As much as it was an honour that the MTV Africa Music Awards was held in Nairobi, Kenya over the weekend, some aspects of the whole thing ruffled my feathers slightly.
Let me share these with you. It was Saturday evening. I was privileged to know people who parked their car in the VIP section at the Kasarani Sports Complex, where the MAMA event was being held.
As we walked the distance to the gate, I heard a man in a South African accent tell us “Would you like a ride to the gate?”
It was a bit confusing. To hear the accent I mean. It evoked a deluge of thoughts about why exactly they had to outsource almost EVERYTHING for the event.
The stage was practically imported; from the lights to the décor and to the cranes. I could understand that because I have never seen anything like it in my entire life. The place looked fantastic!
Then came the PR crew. From the UK. This I also understood because this was MTV and they are – and try to be – the epitome of entertainment perfection. Everything had to be just right, right?
There was a press conference prior to the concert at the Tribe, which looked fabulous. The sound crew were locally sourced, and I think of the entire event – apart from the venue – they were part of a lucky two.
A local security firm also benefited, but they were given menial tasks. The bouncers and security personnel at the VIP section were South African, and one of the organisers said it was because Kenyans would let their ‘friends’ in.
So all in all, we lost a lot of money this eventful weekend. Mostly hotels and clubs were at an advantage, but nothing very intellectual. I asked why, and was told by a few organisers that it’s not because of lack of skill, it’s because of lack of professionalism.
I think that some of the reasons were justified, and some were a bit outrageous, but we should learn a lesson from this.
If we are perceived to not be able to ‘handle’ things, there must be something wrong there, don’t you think?