By Benjamin Njoku
Ahead of this year’s African Movie Academy Awards, AMAA, which holds tomorrow, in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, the president of the jury for 2016 edition, Mr. Shaibu Husseini has revealed why the names of the winners are not written on the trophies, saying it’s a deliberate act on the part of the organizers to avoid manipulation and disparity that may trail such practice. Husseini, who has served as a member of the panel for close to eight years now, also listed maintaining transparency and credibility which the awards stand for as part of the reason the organizers refused to write the winners’ names on the trophies.
In a chat with HVP, Husseini further revealed that the organizers have been under pressure to have the names of the winners written on the trophies, insisting that doing so will create a serious room for manipulation. “Since the jury members do not know the winners until the awards night, doing so will create room for manipulation,”he said.
However, recounting some of the challenges he has been facing since his appointment as the president of jury, the celebrated film critic cum journalist said, apart from working round the clock to select the best entries, the jury members hardly have time to attend to the needs and their families. Husseini, at the unveiling of the nominees last month noted that AMAA is a jury based award, unlike Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards,AMVCA, where nominees embark on voting campaigns to win any of the categories.
A performing artist who has made a name for himself as film critic and a journalist, Husseini has been the Chairman of AMAA selection committee for seven years running. He authored the book, ‘Moviedom”, which narrates the developmental stages of Nollywood. Husseinin has worked as cultural administrator, and a two-time president of the Dance Guild of Nigeria. He also served as special assistant to the DG of the National Theatre/National Troupe of Nigeria aside serving as the secretary of the governing board of the National Theatre/ National Troupe.