Over the years, Nigerians have dragged the Headies on a yearly basis. While the award show initially gained popularity for rewarding the best of the best on the Nigerian music scene, its credibility has dwindled over time, no small thanks to its inconsistent timeline, controversial winners and a hit-or-miss (mostly miss)  production value. Despite all of this, one thing we didn’t see was the award show deciding to japa to America, as July’s edition is set to take place at the COBB Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, US. 

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Headies Awards, japa version. 

Pro: Bye-bye to NTA broadcast quality, hello Netflix and CNN

If there’s one thing the Headies is known for, it’s transporting us back to the 90s with its broadcast quality year in, year out. We’ve been complaining for years, but it’s almost like they see our concerns and tell us “Aired dfkm.” But now, moving to Atlanta and partnering with channels like CBS, Netflix and CNN, we’re at least sure those Old Nollywood quality images will become a thing of the past. 

Con: Have you ever heard of an American or British award show held in Nigeria? 

The BRITs take place in England and the American Music Awards take place in America. Headies, dear, what’s not clicking here? We get the need to try out new things outside Lagos, but we have 36 states in Nigeria, why not try a different state? It feels a little bit like you’re trying to appeal to an international audience, when you haven’t even figured out a way to appeal to the local audience here. 

Pro: Maybe now celebrities will actually attend the award show

Now that the award is moving overseas, maybe, just maybe, nominees will actually attend. Over the years, Headies’ rep continued to plunge and so, fewer artists showed up for the ceremonies. A new location in a different country is as good as any incentive can get. Are we going to see Wizkid, Davido, Tiwa Savage and all the big stars attending the show for once? Well, we’ll find out in July. 

Con: Not all the artists may be able to make it 

Flight tickets within Nigeria are expensive AF right now mehn. Didn’t anyone tell the organisers? Unless there’s a plan to subsidise rates for performers, presenters and nominees, there’s a high chance less-established artists will have to sit this one out. 

Pro: NEPA won’t take light 

I mean… 

Con: How will the next rated winner move their car from Atlanta?

Like the years before, the next rated artist at this year’s Headies gets to walk away with a brand new car — a Bentley this time around. Quick question: Is the car going to be presented in the overseas? If it is, who pays for the shipping back here? The whole process just seems needlessly expensive. Either way, good luck to everyone involved. Who are we to watch your pockets? 

Pro: It makes sense to explore the expansion of Afrobeats outside Nigeria 

Afrobeats continues to expand across the world at a rapid pace, and with international collaborations happening ear and dear. Placing the award show on a global stage markets it to a wider audience.  

Con: Job opportunities for Nigerians in the mud

To make an award show, you need to hire people. With the Headies making its big move to Atlanta, a lot of contractors and Nigerian workers will miss out on working on a project that would’ve helped them secure the bag and boost their resumés. These jobs will end up with colonisers and this doesn’t sit well with our spirits. 


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.