2016 really exposed to the wider fashion world of Ghana the irrelevance of fashion award nights. To be honest, 2015 held doubts but with a slight touch of hope and then 2016 just insulted us to prove to us that all fashion relative awards night are completely and utterly irrelevant.
In most cases, it is not to easy to criticize an award night when in the industry, because either you won an award and you find it hard to speak out against those that have awarded you, or you didn’t win the award so then by criticizing, people will claim your critique stems from a place of envy…..but over here, we say what has to be said.
The question is who awarded these awardees the ability to award? Who are they? What are their credentials? Why are nobodies, non achievers and/or entities who are no where to be seen at fashion events, engagements and in media the ones behind closed doors awarding? And then when they do have anything under their belt they tend to only award those in the circles that helped them get their belt.
The reason being is because we are faced with 2 types of faulty organizers.
The first being people who don’t know what they are doing. They are not in the fashion industry, they don’t know who is who, they don’t follow achievements, they wake up oneday and say “Oh it’s that time of the year, well let’s see who has the most ig followers, or lets give it to that person because everyone knows them.” There is no metrics or credentials to their judgement, just the attempt to be in the limelight for owning an award. They assume by putting a celebrity on their judging panel that that will somewhat justify their decisions.
The second type of faulty organizers are the ones who wake up and say “You gotta rub shoulders with me to get my award, you gotta showcase at my fashion week or do something for me in return”. Sort of like the payola type (pay for play as they say in the west) where in this case friendship and/or money is the key, a means to take the center spotlight in the fashion world.
At first, all such behavior would make sense if it was close calls, or one or two awards that just didn’t seem right. But when you have the whole industry leaving in disgust and even complaining as soon as nominations are announced then there is no mystery of bad judgement, you are simply witnessing a personal award scheme. To be honest, the said organizers should remove all words such as Africa, Ghana, Models or Fashion from the pre fix of their award events and simply put their names there. ie. The Esi Best Friend Awards, then atleast we can understand.
The worst part about it is when they get the whole community fiercely engaging in a ‘Vote for me, Vote for me’ battle on social media, to make up for their unwillingness to pay for promotion. Hence why you have never witness FashionGHANA.com ever requesting our fans to vote for us anywhere since our beginning. Our numbers, articles, presentation content and working ethics speak for itself. If we do not get awarded because we did not engage in your promote my event vote-for-me pageant like awards, then so be it.
Unfortunately, we see hardworking creatives continuously begging their peers for support in awards that have no merits, integrity, nor even cash that is provided with the awards. Simply a piece of wood or gold painted plastic which the money used on the internet bundle used for requesting votes could have bought anyways.
What is even worst is that once the event is done, finding the winners is almost impossible. They don’t even care to publish their awardees on the same platforms they reach out to to promote the event. As a journalist I am fully aware of this and you can give google a run on it.
This is not a insinuation post to hide who were are really referring to, this is really aimed at every fashion related award night that has been executed this year, so if you can think of it then it applies. The Ghana fashion world deserves an award event that can really commemorate hard work. It is circle of people who continue to thrive with very little funding and acknowledgement from government bodies.
There is no longer any hope in these events. This is not to say every awardee is undeserving, there are a lot of you who are, and congratulations, but the overall reputation of the events don’t even make your achievements valuable. And if it was, you will be acknowledged in society, or atleast the fashion world, as such until the following year, but we don’t see that because of the declining worth and reputation amongst your peers. We will continue to support the award nights in 2017, but it makes it disgustingly hard to publish the undeserving awardees amongst yourselves. And no, celebrities in attendance doesn’t mean the award is any more valuable.
We all look forward to the night where we can see those who push hard be acknowledged, but it seems 2016 has proved to us this acknowledgement will definitely not be executed from the worthless wooden sculptures and gold covered plastic toys given out at the ‘My Best Friend Awards’ or the ‘I Don’t Know WTF Im Doing Awards’ night.
It’s a shame to be blogging daily about the success stories, look books, shows, events, images of so many participants only for someone to take a personal approach and tell them they are not deserving of the title. Unfortunately you will just need to continue to acknowledge your rewards instead from your bookings, sales, fans, followings and clients in which ever field you continue to thrive in.