Africa Fashion Week Amsterdam caught heat this week of allegedly attempting to rig their face of AFWA2016 social media competition by followers on their instagram page. This was brought to my attention when a model queried if she should participate, so we decided to look into it on her behalf and came across a few revelations.
The event put out a call for aspiring models outside the country Holland who wanting to be part of their event to post a picture on their instagram with the Africa Fashion Week Amterdam advert on it, of which then gets reposted onto their page for their followers to vote on.
Although it isn’t clear how the votes will be counted, upcoming Ghanaian male model Maxwell was the first to have his picture up which was then reposted. The image seemed to have gotten 500 plus likes on the page belonging to the fashion week within a short time. However disgruntled followers pointed out a few facts that indicated the process could be a rigged one and that the event paid for online promotion, sponsoring this particular model picture.
The Africa Fashion Week Amsterdam instagram page holds no more than 2000 followers, in fact less than 1800 prior to the competition. For a page with such a following to receive 800 likes on a picture is a little above the mark if one knows how instagram works.
@akuffomartha pointed out “You normal likes is between 20-60 so why buy over 500 likes on this image to favour the person, he also did same on his page. Come on you are a big brand n we don’t expect this from u. The media,bloggers n everybody is watching. Why do a competition if you already know who you want to give it to. Be free n fair. Well let’s see what happens on 30th April”
Another adwoashatta pointed out “All been said i think @boycarston (The model Maxwell) is scared of competition n bought u @afwamsterdam thats why u saying on his page hes ur fav model anyways im just sippin my tea ooo”. Accusing them on the claims the AFWA organization stated that he is their favourite model on his own instagram page.
Award winning Ghanaian model also hit not only the event, but also the model with his comments stating…. stephenface “It’s so sad to see this as a model. I am model in Ghana and see no fairness in this campaign. I don’t know which profile u talking about but if it’s ok for your brand then I’m very surprised. Pls don’t make it so obvious as everyone is seeing. The industry needs fairness and fairness opportunity to all. I totally side with you @adwoshatta n @charly_dgh . All I can say is pls never stay you brand this way. Have the organisers even checked the page of the model . @afwamsterdam.”
The rest of the discussing was hurled with insults, rigged accusations, and player hating accusations from supporters of the model. Other questions why the rapid likes on the said picture randomly stopped after 700. And as time progressed the page took it upon themselves to delete further comments of accusations as seen below.
Whether the competition is rigged or not we can not call it, one can see the discussion for themselves. The bottom line is there is no hardcore facts to prove it so only common sense can lead you to your own conclusion. However some questions outside this remains. If you sense a competition is rigged, why do models still continue to engage in them. For years Miss Ghana has been rigged and it makes the national headlines, EVERY YEAR. Yet every year their auditions is filled with 100s of applications. That will always baffle me!
The second question is why we tend to face a lot of rigged competitions. Usually many online competition are a free way of gaining promotion for the particular product, event or campaign. You tell a few people to go online and ask for votes and then your entity gets known by their followers, and the winner gets something. Which is not bad, fair game.
But from time to time, what becomes obvious when one reads between the lines of most rigged competitions, is maybe the organizers can not afford the prize being offers, ie. the car, or the grand financial prize, or the trips to the various countries.
So in most cases, organizers may already have that one contestant willing to take care of costs, or not concerned about receiving the goods promised. This way in organizing a competition, they benefit from the hopefuls promoting their entity, all whilst not having to put up anything. A very well learnt lesson from my experience in pageantry.
Wishing all the contestants goodluck.