Tuesday, March 8, 2016

M-Net asks for more entries from Southern Africa for the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards - while barely doing anything to actually publicise the awards.

M-Net is now asking for Southern Africa and for people working in film and television in Southern Africa to please "enter more" for its Nigerian-heavy and badly done Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards sponsored by MultiChoice.

Well, on a personal note I simply must weigh in: In my opinion the entries and number of entries from South Africa and Southern Africa for the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards are so dismal because M-Net is so hopelessly bad at actually promoting and publicising it!

If even the media in Southern Africa are struggling to just be able to cover it and report basic information about it, I don't know how filmmaker and TV producers and talent are supposed to actually really know about it in the first place and that the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards exists.

I don't know why it's so bad, and why nobody in Southern Africa and South Africa seems to take any responsibility for the publicity of the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.

If the M-Net organisers of the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards want to complain about a lack of entries from Southern Africa for this shabby, messy awards show, take a good, hard, long look in the mirror.

All I can share is my own, personal experience of trying to cover the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards - and I still actually try! A lot of South African and Southern African press don't know and can't care less.

I can just imagine how other journalists in South Africa and other Southern African countries won't even bother, have given up, or are simply not even interested since they're getting nothing, and can't care less about yet another award show that doesn't communicate properly.

At a press conference (which basically none of the journalists who went there even bothered to report on) at the Eko Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria where the 4th Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards 2016 took place on Saturday night, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, M-Net's regional director for West Africa called for more film entries from Southern Africa.

Well, I don't know whether Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu is aware, but there's definitely a big, big disconnect between M-Net in the rest of Africa, especially in West Africa, and M-Net in South Africa - a case of the left hand not knowing (or caring) what the right hand is doing as far as the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards are concerned.

"We did not receive more entries from Southern Africa and so we urge film makers to come out and participate," said Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu.

Well, Wangi, how about M-Net actually steps up the effort in promoting and publicising the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards and improve the media communication and publicity effort with the Southern African press?

Currently its hopelessly basically non-existent.

I can only share my own experience as a South African journalist and TV critic - the one where since September 2015 I had to ask M-Net and MultiChoice numerous times for information about the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards in order to write and report basic stories like this.

Even back in September last year I noted how South African film and TV makers and the media are simply not being told and kept in the loop  as far as the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards are concerned.

Every single time (and it happened during last year's run as well) there was a press release for the 4th Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, I had to ask for it, and try to track it down and find out who possibly issued it.

Every single time I asked other longtime TV critics and journalists if they perhaps got it or got anything. Every single time they said no.

On Sunday, the day after the latest Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, yet again no press release from M-Net or MultiChoice, not even about the winners. I had to hunt to find out if there perhaps was something.

If Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu and M-Net want to see better participation from Southern Africa, an easy thing to improve and actually put in place would be the very bad line of communication from the organisers to the press in Southern African countries and South Africa.

If relevant media gets more information, more people will read about it and possibly more people will actually know about it and care to enter.

At the moment people don't know, don't care and neither does a lot of the media.