SRAF, THE MASQUERADE.
“Behind every face of anger, lies pride in hiding”
Yes, we are proud! Or perhaps I’m proud but if I’m proud of my art and staying true to my words, then there’s no felony in it. SRAF Movie and Awards Night which happened in BBCM auditorium on the night of December 15 was massively attended by people from far and near not as a means of networking alone but to get appreciated for what they are best at doing (as earlier promised).
The problem began when I couldn’t detect a reasonable difference between those who paid five thousand for V.V.I.P. and the common man who paid one thousand as regular. Even though it’s odd seeing nominees or eligible awardees buying tickets to gain entry but yet, we have been foretold (so that’s a lesser slight).
I believe firmly that the event was tagged as SRAF Movie and ‘Award night’ not SRAF Movie and ‘Certificate’ Night. I wonder how some sets of people would be given plaques and some given certificates under the same helm of victory, undiluted. Well, it was predictable. The very moment Helen Paul and other celebrities got fliers and other nominees couldn’t get one, I knew there was something amiss. I want Soul’e Rhymez to know that “we are all common humans whether as celebrities or not”.
While you might argue that you didn’t underrate anybody, I would say the people who were present were no fools. And to know that there’s class segregation even in such an event, then it’s appalling of how we could be the devils we preach against. Those certificates was not even done well to make it presentable and then, it baffles me if someone who came all the way from Ilesa would go home with two hundred naira cardboard paper.
Soul’e Rhymez made an empty promise to give all finalists twenty thousand naira, judging from the winnings of the previous contests organised by SRAF. To know that Oyedokun Ibukun Stephen (PENAWD) came with his dad in the first edition of Battle of Words, won the poetry slam and didn’t go home with a dime is a big slap. He however took the stress to come for the second time to get the award and monetary prize but as worst as it might be, he didn’t get an award, a certificate not even the money! You didn’t even care about the risk involved in his journey, he sacrificed his life, money, time to get nothing in return.
Well, I think I understand the intentions of SRAF Awards. This event has already gone a long way in promoting your brand both virtually and physically. But, that’s not the easiest way to acquire a name. Take a seat and learn from legends like Sir Eriata Oribhabor, Sir Kukogho Iruesiri Samson, Sir Ayokunle Komolafe, Sir Bankole Kolawole among other set of notable people. Don’t build a castle with your tongue when you know you haven’t completed the construction of a thatched hut.
There are many contests done with no prizes attached yet we still go happily because the criteria have been earlier stated without mincing words. Imagine the humiliation people like Aderinto Halimah would feel, coming all the way to get an award with her parents and sibling only to get a certificate with no name!!! What of people like C. Akintola of MYVOICE who came all the way from Osun state ? Whilst you think you are promoting poetry, I suppose it’s in the opposite. Because there was just a poetry performance and every other thing was music, dance and rap.
Soul’e Rhymez, no one is tarnishing your image. I hope you fully recollect how you affirmed that if I could lose my self worth to get votes, then I haven’t built it. Well, I have built it and I know my worth. That is not our place, our places are higher than Everest and Kilimanjaro. But know that no one sells a limping fowl to insiders.
With what I witnessed yesterday, I can boldly affirm that SRAF is a total masquerade. Beginning from the churchy auditorium used which I’m sure you didn’t pay much to get it done or perhaps, the Pastor was rewarded with an award. Prejudice is killing us in everything we do in this country. But I leave some words unspoken, for I know you would definitely reply with another blunt article. It’s customary of you.
But then, I just got a new pen so the ink flows massively. People have already predicted the turn out of this event but we gave you a benefit of doubt. Stop suffering from megalomania and open yourself to reality. If you were in our shoes yesternight, how would you feel?
Yusuf Balogun Gemini.
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