Monday, November 07, 2011

How to not win awards

David Dunkley Gyimah at awards ceremony
How not to win awards. Why are they sought in the first place is topic in itself, but how not to win them sounds tautological. 

It's like Fred seen here - a latter day version of Pee wee - sending out invitations to friends about NOT being invited to his party.

So yesterday I was one of four nominees for this Ghana Awards. And the winner was a barrister and deservedly so. Being nominated was more than I could wish. 

But it was a lavish fine show of talent and  awesome enough to be asked to come and sit down and sup with Ghana folk. There's always a funny incident where someone's giving me some food and has to describe it in detail.

"That sir is fried yam and a black pepper recipe called... "

"Me daase.. me nim..comes my reply in Ashanti saying, yes thanks, I know. 
The last time I failed to show my Ghanaian roots at some other function I got a ribbing from a couple thinking I was out of my depth with the food - believe me Ghanaian food can be quite chilli hot.

So back to the awards itself which frankly I didn't stand a chance in a room by myself ever winning. Mainly because I never told anyone.

After the nominations delegates were asked to amass votes for themselves online. Well that's me out as:
a) I don't have a wide friends base :)
b) It's a bit odd asking people to vote for you for what you do

Effectively we're in the realm of the X-factor. I could understand if it was a public vote for some performance the public might want to see again, but if you're a nurse, a doctor or a mechanic, your either good at what you do and your peers recognise this, or er you're not - and feel comfortable about it.

The idea I have to ring around my friends and mum, who'll tell her friends and what not, is a bit vain.

Now I'm not suggesting the victor did this. You'll have to know me better to believe I could think that way,  but I do hope at some point where appropriate we jettison the idea of X-factor voting for things that should be judged on merit.

Otherwise, in the future we could be voting for whether you get the hospital appointment, or whether you pass your driving test because of pubic votes, or the pilot flying that plane did so not because of her professionalism graded by anonymous peers, but a public vote.

Which in any case if it had gone that way, the winner of this award, would still have won given her many achievements. That's one thing I am pretty sure off.