OE Exclusive: Dynamix All Youth Awards: The Truth, The Lies, All laid Bare!

The Nigerian entertainment industry has been experiencing tremendous growth over the past few years. The rapid yet steady increase in awards shows in the country is one testament to the fact that “operation re-brand and grow” the Nigerian entertainment industry is in full swing. Award shows such as the SoundCity Music Video awards, MTV Africa Music Awards, South South Music Awards, Future Awards, to the Dynamix all youth awards, all underscore the fact that Nigerians are again beginning to celebrate their own artists. A prime example of this "awakened desire" is exemplified by the Dynamix all youth Awards. The Dynamix awards, the brain child of Tunde Alade, is an annual youth event that is intended to identify and recognize the excellence of the Nigerian youth and celebrate the youth culture.

The recent Dynamix Awards was held on the 21st of December 2010 at the Eko Hotel and Suites. From the reviews, it appeared that people were not too impressed with the award show. However, this is quite understandable because it is hard to please everyone. In this exclusive interview, Mr Alade sets the record straight as he and his team start planning for this year‘s award show.

Interview with Dynamix Coordinator Tunde Alade.

OE: Can you please give a brief overview of how the Dynamix awards came into existence and why it was created?

Tunde Alade: Dynamix all youth awards was originally created to bring together students from across campuses in Nigeria together in one venue, to give reward, recognition, promote unity and celebrate them. As campus/youth journalists at that time, 2005 to be precise, it was fundamental that we bridged the gap within students from the north, east, south and west. Our goal was and is to promote unity, while allowing free camaraderie, the merging of intellectual and social values among students, as well as try our best to expose them to their role models. So many students want to meet and get one on one inspiration from Dele Momodu, Keke and D-one, Dbanj, Tuface and other role models in reality and not just on TV-- Dynamix youth awards created that platform for them. Today, the Dynamix all youth awards has evolved to the extent that it is not limited to students (youths on campuses) that it was originally created for; we now have categories for youths in music, movies, comedy, sports, media as well as Nigerian youths abroad and as a matter of fact aggressive and popular demand by these afore mentioned section of youths brought about the inclusion of their categories outside the student categories. It’s a phenomenal growth in target audience which is not only about the awards but even the magazine ‘dynamix’. It evolved from a common magazine which celebrated Unilag engineering faculty students to a magazine that is been paid to cover major youth events in the Uk and circulates nationwide with a print run of 10,000 copies bi-monthly. I want to thank God for his blessings.

OE: What traits set the Dynamix Awards apart from other award shows? Do you think the Dynamix award show is credible, necessary, and/or relevant to the Nigerian entertainment industry? (please explain)

Tunde Alade: – I can authoritatively tell you that, Dynamix Awards is the only credible awards ceremony where the average age of people in attendance is 20 years i.e. The Youth as stipulated by the United Nations. Dynamix awards is a forum that unites youths from the north, south, west and east of Nigeria as well as their counterparts abroad.

Our categories accommodate youths from all walks of life, and identifies with youth passions in the areas of Education, Fashion, Music, as well as General Entertainment. We have created a platform for talents to be discovered and exposed to the mainstream entertainment industry. At the risk of sounding immodest, 9ice, DJ Zeez, as well as the late Dagrin made a cross over in their career through our platform.

We have created a reputable entertainment brand with the awards over the last 5 editions of the awards. P-Square, D’banj, Don Jazzy, Banky W, Wande Coal, Dr Sid, JJC, Dotstar, 9ice, Ruggedman amongst many others, have all performed at our Award ceremonies.

OE: To clear up any confusion, what are the criteria for nomination for a Dynamix Award? How is this validated? Do Dynamix award coordinators or staff nominate people for awards? How do the youth become aware of when they can nominate or vote?

Tunde Alade: The categories are released to the public via our website www.dynamixawards.com and publicized through the media – The Beat FM, Soundcity, Primetime Africa, Ben TV UK have hitherto been our partners. Nomination questionnaires are also sent in thousands to schools and it is a constant mention on Dynamix On Tv which is our syndicated TV Programme on STV and TVC for months.

The student nominations are collated by top chiefs in leading campus clubs, while the society categories are validated by delegates from Soundcity, Kennis Music and DJ Jimmy Jatt. Once nominees emerge, we send them nomination letters and letter of invitation to the awards. Winning an award in the society categories e.g best music act, youth comedian of the year, OAP of the year etc is based on 70% votes via our Short code service provided by Cellulant, a reputable mobile shortcode service provider and 30% validation by the judges. However, the campus categories are based strictly on votes as collated by Cellulant.

