Of Stupid Titles and Awards

I want to be able to say I’m proud to be a Nigerian but so many people make me scared to say it!
I sat watching the NTA news some days back and was horrified to see another freak show of that silly event we call the Nigerian National Awards – where the wrong people get awarded for supposedly ‘contributing positively to Nigeria’s development’.

What a farce!

Why on earth are we honoring criminals and despots with these awards? I like the way Nnamdi Okosieme from NEXT put it:

“By contrast, many of the men and women honoured…have brought nothing but dishonour to our national image through acts of omission and commission. From those who have tried to pilfer public funds but were stopped dead in their tracks by watchful colleagues and an inquisitive media to those who attained the highest reaches of power through the unlawful overthrow of lawfully constituted governments, we have a collection of individuals who deserve nothing but censure.”

The real heroes who deserve those awards are totally forgotten. Nnamdi’s article focused more on the sports arena and that is very crucial area that has men and women who deserve the awards in plenty.

I laughed when I saw the short nollywood actor Chinedu Ikedezie of ‘Aki & Pawpaw’ fame get awarded. I was wondering what the dude had done to gain the honor, apart from acting. Maybe I’m in the dark; somebody please enlighten me. And what about his partner, pawpaw? Why leave him out? What about other veterans in the industry who have made huge impact in Nollywood? Interestingly, nigeriafilms  questions this;

“What a lot of people in Nollywood don't understand was how Chinedu made the list when several veterans who started the race before him have not even been considered for the honours.”

I ask the question; what is the point of the awards? Does it have to do with the craze Nigerians have for titles? It could be. I’ve even noticed that many award ceremonies today are usually not really awarded according to merit but are somehow ‘paid’ for.

I even got to know of one of such at my workplace. We were told to enter some of my company’s portfolio for this advertising festival awards; an award event for the advertising industry. But then, we were required to pay some money for each award entry for some undisclosed reason. Through the grapevine, I heard that the more awards you entered, the more likely, you would be ‘honored’ because your money must pay off.

I’m not against paying entry fee to be considered for an award but it’s fast becoming a money making venture rather than a merit thingy. Oh, and lets not also forget – because Nigerians like titles and awards.

Today, so called ‘eminent’ Nigerians like it when they’re names are called with their full titles. You’d hear names go like this: Chief, Dr. Mrs GoodforNothing Bigshot, MON, FFR, CFAO JP…

I came across a guy one day and asked his name and he told me his name was ‘Engineer so and so’. I almost laughed. Must you show off that you’re an engineer by making it a title? Some Architects are also guilty of this – ‘I am Architect so and so’; like I give a hoot about your title.

And then sometime ago, my church decided to ordain Pastors and Deacons on a particular day. The day came and those who were in attendance were ordained. Those who were absent missed the chance.
The next thing – the absentees started writing letters trying to get another ordination done as if it was their right. This pissed the church leaders and they had to make it clear that this was God’s work not a chieftaincy title ceremony; God does not respect titles. Being ordained a Pastor or Deacon actually meant you’re to have some responsibilities placed on you. And unlike the political arena where thieves and opportunists have the opportunity to keep getting nonsense awards and titles, church is not the place that you stay corrupt and your title remains. You are bound to be found out and relieved of the label you so much covet.

I believe that if you are a good person or a positive achiever, your name should speak for you, not your title.  Today, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and host of other honorable citizens are respected when their names are mentioned. Even the ‘Prof.’ before their names don’t matter as much. But once somebody is craving for a title so that he can be respected, then he’s nothing but a big joke with low self-esteem.

By acquiring all manner of useless titles and awards, you’re begging to be noticed; but by genuinely achieving something that everyone applauds you command everyone’s attention.

Wisdom lets us understand that you don’t demand respect, you command it. 

More on the rubbish awards here 

16 Screamer(s):

Myne Whitman said...

Well said! The national awards have become a mockery and our penchance for unmerited awards is baffling. Even Mrs becomes a hotly debated issue, lol..

Anonymous said...

Agree with you totally!

laughs @ some statements...really i don't understand the craze for it!

Ms.O said...

Exactly what I said when I heard of National Awards...I asked the same question! Nigeria...#sigh!

doll said...

well said

Dee! said...

*CLAPPING* You have said it ALL!
99.9% of the so called "Awardees" DO NOT DESERVE IT!
For crying out loud, what has the likes of Patricia Etteh done to derserve getting an award????

What a National mockery! Shiooooo!

Lol NTA...forgot it even still exists...oh gosh I miss all those NTA shows...

How've you been Afronut?

rethots said...

...and in the same vain, an advert (or what is it called?) in the papers the other day, had a full page of the woman being congratulated, her name was written: Princess Mrs.....

Haha, *thinking* didn't realise a man could also be a princess.

Olufunke said...

In fact! Its so shameful, a country that 'claims' to be willing to do everything to fight corruption is giving 'national awards' to 'corrupt citizens, what is the message?....that everyone should emulate them and rob the nation blind!
What hypocrisy!

Oh God....may the time come soon that the story of Nigeria would change for the better.

Nice one Afronuts.

Lara said...

You have said it all...as for titles, woe betide the person that addresses my boss without her title. As in no be small matter oh.

Anonymous said...

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LG said...

so on point'
*how iya ati omo'

seye said...

So well said. I never knew I'd even read something that would express my mind.

The word for me is: disgusting!

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Zena said...

Like the Others said, Well Done..

Anonymous said...

hello there thanks for your grat post, as usual ((o:

Ifeanyi Udo said...

I know this is an old post but was just browsing thru. You have successfully translated my every frustration about these dumb awards into words. nice!!