1989- Looking at the image of Lemi Ghariokwu being awarded in 1989 for ‘Best Album Designer/Best Record Sleeve Design’ at the Nigerian Music Awards, I was filled with joy and at the same time, nagging questions. Why have awards organizers failed in rewarding categories such as this? Why have they failed to award other creative people contributing to the growth of this industry?

Lemi Ghariowkwu awarded at the 1989 Nigerian Music Awards / Mystreetz Magazine

Lemi Ghariokwu awarded at the 1989 Nigerian Music Awards / Mystreetz Magazine

Anyone that has followed me in the past years can attest to the fact that I keep saying that the music industry goes beyond all the celebrated artistes. Although over the years, we have witnessed rewards in the form of awards that are dished out to music producers and video directors but to be candid, there are a number of other creative units that contribute to the success of artistes and the music industry at large. These other puppet masters pulling the strings are also instrumental to how the music industry is positively appealing and attracting numbers in terms of income made. The efforts put in by video vixens, entertainment writers, the creativeness put in by artists that come up with album cover art, and the effort made by various music distribution units should never be put in the back burner. They ought to be awarded during the glamorous moment of all these various music/entertainment awards.

Once upon a time when professionals that were not just business minded but also passionate about the music business were at the helm of the organization of some of the most prestigious entertainment awards in Nigeria, they created categories such as ‘‘Best Album Designer/Best Record Sleeve Design of the year’ to encourage the effort put in by artists who generated album covers. It has always been a pictorial world, some artistes sold out because their album covers were indirectly attractive and it added to the value of the sound. Just like one can say, it will be hard to separate the success of Fela’s music from the art on the record sleeves. I remember how Ghariowku Lemi won ‘Best Record sleeve Designer’ in the year 1989 and 1990 at the then Nigerian Music Awards. I know Fame Awards also came up with such categories and others like ‘Best Recording Companies’ to encourage companies like Nira and others who are burning artists’ music onto compact discs. So, why can’t we bring back this same category alongside ‘Best Entertainment Writer’ and ‘Best OAP Pushing Traffic to Music,’ ‘Best Music Blogs,’ among others? It’s high time we reward those helping to shape popular opinion in the Industry as a whole.

– Sesan Adeniji

Culled from Mystreetz Magazine



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