OE: Why has sponsorship been a major challenge for Dynamix awards? (For example, Etisalat which used to be a major sponsor backed out. Why?) How does Dynamix award intend to address these challenges?

Tunde Alade: Etisalat has hitherto been of immense support to the awards for which we are grateful. We have a mutually beneficial relationship with them that cannot be ‘broken’ – so to speak. They could not sponsor the awards because they postponed the re-launch of their youth product Easycliq which is a product that identifies to the youths as well as with The Dynamix All Youth Awards. It was a business decision on their part, and the show had to move on. We are grateful to God that other sponsors took advantage and bank rolled both the main event and pre-event activities leveraging on all opportunities attached. We appreciate the immense support of Lagos state government for making Dynamix All Youth Awards 2010 a huge success.

OE: What is your take on comments such as bribery, favoritism, lack of credibility, that trailed the recently concluded 2010 Dynamix awards? Are there any truths to the claims? If no, why do you think the comments developed? Also, there’s an image on the internet of a conversation between an apparent Dynamix award nominee, hard candy, and an award coordinator identified as Tunde. The rumor is Tunde in the conversation is Tunde Alade of Dynamix awards. Is this true? Did Mr Alade ever have any conversation with anyone nominee paying 50,000 naira to get an award?

Tunde Alade: My first reaction, when I saw the said screen capture was uncontrollable laughter. Because, to be honest, that is all it is good for. It is just a simple case of a disgruntled party trying to pour turpentine in my proverbial ‘Garri.’ And that, anyone believed it, was a matter of surprise to my humble self. It is really simple: all you need is two people with access to BlackBerry’s and enough angst against me and Dynamix Awards.

To clear the air, our award is based on votes collated by Cellulant and subsequent validation by judges. Favoritism? YES! It’s who the student population proclaim as their favorites, via votes, that we give the awards to! To address the issue of certain artistes taking to Twitter and disparaging us out of spite; It is a very sad occurrence. Especially as it is beyond our control that the spotlight has to shine on a select few. But we take these in stride as some of the challenges we face at Dynamix Awards. And we press on, knowing that no good hustle goes unopposed.

OE: If the accusations are true, what is being done to put an end to these practices? If these accusations are untrue, how does the Dynamix award team intend to correct these perceptions as you prepare for the show in 2011?

Tunde Alade: The accusations are wholly and totally false. No awards ceremony will go unquestioned as everyone has their opinions of who and who, are deserving of accolades. Remember that Kanye West questioned Taylor Swift winning an award over Beyonce? Bringing it closer to home, was our credible big brother, Hip-Hop World Awards not falsely tagged a tribalistic award ceremony recently?

Dynamix Magazine has been nominated for The Future Awards 4 times without winning and yet, we have only good things to say of their credibility. This is a show of sportsmanship and we appreciate everyone for recognizing our hustle. We have done well as far as transparency is concerned and we have so much more in the works to make Dynamix All Youth Awards 2011 more transparent than ever before.

OE: It's still too early, but any ideas on where the 2011 Dynamix Awards might be held and what can we expect? How do you intend on keeping the award show fresh and relevant?

Tunde Alade: It is a tad early to count our eggs. But be sure to expect a bigger stage with the attendance of the brightest Nigerian youths home and abroad. Our detractors have done more PR than we can ever afford. Dynamix and Dynamix awards trended on twitter worldwide. Calls have been coming in from within Nigeria and abroad with lots of email addresses and phone numbers dropped asking that we inform them as soon as Dynamix Awards 2011 nominations and entry tickets are out. Every year, we stride to be bigger than the last, and this year will be no exception.

We thank millions of Nigerian artistes, TV and Radio Personalities, students from across campuses, Comedians, movies acts our role models; Mr Dele Momodu, Baba Keke and D-1, DJ Jimmy Jatt, Mr Tajudeen Adepetu, as well as Jesse Jagz and Mo’cheddah for hosting the 2010 awards, Her Excellency; Mrs Sarah Sosan, Deputy Governor of Lagos State for her support, Lagos state ministry of youth and sports, Special adviser to the Governor; Mr Dolapo Badru, Eko Hotel and Suites and many more people who supported and believe strongly in the Dynamix project. Thank you Olamildentertainment for seeking out the truth.

OE: Thank you so much for your time.

Tunde Alade: Thanks. Happy New Year

Olamildentertainment would like to thank Mr Tunde Alade and Enobong Kennedy for taking the time out to answer our questions.

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