The second thing you should know is that it is almost always shoddily planned, this year’s edition being a prime example. And the shoddy preparation runs through the entire gamut of the show. Right from the announcement of the nominees to announced hosts dropping out hours to the show, to ‘confirmed’ performers being unaware that they were meant to perform.

More than 12 hours after the show, there is still no official list of the 2016 winners on the NEA website or any of their social media platforms. Or anywhere online for matter…” has the full story.

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
For legal representation inquiries, please email ( For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email ( Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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