When Jim Iyke, co-host of the 2011 African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), commented that “actors need to stick to their day jobs, including me”, it was in reference to his attempt at doing music. But his presenting skills at the award ceremony held in Bayelsa last Sunday showed the world another career that the Nollywood actor isn’t quite cut out for.
From the moment Jim and his co-host, Nse Ikpe-Etim were introduced on stage, Jim appeared confused and clueless on what to say. It was very obvious that he kept on forgetting some stuff that he was scripted to say and sometimes the prompting from his co-host couldn’t even help. To turn things around the actor turned on his usual ‘loose cannon’ personality to some painful consequences. Jim’s hosting was a bit unrefined and each time he appeared on stage, the audience could expect some bad jokes, sexual innuendos, or an attack on the Nigerian press. The only thing he got right throughout the show was his choice of clothing. Change after change, he stepped out in outfits that brought out his ‘swag’ and complimented the beauty and grace of his co-host Nse.
According to inside sources, desperate attempts were made by the producers of the ceremony to control some of Jim Iyke’s utterances on stage, including his comment about not liking gay people. He explained that he didn’t understand why some people have to be gay and concluded that for him, he thinks something is ‘wrong’ somewhere. His co-host, Nse tried to control the situation by asking him to leave that subjected matter alone, and cleverly suggested that Jim meant something else when she concluded that episode by saying, “there is nothing wrong with being happy”. However, the strong headed Jim commented that he would revisit the subject later in the night but he never did.
Jim Iyke also defended some of his colleague actors who have in recent times received a lot of stick from the Nigerian press. He called out websites and blogs such as nigeriafilms.com and bellanaija when he commented that he didn’t know why the Nigerian press was becoming so ruthless of late. He also couldn’t understand why Nigerian pressmen often attack actress Omotola Jalade Ekeinde’ s looks and sense of style; when she still manages to look very good after having more than 3 children. He explained the incidence with him, the Nigerian police and the paparazzi concerning his tinted car windows.
Jim wasn’t a total flop however, he had some good moments on stage when he engaged in some witty and unrehearsed exchanges with Nse. Although some of those exchanges were not suitable for the nominees in the ‘Best Child Actor’ and ‘Best Young Actor’ categories of the AMAA, most of the time Jim could be excused for being the ‘Nollywood Bad Boy’ that he is touted to be.
The two hosts, collectively could have done a much better job if they had dropped some of the Nigerian idiosyncrasies for a more universal presentation since the audience was African/ global and not just a Nigerian audience. This year’s AMAA saw the biggest participation from the rest of Africa and it would have been better if the content from the hosts was geared towards that growth; hence there should have been less pidgin and Nigerian lingo and less Nigerian eccentrics. One of the first statements that Jim and Nse made when they got on stage was to ask “where are our Nollywood stars?” And even worse, they went on to mention some names.
Let’s see who gets the nod to host next year’s African Movie Academy Awards but for goodness sake it shouldn’t be Jim Iyke ever again!
By: Ameyaw Debrah