Barely twelve days to the National Entertainment Awards (NEA) ceremony scheduled for 23rd December 2020 at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Aberdeen in Freetown, nominees for various categories are declining this year’s award. The organisers of the ceremony have confirmed that all those declining the event will be banned for life from the National Entertainment Awards.
At a press conference at SLAJ headquarters in Freetown on Tuesday 8th December 2020, the Director of Operations for Lake Production, Sheku Putka Kamara revealed that as a group they have seen postings making the rounds on social media from certain individuals that were nominated by members of the public for this year’s award, saying they are declining from attending the award ceremony.
Kamara said as an organiser of the NEA, they are in receipt of only one letter from one of the nominees, Anthony Navo Jr., who informed why he thought it would not please him to form part of persons nominated for this year’s award. He said, according to the letter, Navo said he wanted other young Sierra Leoneans in the entertainment industry to be recognised for their contributions hence he declined inorder to give them space and a chance to be recognised by members of the public for their contributions.
The Director of Operations said they saw another declination made by one of the country’s most outstanding R&B Singers, I-Tribes, who declined his nominations but did not inform them why. He said since 2017 to date, the event has been transparent and credible pointing out that voting and nominations has been done strictly by members of the public with absolutely no intervention from the organising body.
The LAKE Production CEO informed that for the past three years they have been able to successfully stage the award ceremony where prominent personalities have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to Salone’s entertainment industry. He cited how prominent people including a former Vice President, the First Lady, Idris Elba and another Hollywood star have graced their event giving more credibility to the awards.
Against that backdrop, the CEO emphasised that, “Going forward, all nominees for the NEA 2020 Award that had declined without informing us in writing will be banned for life.” He said the national awards like the Grammy have been facing such scenarios for the past 20 years, with the Grammy award still being recognised as one of the best in the world.
He said their goal is to ensure the NEA is ranked among the best organised awards in the world, adding that the ceremony is not a money-making platform but one geared towards changing the narratives to national events, and that with their sponsors and partners the event will last for the next 100 years.
Tarawallie said their dream is to ensure the ceremony forms part of national events that will stand the test of time pointing that, though they are expecting criticism and obstacles, but despite it all they are very optimistic and are focused on working towards their goals and objectives. He informed that all past editions of the awards are on YouTube and that they are more than ready to sponsor the NEA. MK/09/12/2020
By Mohamed Kabba