The question of how we came about winners of certain meritorious awards in Africa has not been devoid of controversies, this is because most of the said meritorious awards are not given to the deserved but to those who paid in cash for it.
Presenters and honorees of Awards are likely to gain, politically, economically, and socially, in views, which inevitably will inspire public indignation.
But what has the norm of ‘pay to be awarded’ mean to the honoree, the public, and the organizers of such awards themselves?
This is perhaps the question that the former governorship candidate in Kogi State, Barrister Natasha Akpoti has sought to answer when she posits that “The best awards are the genuine gratitude from the served people and never-ending blessings from God”.
The Nigerian-born philanthropist had questioned the logic behind this seemingly fast-developing norm in Africa as she opined; “If it’s an award for a recognition of service of status_the public should be let to vote out of volition”.
While justifying her position on this matter, Natasha Akpoti revealed that she had turned down not less than 15 National and International awards in the past year due to “financial implication lurking”.
Natasha made it known that she would never consider paying to be nominated and awarded when her walls are not bare and not in need of paid plaques. “If I’m to pay, I would pay for an art piece”, she said.
Natasha further, and specifically give an account of how African Leadership Magazine requested her to make a payment of about $10,000 to $30,000 to receive an award on the 26th of February, 2022.
Part of Her Words Read:
“Last year I turned down over 15 National and international awards that had some financial implications lurking”.
Why should I pay to be nominated and awarded?
Are my walls too bare and in need of paid plaques? No thank you… if I were to pay, I would pay for an art piece.
To buttress our point, I decided to attach this invitation to treat by African Leadership Magazine that requested I pay between $10,000 to $30,000 (5m to 15m) to receive an award on the 26th of February 2022 In Dubai or via Zoom.”
“Insult to this is that I’m to deliver a speech as well. I find such very insulting.
Anyway, I scrolled through their Facebook page and saw past publications and awardees depicting prominent people and I wondered if they also paid to be awarded?
Well, if they did as it’s the norm… I will not and refuse to be pressured to.
So after spending hundreds of millions to serve the good communities… I should pay to be awarded?
Is the award a ticket to heaven?
“Let everyone know … that most awards are being solicited and paid for. I Natasha will only receive deserving recognitions ex encumbrances.
After all, the best awards are the genuine gratitude from the served people and never-ending blessings from God.”