A Lagos-based businessman has called out the organisers of De Elite Nigerian Star Awards known as DENSA, accusing them of extortion, callous attitude towards its nominees and guests in the 2022 edition.
The DENSA Award is a Business and Entertainment Award presented annually to recognise and celebrate excellence, exceptionality, and distinguished personalities in distinct fields who have remained outstanding and influenced their field of operation socially, positively and created impacts in the Industry.
But for the businessman, Ogunkalu Emmanuel, the award ceremony which held on Sunday, November 14 in Warri, Delta State, was far from being ‘organised’ as he alleged that the event was turned into a family and friends affair and a terrible fundraising showoff award show.
In a swift reaction, the organizers said no one was extorted, but apologized for the inconvenience suffered by any awardee.
While narrating his ordeal, the businessman who happened to be one of the nominees, called on the government to set up a regulatory body to checkmate award organisers in the country as most of them keep exploiting hardworking Nigerians.
In his words, “Imagine paying over N500,000 for an award show just to be presented two puffs to be shared among 10 respectable individuals, wasting over 8 hours on irrelevant theatrics, and stopping the show for ‘Do ri me’ over 20 times frustrating all guests.
“The fact that organizations do not have any regulatory body that can sanction them is the reason why a bunch of people looking for ways to make quick money can just decide to host an award show, get people’s hard-earned money and then turn the show to a circus for ‘friends and family’ and this is exactly what the organizers of THE DENSA awards did.
“Being nominated for an award is one of the highest honours anyone can get but THE DENSA awards turned it into a nightmare for the nominees and their guests after demanding a whooping 500,000 naira and 1,000,000 per table in this devastating economy.
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“As if charging that much was not enough, the organizers of the so-called award show said it would be starting by 7pm but started by 10pm and dragged the show on till 5am with their guests being served two packs of ‘puff puff’ filled small chops for a table of 10 and at such amount, too ridiculous to even mention.
“If you are wondering why the show dragged on for 8 hours, it is due to the fact that DEMSA show organizers thought the right thing to do is stop the music every time an attendee buys a drink, now imagine how much interruptions people had to bear while waiting for their awards.
“It is also worth noting that multiple casualties were recorded throughout the 8-hour show. The organizers had their air conditioning on all through even while the attendees pleaded with them to turn it off and people were falling sick.
“All these and more lead us to beg the question, why are such inhumane and tacky people allowed to be hosts of something as regal as an award? Are there no regulatory bodies overseeing and checking these people’s excesses? If nothing is done, how long would these thieves masking as organizers exploit unknowing people and go free?
“The DENSA Awards was a disgrace and a terrible Fundraising showoff award show”, he said.
‘No one was extorted’
Reacting to the accusation, an official of The DENSA Awards show, Barry Bayagbon, offered his sincere apologies to the Lagos-based businessman and every other awardee who felt downplayed or offended by the organisation, admitting that there were management issues that delayed the event.
Barry while debunking the allegation levelled against the organisers of the event stated that the awardees and guests only paid for tables and they all got served respectively, except for those whose demands were excessive.
He said, “I can put about five different awardees on a conference call with you right now and you would confirm that nobody was extorted and the money most of them paid was for tables and we gave them our best based on the amount they paid for their tables.
“Drinks, small chops, table water were all provided on their tables.”
Also, on its official Instagram page, the organisers offered concrete apologies for the management issues that caused an uproar.