Chowo Willy

Since Jan 1st, 2020, I have received a lot of phone calls –and up today-they shared with me as a journalist about their dissatisfaction about the recent NUMA awards –some are the artists, managers and well-wishers. Some went as far as burning their accolades because they felt they wasted their time. I consoled and guided them accordingly and I feel I should share with you how I feel NUMA should be handled not to lose its meaning.

Northern Uganda Music Award (NUMA) is a good venture that has been limping for a decade now due to its unclear vision and mission. Every time the Award is organized-the following mornings is washed by outcry and allegation of bribery and favours.

Voters are technically knocked out with money changing hands and left with no option but to take on what the judges have for them. They grumble so had “We expected this and that to be the artist of the year but to the opposite”. These issues of bribery, favours and sideling artist has not been address ten years after the birth of the awards with the latest scam arising for the one held four days ago.

I don’t sit in the committee of the Award which mainly consists of Radio Deejays (I am not a DJ)- and I don’t know what they usually evaluate to come up with the winners but from what I see they have corrected nothing and improved nothing in trying to build the awards as issues continue to crop up year in and out.

Verdict: For NUMA to move forward on ground association musicians, managers and promoters need to seat down and revise their contractual documentation. The line of nominee’s benefit should be mapped out clearly say for example if it’s for an accolade and money then how much.

I propose nominees are given a better fraction from the annual gate collection so they can walk home happy people. It is very unfair to make a gate collection of sh60-90 Million and give artist peanuts or even nothing for those who brave the cold weather and end up not winning.

It is wrong business indeed and since the event is not sponsored sharing a portion from gate collection would benefit all participants as a way of addressing the after event squabbling.

NOMINEES.

To-date we don’t know who does the nomination, could it be the listeners? If they are, how do they do it? If on radio, which radio stations? When does it open and how many people should nominate an artist to be able to qualify for the competition? Does it need the consent of a particular artist? Do people know which categories these artists fall in and who determines the entry categories? Unless this is addressed, there will always be confusion and discontent.  Because people think it is a one-man’s show. The one who does everything including selecting who should win and Not.

Verdict: I think openness in this award should begin with coming up with list of nominees and the same list availed to listeners to scan through those nominated and in which category and this can be followed by voting.  If the event organizer decides to use radio stations both in East and west Acholi should be involved.

The use of online platforms too is an alternative to embrace. The award must be publicized extensively for good returns on investment and having a website for NUMA will address the needs of those in diaspora who too can venture and vote for their own artist as NUMA gains visibility.

Finally, after the close of nomination window, all the nominees with their respective songs must be profile and lyrics to the songs appended for people to decide on who is who.

VOTING PROCEDURE.

The voting process has been unscrupulous from day one, how can over one thousand people vote within the scope without clear knowledge on the category? more so using plain sheet of paper, its irregular and can’t work.

I hear that 40% of the votes are taken from radio but I work for a radio station and have never seen any such list availed to our station. Just a flash back and on record, in 2017 Award, those who lost walked home with awards while those who were winners smoked out. I thought they would never come back in 2018 and guess what they returned and still making the same noise.

Can you really believe that they counted all the votes on the 01-01-2020! It is not possible because the thing ended in the morning (I don’t want to divulge the details of the mess). It was just a show since everything was premeditated.


Verdict: In the future to make this event real and authentic, digitalize the voting process and if you lack the technical know-how then I am ready to lead a team of software engineers to develop that simple app to aid in the voting process. It’s a simple logic that can allow people vote online with much easy given the fact that they can as well use their phones to vote and we compute results. radio calls too will come out with properly documented printouts. If all these are done, then we will address the issue of self-appointing the winners and envision NUMA.

CHOICES OF GUESTS.

Think wise, think twice adjust on your award categories, time of performance and award giving ceremony. With that sorted then think of the guest.

It’s a petty how the team invited the Paramount chief of Acholi, Rwot Onen David Acana as the chief Guest and failed to keep time. It was so painful seeing our king seat in this mess from 5pm till the wee hours of the night. He shouldered his pride and endured all the preconditions in the dark and cold night to give NUMA a face. Yes, he might have been there for the love of his people but as an individual I feel keeping our king in such a place and time a sign of disrespect.

Verdict: For the coming years I propose you start as early as 5pm and get the final winners announced by midnight.

Conclusively, I love our local artists and NUMA as well and as we move to scale it up, we need to get a few things herein rectified. There is no personal vendetta, its business as usual all I want to see is a clear and set objective for the award to avoid future discontent.

From his posting the following opinion merged and they had this to say,

Robinson Arop Your ideas is good unfortunately ,the organizer of NUMA is one man, no one has ever taken an initiative to do it ,so he still has an upper hand because he is trying from all odds. Last year, I was there and I saw how the voting was done. I can’t say there are a lot of rigging or favours. If it so happens, then it is minimal to taint image of NUMA. From the funs, you can even see ululations who is/are winners.

I am only concern about the price tag for the artist of the year and others that can be at least to the standard and can change life then any artist who have been nominated should go with something not like this one.
Unless artists ,managers , promotors come together to form NUMA ,the status quo will still remain because he took the initiative when no one could think about it. Kudos to him at least he needs to be fair and dynamic.

Okwera Oloya The long story cut short. In my opinion, people need to be considerate of so many things before they complain. If I may ask, what could have been the input of the so call complainants to the success of NUMA to date? Do the said artist sing or produce songs specifically for NUMA? Or Winning a NUMA award is just a bonus for them?

From the little I know, NUMA has been almost a one man’s efforts as a business strategy but not public initiative for whatever purpose they may suggest. In life many people like ready-made things and therefore if success finally comes they all one a share.

Now if the concerns you have raised is anything to go with then there will be need for a wide consultation and all suggestions taken care of.

Charles Wod Paromo We are in a Free Market Economy…but since the NUMA thing started I have never seen and person or a body coming out to organize credible Awards and why participate and later start complaining
Acholi…

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