Whites sent home from MOBO awards?

September 24th, 2006

Before this year’s Mobo Awards went down, most people already knew the shambles that it was going to be. Whether they suspected the typical chaos because of the organisation’s pitiful track record or their eyebrows became permanently peaked at this year’s categories and nominations, it was a certainty in everyone’s eyes that it’d be yet another farce.

This year was particularly awful. No, not because the biggest winners of the night rightfully thought themselves too good to appear. Not because the Jazz category was axed and nominee’s who hadn’t released anything in over a year were up for a prize. But, because of a memo which apparently went around to a great number of people whom were present on the night not because they were famous or fans, but because they were hired as seat fillers. In order to not look even more embarrassing on the TV footage than was inevitable, a paid group are said to have been instructed to play musical chairs and move around the venue to create the illusion that it was a sell-out crowd.

According to a source, this group were hired and instructed two weeks prior to the night of the ceremony. Upon this night, a memo apparently written by organiser Kanya King was circulated, stating that white members of the group weren’t allowed to participate in the routine as it would make the audience look bad and would reflect badly on the MOBO organisation. The white members were apparently told to go home and to return the memo to the organisers in order for it to be shredded. Naturally, many of the ejected group members were angry at this, and photocopies of the memo are said to have not returned.

It is suspected that in coming weeks, these handouts will surface alongside video footage of MOBO founder King. The video is expected to present the organiser in very poor light which will further damage the awful reputation the annual MOBO mess currently already has. White people allowed or not, it was always going to be an impossible task to create the illusion that the venue was full. And even if it had been, great question marks were always going to remain over the ceremony’s proceedings.

Due to the many personalities whom decided not to turn up on the night, there were apparently constant last minute shuffles to the proceedings as there were so few winners present for the original programme to be followed. Another black mark over the event is that of the ‘Best African Act’ award, sponsored by AUMG. AUMG, or ‘Africa Unite Music Group’ uses offices in the same building as the MOBO HQ and it just so happens that every artist nominated in the category they endorsed, are artists on their books.

So there you have it. Forthcoming YouTube uploading aside, here ends another chapter in the gloomy fictional tale they call MOBO. And we thought Mick Hucknall lifetime achievement awards were going to be as bad as it got…