Cover Stories, Entertainment, Interviews

Ayo Animashaun on Headies controversy – ‘Olamide has apologized’

The Headie 2015 may have come and gone but still much talked about, not only because of the success of the 10th edition, but also because of the controversies it stirred up.

ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with the award founder and President of Smooth Productions, Ayo Animashaun on what has sustained The Headies for 10 years, the success of the awards, the controversies and more…


How does it feel organizing the 10th edition of The Headies? 



It feels good. It is a lot of work and a lot of responsibility,  hard work, several sleepless nights. Since it was our 10th edition, it was easy to identify what to put in and what to expect since it was not our first time.

Will you say it was a success?

Am I supposed to mark my script? Okay, I will say yes. I have my own candid assessment of the show. It is not easy to put a show of that magnitude together but we made it happen. It wasn’t a small show to put together.

What has kept it going for 10 years?

It was commitment to provide something special, something different. To create reference point event. An event that any creative person or artiste will look forward to year in, year out as a reward platform. A platform that will instill pride and prestige in winning awards organized by Nigerians. A locally put together awards.

What were the challenges you had to overcome in 10 years?

Different year with different challenges. Not long ago, I had a meeting with Senator Ben Bruce and he told me his experience when he had to put together some of the major shows way back in the days. I saw myself there too.

If you solve one problem this year, next year, you will solve another problem. Something fresh keeps coming up every year. It is very interesting. We have to adjust and make it happen. We have been lucky over the years. We have been blessed with sponsors. The usual challenge is when organizers start a project, we had that when we started, the first, second edition. There was a year that our budget was very much tight because some of our sponsors didn’t have much to spare.  We snapped out of that and here we are today.

In 10 years, what has been the high point for you?

The Headies has been immensely successful. I am very proud of it. We have a lot of high points. I can’t count them. We have done too many big things. I am so proud that we have been while to do a lot. There was a year we moved more than 600 people to Abuja. We chartered a private airline and lodged all our guests. It was amazing. The stage was amazing, the light was whao! The red carpet was never seen before.

There was a year we took our nominees to Ajibogun village in order to have village experience. There was another year we went to a small island for our nominees party. We had veteran’s night, a lot of veterans came out to be part of The Headies. We played a lot of veteran music for them. We have seen a lot happen on stage, very great performances, defining moments on stage. They are too many high points to mention.

What improvement will be made in subsequent edition?

I don’t want to start to announce what we are going to do next year. When the time comes, we will work on it. Like I said, it is not easy to run an award show for 10 years.

That is why some others are not doing it because you don’t make money from it. It is not your meal ticket. It is not easy to spend sleepless nights for six months on something that would not make you richer.

How is HipTV doing?

HipTV is doing very well, glory be to God. I am so proud of it.

During the life streaming of The Headies they advertised real time TV, can you tell us about it?

Real time TV is about life events as the event is happening. It is something we want to nurture into full potential. I wouldn’t like to say much about it.

Back to The Headies, some people said Next Rated was not strictly by voting. What do you have to say about it?

They should provide evidence. People talk. They should provide evidence. People can be phoney. If any winner paid or contributed anything, they should come out and talk. People don’t believe others can be honourable and have integrity. If one person does not have integrity, it does not mean others don’t have it.

If one person is corrupt in Nigeria, does it mean every other person is corrupt? If they have any evidence, they should come out. Nobody can even pay me. If I decide to compromise today, they cannot pay me. They cannot afford to do it. I am not even head of screening team. Jimmy Jatt is the head. Anything screening, you can go and ask him and I can bet he is an upright man.

It is like a marking scheme. Once you put it right, they can’t cheat. If an artiste wins five categories, he deserves them but if he doesn’t win one, he doesn’t deserve it. Is it supposed to be like that. I don’t understand.

If they can provide evidence that we collect money to win awards at The Headies, I will stop the award. We will stop The Headies because there will be no point to continue.

Is it true that Olamide destroyed the Green Room?

It was alleged. People were there, camera recorded it, there are camera footages. It was alleged.

Will the organizers demand compensation?

The guys who own the Green Room should be talking to Olamide’s management. As long as both of them are happy, he will ask them and know the next step to take.

What is the state of relationship between HipTV and Olamide?

HipTV is not the organizers of The Headies. It is Smooth Productions. HipTV is just a platform that shows the event. He has nothing to do with HipTV. The platform is not even Ayo Animashaun’s. If Olamide will deal with it. Ayo Animashaun canot decide. The board of The Headies will.

I have personal relationship with Olamide. He has apologized to me. If he has apologized to my team, I don’t know. Whether he does that or not, if he did something of that magnitude, there are ways of dealing with it. It is the committee that is in charge that will announce whatever they want to do.




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