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Nigerians Woke up on the 26th of July to meet an announcement from The Headies Award stating their Disqualification of Nigerian Singer Portable from all Nominated Categories in the forthcoming Award Ceremony: the Headies 2022 scheduled to hold on 4th September. The news made the headline and trend for a few days and the Nigerian Music Listeners were divided between those who support the Disqualification of Portable by the Award organizers and those who don’t. TrendyBeatz, as an unbiased platform, analyzes the disqualification and why it might be unfair in this article.
Habeeb Okikiola, popularly known as Portable and whom the streets adore as Omo Olalomi, came into the music limelight last December after one of his videos went viral. It was the perfect time when the street sounds needed a street music evangelist to reboot the wobey sound that has suffered a decline after the emergence of the afro-pop new generation of artists.
The video garnered massive acceptance and the lingua laced with the song “Zazoo Zeh” became the new slang. He enjoyed fame to the point that Olamide Badoo, whom the industry knows as the voice of the street collaborated with him, alongside Poco Lee. And ever since then, he has been the subject of virality – always in the news.
If portable isn’t on the road creating scenes, he’s somewhere behind his camera creating videos on Instagram throwing abusive words in Yoruba laced with curses and with the usual word standing out – “Akoi” (whatever that means)
Portable And Headies Disqualification Saga: The Backstory
Recall that on May 24, Portable bagged two nominations in two categories for the Headies Awards. One of them is the Rookie Of The Year category, in which are also nominated Fave, Ugoccie, AV, and Magixx. The other nomination is the Best Street Hop Artiste category, alongside the likes of Bella Shmurda, Mohbad, Naira Marley, etc.
Unfortunately, the usual Portable drama series got another plot twist on Tuesday when his usual antics of controversy took its toll on him. Earlier before the plot twist, Portable had received a public warning message from Headies to retract a statement he made after he released a controversial video on May 28. In the video making rounds on social media, Portable was seen uttering death-threatening words at his co-nominees, the singer said: “Those are my awards, anybody else who wins I will ask for them to be killed. I will ask them to kill the person. If the organizers give my award to someone else, they will die,” he said in Yoruba. “No go give my award to another person, he go die o.”
Immediately, Portable quickly released another video of him apologizing to Smooth Productions, the organizers of the Headies Awards, refuting everything he said and also acclaiming his craziness. He said: “Headies don nominate “madman” olorin. Streets ti take over. So make una give us our award o.
“No vex, bros! Bros, no vex! If I f*ck up, no be me first dey f*ck up. Plenty people don dey f*ck up. Abeg, I wan collect my award.”
It didn’t stop there. Recently, Portable released another video of him shouting with all confidence that he established the notorious vicious gang, popularly known as “One million Boys”. The video triggered a lot of online reactions and also made the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, order the Lagos police commissioner, Abiodun Alabi, to investigate Portable’s claim of being the leader of the two vicious gangs, and to take necessary legal actions on his claim.
Sometimes in June, a video also showed him and some of his guys seemingly assaulting a man called DJ Chicken. This scene was recorded somewhere in the Ilogbo area of Ogun State. This also got the state police’s attention. On June 20, Portable was ordered to turn himself in at the nearest police station which he complied with and was interrogated, then released on bail.
Headies Resolution: A Right Decision?
After the accumulations of all Portable’s drama and controversial behaviors, The Headies finally announced that they have disqualified the singer from the categories in which he was nominated for the 15th Headies Awards scheduled to take place in Atlanta this September.
Just after the news of the final resolution by the most reputable and biggest global awards for Afrobeat Music in Africa, The Headies, the news sparked a lot of discussions and reactions online about how the resolution is the best and how it’s not.
The Unpopular Opinion: Is It Not The Right Decision? One good thing to note is that, while this looks like a good move, Headies Award criteria, however, have never stated anywhere near the requirements that good character off the mic, is also a prerequisite for the honors. And if we are taking a moral stand now, and not separating the art from the artist, then fairness should swing the hammer fairly.
If we look across the nominations list. Are those people on the lists all saints and angels? Sugar, spice, and everything nice? A real salt of the earth collective?
Award shows like The Headies should not be gatekeepers of morality. The job is to cast shiny trophies and hand them over to people who have shown artistic distinction. A music award show.
A platform to celebrate artistic brilliance and not a moral tool for censoring behavior.
However, a second thought on the matter says otherwise: If such acts displayed incessantly by Portable are indulged, will it not be a bad representation of the value culture in the music industry? A bad influence on the little ones?
Do you think that’s the best punishment for Portable’s waywardness? Or do you think instead of punishing him with disqualification, he should be banned from traveling to the United States with the team to attend the award ceremony? Thereby, reprimanding the artist instead of the art.
What are your thoughts?